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Weekend Racing Wrap-up

April 11, 2011 – The Bay and Slightly Beyond

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

It was a gnarly weekend out there. Here's the St. Francis YC's J/Fest. A word to the wise: if you're going to wad it up like this, make sure to hide your sail number like these guys! © 2018 Sergei Zavarin /

The Bay Area Multihull Association's Doublehanded Farallones Race got brochure conditions on Saturday. After a light air start — made all the more tricky by a ripping ebb — the 71 starters were met by a northwesterly that just kept building throughout the day. Boats were reporting breeze into the high-20s on the way out, and by the time those that completed the trip — only 43 boats finished — found themselves on a sprightly broad reach back home, they were seeing windspeeds into the low-30s. Consequently, there weren't many kites up on the joyride from the Rockpile to the Gate. Actually, there was only one that we saw and, not surprisingly, it belonged to the preliminary results' overall winners — Bill and Melinda Erkelens aboard their Moore 24 Nevermoore. Moores closed out the rest of the podium and the first non-Moore was Urs Rothacher and Pieter Versavel in the former's F-9RX trimaran Tatiana, which rounded out the top-five in the process of taking the elapsed time and multihull honors.

Nevermoore Bill and Melnda Erkelens
Bill and Melinda Erkelens' Moore 24 Nevermoore was the only boat that we saw flying a kite during BAMA's Doublehanded Farallones. And yes, they were lit up. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

On the Cityfront, the St. Francis YC's J/Fest brought out good numbers of J/24s, J/105s and J/120s for two days of high-octane buoy racing. With breeze into the high-20s on Saturday, and not much less on Sunday, there was plenty of carnage on the race course and more than a few letter scores in the results. The J/120s were as competitive as ever, and Steve Madeira's Mr. Magoo rose above the rest to win the six-boat division. In the J/105s, strong starts by some of the class's usual suspects ultimately played out like Tiger Woods' weekend at The Masters, and Jeff Litfin and John Case's Mojo snuck into first on the strength of a 2-1 final day. In the J/24s, Michael Whitfield's TMC Racing ended up finishing with a pair of bullets to take the class by a three-point margin.

Spring days don't get better than Saturday's slugfest at J/Fest. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

Ten Etchells and seven Melges 24s showed up at the San Francisco YC for two days of bashing around the Circle at the Resin Regatta. After many years away from the Etchells, Hank Easom showed up to compete with Bill Barton and Laurence Pulgram and put on a show aboard Magic, narrowly sliding past Bill Melbostad and Bryan Moore's JR to take the Etchells title by one point after five races. The Melges 24s went with a masochism theme, sailing nine races — over the course of which Kevin Clark's Smokin' proved to be the class of the class, scoring seven bullets a second and a third!

Open 5.70 Dash Encinal YC
The Open 5.70 Dash drew eight boats for some challengeing sailing on the South Bay. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

Encinal YC rolled out the red carpet for the Open 5.70s this weekend in honor of the class's first-annual Open 5.70 Dash. A skiing injury to one skipper reduced the fleet to eight boats, and each one of those got a good test on a gusty and shifty South Bay. Breaking from the traditional regatta format, PRO Charles Hodgkins led the fleet in three practice starts before the first race of the day on both Saturday and Sunday, and the final race of the regatta finished off at the club after a smoking run down the Estuary. Nik Vale's Demonic was untouchable, winning the first six races  to finish eight points clear of Tom Baffico and Nick Burke's The Maker, which won the final two races.

Bay Area Teams represented well at the High School and College Sailing Pacific Coast Championships hosted by the US Sailing Center in Long Beach. In the High School division, Branson finished fifth, Redwood ninth, and Tam High fifteenth. In the college division, Stanford gave the fleet an old-fashioned smack-down, finishing almost 30 points ahead of runner-up UCSB. Cal Maritime just snuck into the fifth spot and Cal finished ninth.

- latitude / rg

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Local Heroes Win Award

April 11, 2011 – San Francisco Bay

Delta Doo Dah vets Erik and Brian Jones of the Berkeley-based Glastron Spirit 28 Sizzle were honored with US Sailing's Hanson Rescue Medal last week for their role in rescuing two Bay sailors on July 19, 2009. The Joneses and their friends were sailing home in typical summer Bay conditions when a sharp-eyed crewmember spotted a small capsized skiff. Skipper Erik sailed closer and asked the two men in the water — both were wearing PFDs and wetsuits — if they needed assistance. "The younger sailor, who looked to be in his early 20s, waved us off indicating that they were okay," Erik recalls. "We ignored his refusal for help and remained nearby, circling their boat."

The 'Sizzle Boys', Erik and Brian Jones, were instrumental in the rescue of two sailors on the Bay. © 2018 Erik Jones

After watching for 15 minutes as the two men worked hard to right their boat only to have it capsize again and again, Erik called the Coast Guard to advise them of the situation and tell them that they would remain on station until the pair either got underway or requested help. Several minutes later, the sailors were able to right the boat and get back aboard, but it was clear that cold water and exertion had taken their toll. "The older sailor — in his 40s or 50s — asked me to accompany them the four miles to Richmond," said Erik. Just as Erik's crew had readied a tow line, the Marin County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol boat pulled up and took charge of the situation. “The lesson here is that just because someone isn't asking for help or initially rebuffs an offer of help, doesn't mean that one shouldn't remain on station to monitor or activate emergency services anyway,” Erik noted.

The victims were aboard what looks to be an International 14 skiff. Erik says there appeared to be some damage after the capsize. © 2018 Erik Jones

Congratulations to Erik and Brian for receiving such a prestigious honor — it was well-earned for using excellent judgment and seamanship during a potentially deadly situation. Not only are we proud that these real-life heroes are once again joining the Delta Doo Dah, but we'll probably sleep just a little bit better in Potato Slough knowing they've got our backs!

- latitude / ld

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Ad: Bismarck Dinius - Farmer's Insurance

April 11, 2011 – Your Boat

© 2018 Bismarck Dinius

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Get an Education at Strictly Sail Pacific

April 11, 2011 – Oakland, CA

Few things will get you more pumped up about sailing on the Bay and beyond than a visit to Strictly Sail Pacific — the West Coast's largest sail-only boat show. The annual four-day event runs this Thursday through Sunday at Oakland's Jack London Square.

Sunderland and Intrepid
Take a break from boat show shopping and spend some time with experts on all sorts of topics - such as singlehander Zac Sunderland. © 2018 Zac Sunderland

In addition to checking out the latest gizmos and gadgets, perusing brand new yachts, and shopping for boat show bargains, we'd strongly recommend that you take advantage of the free hourly seminars that run throughout the show. We're told the show's roster of seminars has never been larger, offering first-hand insights from industry experts on a wide range of topics that include everything from basic diesel maintenance to international cruising, and just about everything in between.

Take a quick look at the schedule and we're sure a whole line-up of topics will jump out at you. We suggest you study the list and make a game plan so you won't miss out on the incredible wealth of info offered by Strictly Sail's brain trust of experts. A few examples: learn the subtleties of the Bay's tides and currents from longtime racer/sailmaker Kame Richards; hear about the highs and lows of solo circumnavigating from Zac Sunderland, the youngest ever from the West Coast; or learn to be a self-reliant weather interpreter from meteorological guru Lee Chesneau.

In addition to these and many more, we'll be hosting a few seminars of our own: Baja Ha-Ha How-To, both Friday and Saturday at 2:15 p.m., and Tahiti and the Pacific Puddle Jump on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. See you then!

- latitude / at

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