Photos of the Day: Big Boat Series
September 12 - San Francisco
"We thought the St. Francis YC was in Northern California," said a couple of competitors in the St. Francis Big Boat Series, which started yesterday and runs through Sunday. "But given the warm weather, 8 to 15 knots of breeze, and flat water, it seemed more like Southern California." Here's the official report, with photos courtesy of Chris Ray:
The St. Francis Yacht Club's Big Boat Series presented by Rolex kicked off a seven-race series on San Francisco Bay today in 8 to 15-knot breeze and slightly cloudy skies. Over 1,000 competitors on 115 boats sailed two races in each of three Americap II classes and seven of the eight one-design classes: Farr 40, Santa Cruz 52, Beneteau 40.7, J/105, J/120, 1D35, and Express 37. Racing continues through Sunday when five perpetual trophies and Rolex timepieces will be awarded. In the America's Cup class one race was held, with the second and final race scheduled for tomorrow.
Onshore spectators were given a sneak peek at what America's Cup racing would look like on the Bay with Oracle BMW Racing and Alinghi Team fleet-racing their ACC boats. However, they followed the Big Boat Series presented by Rolex racecourse of fleet racing along the Cityfront, not match racing, the format used in the America's Cup. Oracle BMW Racing beat the Swiss America's Cup winner Alinghi Team, led by Jochen Schümann, by a healthy 30-second margin. "The Big Boat Series is a great prelude for the Moët Cup," said Chris Dickson, skipper of Oracle BMW Racing.
As in all of the classes the tide played
a crucial role, and in the highly competitive Farr 40 class the
tacticians had their work cut out for them. The tide was the
key to John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti taking the overall class
lead on the 15-boat fleet. "In the second race, the front
half of the fleet slowed down at the first windward mark and
the back half caught up and passed them," said Kilroy of
Los Angeles, who relied on Olympic Bronze Medalist Jeff Madrigali
for tactical assistance. "With the tide on its way out and
the wind dying, it gave us a nice boost to get up front and take second." They are tied three ways on nine points each
with Steve and Fred
The largest class competing here is the J/105 class with 34 boats. Tom Coates' Masquerade took two first place finishes and is a class favorite to win this year. Coates has another J/105 in San Francisco and keeps Masquerade on the East Coast, but decided to bring it here to San Francisco to test it against the fleet in the recent North American Championship. "The key to our winning both races was good tactics," said Coates. "We have Thomas Eisler and Mark Chandler who both trim the sails and collaborate on tactics." As in any large one design fleet the key to a successful race is a good start and Coates described the advantage it gave him. "Both races we had clean starts in good air. In the first race, we took off and basically led the fleet around the racecourse."
The second race was not as simple. "We were leading at the start around the first mark," said Coates. "Nantucket Sleighride caught us downwind and inched away from us. We luckily were given an opportunity to pass them on the next leg, but it was a photo finish!"
In the 11-boat 1D-35 class, Victory, owned by Buddy Cribb of North Palm Beach, FL, is in first place, having scored 3,2 to tie on points with Kill-A-Watt, owned by David Rillie of Cardiff, near San Diego.
Photos Courtesy Chris Ray
The Big Boat Series presented by Rolex joins other prestigious Rolex-sponsored events in 2003 including the Giraglia Rolex Cup, Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, Rolex Fastnet Race, Maxi Rolex Cup, the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship, Rolex Middle Sea Race, the Rolex Miami OCR and the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.
Founded in 1927, St. Francis Yacht Club, within view of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a year-round host of over 40 regattas on San Francisco Bay. The club is renowned for its expertise in running world and national championships, including the 2003 Melges 24 Worlds, J/105 and Star North American Championships.
For daily reports, photos and results from the Big Boat Series presented by Rolex, contact the St. Francis YC Race Office at (415) 563-6363 or see www.stfyc.org.
Preliminary Results: Day 1 (two races),
top three per class
Preliminary Results: Day 1 of 2 (one race)
If You Have to Ask, You Can't Afford It
September 12 - San Francisco
While surfing the Net the other day, we came across the Doyle Sails Web site, in which they discussed making sails for the new Mirabella V. As you probably know, she's going to be 247 feet long, 48 feet wide, will draw 33 feet, and at half load will displace 765 tons. Her 290-ft mast won't make it under the Golden Gate Bridge by something like 80 feet.
Graphics Courtesy Mirabella V
So what's she cost? According to the Doyle Web site, $45 million. But that probably won't include the artwork.
Some Say Mari-Go, Others Say Mari-GOT
September 12 - San Francisco
"In a recent 'Lectronic bit about next week's Moët Cup," writes Rich Stober, "you inform us that sponsor Moët's name 'rhymes with Mo-Way.' Well, not if the folks at Domaine Chandon in Napa have anything so say about it - and their parent company is Moët et Chandon. Having been corrected several times by the staff, we now know that Moët rhymes with Mo-ette - hey, it isn't a French name. Go figure. But it doesn't keep me from drinking some of Napa's finest and watching some great racing."
