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Weekend Racing Recap

April 4 - San Francisco Bay

Peter Cook's Ultimate 24 flies downwind during the Wheeler Regatta pursuit race.
©2007 Peter Lyons/www.lyonsimaging.com

Takin' the J/Train to the Lightbucket

Another weekend, another race to the Lightship. This time it was the St. Francis YC-hosted Ocean Race for J/105s and J/120s, which had a gorgeous day on Saturday for their 25-mile journey against the current both ways. Tim Russell's Aquavit topped the 17-boat J/105 fleet, and Barry Lewis' J/120 Chance finished first among the seven J/120s.

Brick House
and Good Timin' crossing tacks under the Golden Gate Bridge. Credit: Chris Ray/www.crayivp.com
©2007 Chris Ray/www.crayivp.com

Unfortunately, it was not peaches and cream for everyone. Reports Gary Kneeland of the J/105 Orion: "Winds were NW 17-21 knots with the occasional gust over 25 knots, 4 to 8-ft waves, and a big ebb that afternoon. The 105s that made it around the buoy were coming back doing high teens and an occasional 20 knots. We were really looking forward to that ride back in." A close encounter with the Lightbucket dashed Kneeland's hopes for an E-ticket ride home, however. He snagged Orion's backstay on the buoy and the mast came tumbling down. Thanks to good crew work, the rig and sails were cut away and no one was hurt. Kneeland is quick to claim that the dismasting was due to "operator error" and is hopeful that others will learn from his mistake. We'll have more on what happened in the May issue of Latitude 38. In the meantime, see full race results at www.stfyc.com.

Big Dinghy on the Richmond Riviera

El Toro guru Vickie Gilmour shows off the damage to her daggerboard after an incident with Bradfute Rock near Brooks Island during Sunday's Big Dinghy Pursuit Race. Suffice to say it didn't pay to hug the shore.
©2007 John Dukat

Inside the Bay, there was plenty of racing on boats big and small. The Big Dinghy at Richmond YC attracted a wide assortment of small boats for Saturday's fleet racing on three courses and Sunday's pursuit races. On Sunday 'big' boats were sent on a marathon course around Red Rock, Southampton and Brooks Island. (Okay, it was only a half-marathon - 13.5 miles. It just seemed like a marathon.) Top spots went to Jim Malloy (Wylie Wabbit), Finn-Erik Nielsen (29er), and Del Olsen (Int. Canoe). Over on the short course for the little boats, Tom Burden (Laser) won the circumnavigation of Brooks Island, followed by Doug Cefali (Laser), and Doug's daughter Lauren (Opti). Complete results from both days are at www.richmondyc.org.

Rollo Wheeler and the City of Berkeley

Wheeler Regatta Spinnaker Parade
©2007 Peter Lyons/www.lyonsimaging.com

And over on the Berkeley Circle, Berkeley YC's Wheeler Regatta drew a crowd on two courses for a couple of buoy races on Saturday and a pursuit race on Sunday. Tom Nemeth's Olson 25 Clean Sweep swept the City of Berkeley trophy, while Bill Riess's Express 37 Elan won the Wheeler trophy. See complete results at www.berkeleyyc.org.

- latitude / ss


Maltese Falcon Fills the Bucket

April 4 - St. Barth, FWI

Falcon steaming along under full sail off Gustavia. It's hard to believe she's only 11 feet shorter than a football field.
©2007 Allan Prior/Prior Yacht Management

Suppose you celebrated your 75th birthday earlier in the year, and are the owner of a 289-ft sailboat powered by sails flown from three unstayed masts. How would you attack the starting line in a competition with 29 other boats, almost all of them between 100 and 200 feet? If you're Tom Perkins of Belvedere, you'd hit the line harder than most boats in the America's Cup.

Falcon's massive amount of sail area is set and struck with the push of buttons.
©2007 Allan Prior/Prior Yacht Management

"Unfortunately, there wasn't a prize in last weekend's St. Barth Bucket for the yacht with the best starts," he writes, "for if there had been, Falcon surely would have won it. Her total time for being late to the line in the three races was five seconds. Given her size, that was awesome, if we do say so ourselves."

The way Buckets work is that boats that do well are given bigger penalties in subsequent races. So after winning the first race by 30 minutes, Falcon was made to be the last boat to start in the second race, and finished last. Given a mid-fleet start in the final race, she finished third. But fun, of course, is more important than finishes in Buckets.

Falcon working to weather.
Photos Courtesy Tom Perkins
©2007 Allan Prior/Prior Yacht Management

"A huge number of competitors complimented us on Falcon's looks and her performance," writes Perkins. "She crossed the finish line of the second race doing 18.8 knots, a sight that few of the sailors there will apparently forget."

For more details and photos, visit www.bucketregattas.com.

- latitude / rs

Crew List Party Is Tonight

April 4 - San Francisco

If you've been wanting to crew for beer can races, daysails or longer cruises - or if you have a boat but are always looking for an extra hand or two - join us tonight for Latitude 38's spring Crew List Party at Golden Gate YC in San Francisco from 6 to 9 p.m.

This is a great opportunity to meet new sailing mates and swap a few tales in a friendly, low-pressure atmosphere. The party is free to those who signed up for the crew listings in the March or April 2007 editions of Latitude 38 and just $7 for everyone else. We'll have free munchies, a cash bar and door prizes, plus representatives of the Yacht Racing Association will be on hand to answer questions and help racers sign up for the 2007 season.

Everyone is welcome, regardless of sailing prowess. It's casual dress so come as you are. For more info and to download a color flyer, see www.latitude38.com/crewlist/CrewParty/CrewParty.html. For directions and a map, see www.ggyc.com/directions.php. See you there!

- latitude

Loreto Fest to Continue Despite Singlar Rates

April 4 - Loreto, Baja California

The Baja Ha-Ha Class of '05 had a great time at last year's Loreto Fest.
Photo Courtesy Loreto Fest
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

The folks at the Hidden Port YC report that despite Singlar wanting to charge ridiculous fees for their moorings in Puerto Escondido, Loreto Fest '07 will nonetheless go on as scheduled May 3-6. "For the last month Singlar has been telling us they would reduce prices for the event," says a spokesperson, "but so far they haven't. If and when they do, we'll let everyone know. The free anchoring options aren't as convenient, of course, but are doable."

Loreto Fest has received 85 RSVPs to date, so the harbor clean-up, the music, the sailing, and all the other festivities will go on as normal. For further info on the event, go to www.hiddenportyachtclub.com.

- latitude / rs

Gary Jobson at Encinal YC Tonight

April 4 - Alameda

If you're not planning to attend tonight's Crew List Party at Golden Gate YC, you might be interested in dropping in at Encinal YC in Alameda to hear Gary Jobson give a presentation on Championship Sailing as part of the Mount Gay Speaker Series. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. and the talk begins at 7. The cost is $20 per person. For info or directions, go to www.encinal.org or call (510) 522-3272.

- latitude / ld

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