April 4, 2012
– San Francisco Bay and Beyond
The Open 50 Truth takes a wave on the run home from the Farallones on rough and rowdy Saturday.
© 2017 Erik Simonson / www.pressure-drop.us
On Saturday morning, San Francisco Bay saw 50-knot winds and driving rain, discouraging most of the 58 crews entered in BAMA's Doublehanded Farallones Race. Only 14 boats started. Donald Sandstrom and Geoffrey Love of the only multihull division finisher, the Cross 40 Anduril, sailed out using mostly their trusty old storm jib and double-reefed main, and were rewarded with the sight of a large pod of porpoises. "After rounding the island, we had a really pleasant broad reach all the way back to the Bridge," said Sandstrom. "The sun was out, we put up the #2 and the main, and trucked right on back."
Ronnie Simpson and Ruben Gabriel immediately following their overall win in Saturday's Doublehanded Farallones Race aboard Simpson's Moore 24 US 101. Rumor has it both wore those grins for the next 24 hours.
Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
First to finish — in less than six hours — were Alex Mehran Jr. and Zan Drejes on the Open 50 Truth. Ronnie Simpson, sailing his Moore 24 US 101 with Ruben Gabriel, corrected out to first in class and first overall. He attributes part of his success to flying the spinnaker the whole way back, but most of it to his choice of crew. See results here.
The skies cleared on the Bay as well for what became a great weekend for the St. Francis YC Interconference collegiate regatta, sailed in CFJs on the Cityfront. First place went to Hawaii, second to UC Santa Barbara and third to the Coast Guard Academy. For full results, see www.stfyc.com.
Thirty-one college teams, mostly from the West Coast, competed in the St. Francis Interconference over the weekend.
© 2017 Chris Ray / www.crayivp.com
All ten 68-ft yachts racing in the Clipper Round the World race are now berthed at Jack London Square in Oakland, and will be featured at Strictly Sail Pacific, April 12-13. The last boat, Geraldton Western Australia, arrived damaged and wounded in the wee hours of Tuesday morning to an enthusiastic greeting. Organizers hope to have the boat repaired in time for the April 14 start of Leg 7 to New York via the Panama Canal. For the story of Geraldton's unfortunate encounter with a giant wave 400 miles offshore, see our posts on Saturday and Monday.
Blessed by the glow of a full moon, Geraldton Western Australia steams under the Bay Bridge on her way to Oakland early Tuesday morning.
© 2017 Abner Kingman / onEdition
Ian Williams of Great Britain pulled off a memorable win over Gavin Brady of New Zealand in the decisive race of Long Beach YC's Congressional Cup match race in Catalina 37s on Saturday. After Williams, the defending champion, had won the first race of their championship final, and four-time winner Brady claimed the second, the Brit's Team GAC Pindar led all the way in the third, but he had a problem: a pre-start penalty that he had to erase before the finish. The key moment came about halfway up the second windward leg. Williams, who led Brady by 15 seconds at the leeward mark, was crossing him on port tack when, instead of tacking to starboard, he turned down across his onrushing foe and came up still in front on starboard tack — a 270-degree turn that absolved him of his penalty. The move cost Williams most of his lead, and they rounded the last mark stern to bow. But Williams didn't give another inch before crossing the finish line nine seconds in front. See www.concup.com for more.
"Warm water, hot racing" is the slogan, so it's not surprising that nearly 30 Bay Area sailors jumped at the chance to experience the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, which concluded Sunday at Tortola's Nanny Cay. The biggest surprise, literally, was Redwood City sailor Peter Aschenbrenner's new ORMA 60-style trimaran Paradox, with a star-studded crew including Cam Lewis. J/120 Chance owner Barry Lewis of Atherton skippered Forty Degrees, a chartered Class 40 sled, with a dozen Bay Area crew including Mill Valley sailor Ashley Perrin who flew in from Antarctica. A former Bay Area J/120 name, Rick Wesselund of El Ocaso, dominated Class 3. Justin Barton of Sausalito was back with his lucky Beneteau 473 bareboat Justice. Jim and Denny Hoelter boomed along in their sweet Alerion Express 33 Nymph, with Passage Yachts broker and Richmond YC staff commodore Torben Bentsen and his wife Judy. Fairfax sailor Eric Arndt was there promoting the new Farr 400 class, with Novato tactician supreme Dee Smith, aboard Mick and Marlene Shlens' Blade. Other boats picked up Bay Area crew such as Deb Hong and Dave Kelley.
Jim and Denny Hoelter of Piedmont were lookin' sweet in division 9 aboard their Alerion Express 33 Nymph (l-r: Jim Hoelter, Vern Thompson, Torben Bentsen, Walt Garimort, Judy Bentsen, Denny Hoelter).
© 2017 Todd Van Sickle / 2012 BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival
"I loved connecting and reconnecting with all these names and celebrity sailors," said Paul Oliva of San Francisco, who writes about sailing for the Chronicle, "and the gender balance prominently on display at this regatta." Paul's full report will appear in May's Racing Sheet. For now, see more at www.bvispringregatta.org.
On April 1, the crew of Groupama 4 experimented with singlehanding. Take a look: http://new.livestream.com/groupamasailingteam/leg5/videos/401231
While Groupama's crew were having fun with this, Puma passed them. Actually, the two boats have been sailing within sight of each other and have traded the lead several times. Andrew Cape of Telefonica said that the close match racing could play into the hands of the Spanish team, which has closed to within 50 miles. Telefonica had stopped for 12 hours in Caleta Martial, a cove on Herschel Island in Chile. Their shore team met them there to assist with repairs and also took off the bowman, Antonio Cuervas-Mons, who'd suffered a back injury. The damaged VOR 70s Camper and Abu Dhabi's Azzam are both stopping at Puerto Montt, Chile. Camper is making repairs and hopes to sail away to rejoin the leg to Itajaí, Brazil, while Azzam will be shipped there.
Stop the presses! Groupama 4 has dismasted 650 nm from the the Itajaí finish, 60 miles off Uruguay. They were sailing upwind on port tack in a 20-knot northerly when the mast broke level with the first spreader (around 30 feet above the deck). Bowman Brad Marsh suffered a slight injury to his forearm. Skipper Franck Cammas isn't requesting assistance. They've temporarily suspended racing and are considering their options – continue the race under jury rig or make for Punta del Este, wait for a replacement mast (stored in Rotterdam), rig it, and then restart from the point where they suspended racing. See www.volvooceanrace.com.
We'll have a weekend racing preview on Friday, but that will be too late if you're planning to enter Saturday's SSS Corinthian Race. The deadline to enter and the skippers' meeting at Oakland YC are tonight.
- latitude / chris
- with Paul Oliva and Rich Roberts