Thanks for setting us straight, Rick. Having a tin palate, we stick to rum, so we're not up on champagne pronunciations. Actually, we were a little bit right, as Mo-Way is the Kiwi pronunciation.
Speaking of the Moët Cup
September 12 - San Francisco Bay
Here's the official release on next week's event: "America's Cup class racing will return to the United States next week when the Cup winning Swiss Team Alinghi takes to the water against its U.S. rival, Oracle BMW. The two-part Moët Cup will feature America's Cup style match racing on San Francisco Bay, with the first race set to start at approximately 1 p.m. on Monday, September 15. The race format for the Moët Cup is a unique, two-part event, with two simultaneous regattas - an Owner/Driver series, and a Pro/Driver format.
America Cup winner Alinghi sailing in Raccoon Strait of all places
Photo Michelle Slade
"In the Owner/Driver Series, Larry Ellison will be at the helm of Oracle BMW against his friend and rival, Ernesto Bertarelli skippering Alinghi. On the same boats, usually in the first race of the day, the professional skippers will sail a seven-race series. At stake will be the Moët Cup Silver Methuselah Trophy - and early status as the front runner for the 2007 America's Cup. One point will be awarded for each race win in the Pro/Driver series, with both teams very enthusiastic about facing each other for the first time since the Louis Vuitton Cup final, which Alinghi won before going on to beat the Kiwis to win the America's Cup.
"For us, this is the most important regatta of the year," said Oracle BMW Racing CEO Chris Dickson. "We have treated preparation for the Moët Cup very seriously. We competed in two warm-up regattas in June and July, and last month we had our two boats here for in-house racing and testing. We have been on the water six days a week for the past month."
There'll be great viewing of the event along the Cityfront, and a big fireworks show on Monday night in front of the Golden Gate YC, located a couple of hundred yards to the east of the St. Francis YC. What's unique about the Moët Cup is that it's Alinghi and Oracle BMW's first attempt to bring America's Cup racing to the people, so to speak. They want to include, not exclude, you in the fun.
Multihulls Wanted for '05 TransPac
September 12 - Los Angeles
There hasn't been a bigger name in the TransPac in the last 30 years than Bill Lee of Santa Cruz. As most sailors know, he designed and built the 67-ft ultralight Merlin shortly before the '77 race, then smashed the course record and ushered in the ultralight era for the L.A. to Hawaii race. We don't know how many SC 40s, 50s, and 70s have done the TransPac, but there have been scores of them.
What not so many sailors know is that Bill had previously done a TransPac on a multihull - a Brown Searunner 37 trimaran, if we remember correctly. He tells us they had perfect weather conditions, being able to set the chute after one day and having consistent wind all the way across. They finished in something like 10.5 days - not bad for a 37-footer.
TransPac organizers Bill Lee (left) and Brad Avery
This came up because Bill, who, along with TransPac Commodore Brad Avery really put the life and entries back into the TransPac this year, is working hard to get a multihull fleet for the '05 TransPac. Ideally, they'll get some of the maxi cats for an ultra division, as well as small cats for a cruising division. It's something to think about - the '05 TransPac is already getting quite a bit of buzz, as both Roy Disney and Hasso Plattner are expected to enter their new canting keel 86-ft monohulls.
A couple of years ago we were thinking about doing the West Marine Pacific Cup with our cat Profligate - until we learned that event doesn't allow multihulls. So the TransPac in '05 is something we're seriously considering doing. If it sounds interesting to you, too, visit www.transpacificyc.org.
Baja Ha-Ha Entries to Date
September 12 - Tiburon
"The deadline for entries for the Baja Ha-Ha closed on September 10," reports Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spindler, "with 123 paid entries. But we realize how busy and complicated everyone's lives are these days, so we're happy to add a seven-day grace period. As such, everybody has until the 17th of the month to get their entries in."
The list that follows shows the entries in the order received; for a list arranged alphabetically by boat name, go to www.baja-haha.com/Alumni/2003Roster.html.
1 Scarlett O'Hara / Serendipity
43 / John & Renee Prentice / San Diego
79 Sky / Hylas 49 / Bob & Iris
Strang / Memphis, TN
103 Shu Fina / Columbia 36 / Willem
Van Thillo / Fort Bragg
September 12 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace
Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? The YOTREPS daily yacht tracking page has moved to www.bitwrangler.com/psn.
September 12 - Pacific Ocean
San Francisco Bay Weather
Check out this guide to San Francisco Bay Navigational Aids: http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/sfports.html.
To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind.
The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at www.wrh.noaa.gov/Monterey.
California Coast Weather
Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/Maps/Southwest.shtml.
Pacific Winds and Pressure
The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.
Pacific Sea State
The site for the Pacific Ocean sea states
has moved to http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/PacRegSSA.shtml.