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Christopher Caen
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Born in the back room in one of the many tenement
buildings in Pacific Heights, Christopher has always
been of two minds about San Francisco. Although he
works hard to maintain his street cred, he also is not
above hanging with the upper crust, who tend to have
better cocktail parties and free parking. He attended
college at Stanford University where his creative
writing teachers considered his writing the worst kind
of sensationalism, leading to the inevitable
unpublished first novel. His newspaper father was not
amused. The San Francisco Newspaper Company finally
made his sordid dreams a reality in 2004 with the
launch of his columns in the San Francisco Examiner
and the San Francisco Independent. As of yet, the
earth has not tilted off its axis and western
civilization seems safe for now. Then again, Rome
burned in one night. Christopher now works for
Theory Associates, a branding agency in San Francisco.

Entries by Christopher Caen

62 Reasons to Love the Cup

(1) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 5:01 PM

You may not know it from the cricket chorus bursting forth from City Hall, but things are moving along smartly to finalize the plans for the next edition of the America's Cup. To say that last time was a learning experience for the city and the America's Cup folks would...

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Crashing the Democratic Convention

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 2:24 PM

"El Sembrador," said the sign at the corner. This was soon followed by the HealthBullet, and then a fitness show. The light had almost changed before finally it popped up on the electronic billboard outside the Los Angeles Convention Center: "California Democratic Party - Party Convention." A religious ministry and...

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The Democratic Convention (Welcome to the Jungle)

(1) Comments | Posted March 9, 2014 | 7:04 PM

In 2010, the voters in California passed Proposition 14, which altered the face of political races in the state. This piece of legislation changed the traditional Republican vs. Democrat face of races to a "top two system," where the top two finishers in a primary, regardless of party affiliation, went...

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A Cup of Caen: Smaller Boats, Bigger Cup

(2) Comments | Posted December 27, 2013 | 10:00 AM

To this day it still gets under Russell Coutts' skin. This week I got a chance to catch up with Coutts, the CEO of Oracle Team USA. Months removed from his victorious America's Cup campaign, he's back in New Zealand, getting ready for Christmas and wrapping last second presents. And...

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A Cup of Caen: Yelling at the Television

(3) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 1:21 PM

Yesterday was a Sunday just like any Sunday during football season here in San Francisco. I had made my way down to my current favorite sports bar in town, where I had joined a group of friends to take part in that time honored tradition of drinking beers and yelling...

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A Cup of Caen: Now We Have a Cup

(1) Comments | Posted September 18, 2013 | 1:36 PM

As we all awoke this morning, on a bright and beautiful Wednesday, a weird thing happened: we are still alive! With an odd combination of an American defender that is finding new boat speed at the eleventh hour, and Mother Nature cranking the wind up and canceling several races, the...

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A Cup of Caen: What Would Whidden Do?

(1) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 2:58 PM

On Tuesday, Oracle USA lost again to Team New Zealand. This loss was more painful than the prior ones because the U.S. team was in the lead but made mistakes that let the New Zealand boat take over and win the race. Assigning blame for Oracle's missteps has led to...

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Cup of Caen: Follow the Money

(4) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 3:17 PM

It's always about money at the end of the day, isn't it? Over the last two days the America's Cup has been swept back into unflattering light as the punishment was meted to Oracle Team USA for their wrongful placement of weights on their 45-foot catamarans in last...

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A Cup of Caen: Losing Is Sometimes Winning

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 3:25 PM

Yesterday, Luna Rossa, the Italian team in this year's America's Cup, finally bowed to the inevitable. Overwhelmed by the superior speed of the New Zealand boat, the Italians were eliminated on a foggy San Francisco Bay. Everyone had seen this day coming for a while, the Prada sailors unable to...

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A Cup of Caen: Building the Box

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2013 | 4:15 PM

Every America's Cup race day, the viewers on the Internet or watching on television are introduced to San Francisco with sweeping shots of the bay and stirring music. Inevitably the first cut is to 72-foot catamarans prowling the racecourse before the start, dozens of support boats swarming around them, and...

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A Cup of Caen: Tomorrow's Sailors Today

(2) Comments | Posted August 13, 2013 | 10:42 AM

Monday morning, we finally got to see the America's Cup we had all expected. Standing at the back of pier on the San Francisco waterfront, the members of the press were introduced to the ten teams from eight countries that will be competing next month to win the Cup. Groups...

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A Cup of Caen: The Spying Game

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 10:17 AM

Tomorrow we will finally get to see Artemis Racing and Prada take to the America's Cup racecourse to do battle in the Louis Vuitton Cup Semifinals, so I wanted to spend today on the subject of what it really takes to dominate in the America's Cup. I am not talking...

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A Cup of Caen: A Day with Oracle

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2013 | 5:30 PM

It's not the speed that surprises me, it's the acceleration. It is last Friday and I am on Oracle's new 72-foot America's Cup catamaran, an hour into practice. This morning we have been practicing the start, a particularly nefarious endeavor on a boat that can go over 50 miles an...

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A Cup of Caen: Surfers, Snowboarders and a Garage

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2013 | 4:43 PM

My first ride on a competitive sailboat was in 1983. A racing event called the Big Boat series was in town for the week, and I was desperate to get one of the racers. My friend Grant Settlemier told me just to grab my foul weather gear and hang out...

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A Cup of Caen: Hand to Hand Combat

(1) Comments | Posted July 12, 2013 | 4:51 PM

Today we will turn to something more concrete than my usual ramblings, because tomorrow we are going to have an honest to goodness, we are not kidding here, America's Cup race. You know, with two boats. Both on the course at the same time. Actually racing each other. I know,...

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A Cup of Caen: Opening Day By the Bay

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2013 | 12:39 PM

I remember a conversation with Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis racing a couple months ago. We were talking about how the outside world views the America's Cup, and how everyday people were having trouble getting connected with the event.

Said Cayard, "If people have heard of the America's Cup, it's...

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A Cup of Caen: The Kiwis Have Landed!

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2013 | 5:33 PM

Wakas are the war canoes made by the Maori tribes native to New Zealand. They build little ones to go bash on their neighbors. They also build big ones, some over 100 feet long, to go bash on people on other islands. Some are painted white and black, which in...

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A Cup of Caen: Of Cats and Cups

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2013 | 8:54 PM

When I hear people wonder aloud why the America's Cup is being sailed in high tech catamarans this year, this quote from Artemis Racing's Paul Cayard really sums it up for me. "That's the stigma that the America's Cup had: the boats went slowly and there was one long race...

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A Cup of Caen: Of Lineages, and Paul Cayard

(2) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 6:26 PM

Let's get one thing out of the way at the start: just like in royal families, sports have their lineages. Fathers and sons have passed on the torch in basketball, football, and baseball. Ken Griffey, Jr. anyone? And there are also the unofficial lines, the torches that are passed from...

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A Cup of Caen: What's an America's Cup team?

(2) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 3:41 PM

I am sitting with Jimmy Spithill, and I am giddy. I ask, "Who do you race for? Larry Ellison, Oracle Team USA, or San Francisco?" I have managed to corral Spithill, the skipper for Oracle Team USA, at a bar on Union Street, and we have headed to the back...

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