A whopping 318 boats started the Singlehanded Sailing Society’s Three Bridge Fiasco on Saturday, but light air and a ripping ebb that primarily affected the slower-rated boats conspired against the fleet. A little over a half of the starters were able to make it to the finish off the Golden Gate YC by the 7 p.m. deadline and, as can be expected, there were some familiar faces in the overall top-10s.
In the Singlehanded division, Gary Helms’ Corsair 750 Rice Rocket took top honors among the 13 finishers, with Peter Jones’ Yankee 30 Emerald taking second overall and top monohull honors. Doublehanded overall honors went to Brendan Busch and Ian Klitza aboard the former’s modified D-Cat Rocket 88, while top monohull honors and third overall went to Chris and Nick Nash — who won their division last year, if memory serves — aboard the former’s Hawkfarm El Gavilan.
Conditions-wise it was a tricky day to not only set, but stick to, any kind of strategy in the fickle breeze and building ebb that we measured at between 2.5 and 3 knots around the 9:30 beginning of the starting period. By the time the 30 Moore 24s started, there was 4 to 6 knots of southerly breeze, and those who assiduously played the seawall were able to break through a parking lot off Pier 39 into a second wave of southerly. While those seven or eight boats were able to make decent progress toward Yerba Buena Island, it was a different story for everyone else. We were tooling around off Pier 39 in the Latitude 38 photoboat before pulling into City Yachts to take on fuel at about 11:10 a.m. When we left at about 11:45, almost all the boats who’d been off Pier 39, had been flushed back past Crissy Field!
The breeze settled out of the west for the later starters, and with it came some drizzly moisture. We don’t yet have a good handle on whether there was a predominant direction for the winners, but it seems as if those who went to either Blackaller or Red Rock first — depending on when they started — were able to break through. Of course, we’ll try to figure out if there was a norm in the March edition of Latitude 38.
Rocket 88 was the fastest boat around the course and Tony Wyant’s Moore 24 Taz was the last finisher, making the cut by a scant 25 seconds. Buzz Blackett and Jim Antrim aboard the former’s Class 40 designed by the latter, California Condor, would have been the top monohull, but after finishing, they informed the R/C that they’d had to use their engine to get their 10-ft deep keel off the mud west of the Berkeley Circle, and were retiring. The R/C thanked them for their sportsman-like conduct. Here are the preliminary Division winners:
SH MULTI — Rice Rocket, Corsair 750, Gary Helms
SH SPORTBOAT — Boracic, Open 5.70, Michael Gough
SH PHRF < 108 — Ragtime!, J/92, Bob Johnston
SH PHRF 111-150 — Whirlwind, Wyliecat 30, Dan Benjamin
SH PHRF > 153 — Emerald, Yankee 30, Peter Jones
SH NON_SPINNAKER — No finishers
DH MULTI — Rocket 88, Modified D-Cat, Brendan Busch/Ian Klitza
SH SPORTBOAT — Fiasco, Laser SB 3, Sean Svendsen/Dave Wilhite
DH PHRF < 108 — Checkered Past, Wyliecat 39, Chris Gibbs/Geoff Ashton
DH PHRF 111-150 — Sail A Vie, Ericson 35 Mk. II, Phil Macfarlane/Geoff Pentz
DH PHRF 153-195 — El Gavilan, Hawkfarm, Chris & Nick Nash
DH PHRF > 198 — Can O’ Whoopass, Cal 20, Richard vonEhrenkrook/Paul Sutchek
DH NON-SPINANKER — Windstar, Worth 40, Fred Hess/Adam Miner
DH EXPRESS 27 — Motorcycle Irene, Will Paxton/Bryan Moore
DH EXPRESS 37 — Mudshark, David Fullerton/Tom Bria
DH F-27 — Fair Dinkum, Brett Rieder/Kaye Mason
DH J/105 — Racer X, Rich Pipkin/Mary McGrath
DH MOORE 24 — Sunshine, Stanly & Alison Martin
DH OLSON 29/30 — Utopia, David Lee/Not Available
DH SF BAY 30 — Solar Wind, Martin 32, Max Crittenden/Jan Brewer
DH WYLIECAT 30 — Uno, Steve Wonnner/Bren Meyer
DH WYLIE WABBIT — Bad Hare Day, Erik Menzel/Garrett Brown
DH SC 27 — Giant Slayer, David Garman/Guy Stickny
DH F24/SPRINT 750 — Sunbow3, Ken Johnson/Chris Boome
DH J/24 — On Belay, Don Taylor/Jasper Van Vliet
DH SANTANA 22 — No finishers
DH F-31R — Emma, Bill & Brock Roberts
We’re not sure who made up the ‘rules’, but supposedly it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. In the case of Cita Litt, the Newport Beach owner of the magnificent Phil Rhodes-designed 90-ft centerboard motorsailor Sea Diamond that was built by Germany’s Abeking & Rasmuessen yard in ’56, she has indeed changed her mind. In our recent ‘Lectronic and in the February issue of Latitude, we featured the charming Cita and her great yacht, and reported that she was planning to enter Sea Diamond in the Aloha Division of the TransPac this summer and continue on to the South Pacific. That was yesterday’s plan. It’s our understanding that Sea Diamond is now soon to be loaded aboard a Dockwise ship for passage to the Med. Oo-la-la, sounds like fun to us.
As we write this, trucks are driving all over the Bay Area delivering the February issue of Latitude 38 into the hot little hands of our distributors. This month we feature the amazing story of Jerry Borucki’s escape from the ice aboard his Freya 39 Arctic Alpha Wülf, the dazzling and colorful personality (and toes!) of Cita Litt of Sea Diamond, a primer on South Pacific weather, and the story of offbeat circumnavigator Olivier Peyre who’s hitchhiking his way around. We’re also debuting our new monthly department — ‘America’s Cup 34 San Francisco Bay’ department — in which all things AC34 will be discussed until the event in ’13.