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Port of San Diego Receives Trophy To Be Presented During Weekend Sailing Competition

November 12, 2011

A British artist and welder has fashioned a sleek, stainless steel trophy that will be presented to the winner of this weekend’s Port Cities Challenge sailing races.

The races are being held as part of the America’s Cup World Series competition that begins Saturday, Nov. 12 on San Diego Bay.

Richard Vasey, who lives near Cornwall, England, created the trophy that resembles an AC45 catamaran sail boat. He fashioned the art piece by combining his welding skills, honed in the oil industry, with his artistic talents.

He has his wife, Tina, to thank for pushing him to make contact with America’s Cup representatives when they were in Plymouth, England, the site where the AC45 wing-sailed catamarans recently competed.

It took Vasey about four days to create the art piece. Midway through the project, he and his wife went sailing in Plymouth Sound and saw some AC45s practicing. It caused him to change course in shaping his creation.

“After that I went home, my wife, my biggest critic, pointed out the genoa jib shape was wrong, so I changed it,” Vasey said of his sculpture.

Tina Vasey insisted that her husband take the sculpture to the America’s Cup Village in Plymouth.

“I was a little embarrassed,” he said from his home in the United Kingdom. “She’s (his wife) my inspiration.”

At the America’s Cup Village, he struck up a conversation with JJ Fetter, who heads operations at Sailing Events Association San Diego, which promotes major sailing events in San Diego. There were e-mail exchanges and discussions about the purchase of the work before the artist decided to make the donation.

Representatives of Sailing Events Association San Diego, Mary Brigden, and Fetter, a two-time Olympic medalist in sailing, presented the trophy to the Port of San Diego and the Board of Port Commissioners during a regular monthly meeting of the Port Commission on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011.

Soon, Vasey heads for another welding job. This one in Aberdeen, England. Afterward, he’s hoping to retire and devote full time to his artistic endeavors.

You can learn more about the artist and his work by visiting RichardVasey.co.uk.

The Port of San Diego was created by the state Legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested $1.7 billion in public improvements in its five member cities: Imperial Beach, San Diego, Coronado, Chula Vista and National City.

The Port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 17 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.

Port of San Diego  SDTMD Tourism Authority