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A Folkboat Frenzy

The Folkboats are coming! The Folkboats are coming! Okay, they’re already here and have been for some time, but their International Championships run through tomorrow.

© Peter Lyons

The 2013 Folkboat Internationals hosted by the Richmond YC started on Monday and runs through tomorrow. Nineteen Folkboats with three-person crews from Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain and the United States are competing in uncharacteristically calm conditions. Unlike in years past, winds have not exceeded 15 knots for the entire regatta.

Mellow breeze has made for relatively mellow sailing on San Francisco Bay.

© Peter Lyons

Monday’s light-air practice race on the Olympic Circle, where the American teams placed at the top, proved only that the Europeans are fast learners —  some know the Bay almost as well as the locals. Although David Wilson (USA), managed two bullets on Tuesday, Germany’s Christoph Nielson took locals to school, winning both of Wednesday’s two Cityfront races and giving spectators at the St. Francis YC a remarkable show.

The Europeans’ ability to place well in this regatta stems not only from their competitive home fleets, but is likely due in part to the local Folkboat fleet’s overall condition, which is better than it’s been in years.

Sailors from all over the world are competing in the regatta on borrowed local boats.

© Peter Lyons

Don’t throw in the towel for the Americans though. Dave Wilson leads by three points, followed by Nielson (GER) and Ersnt Gaede (GER). Two races are scheduled for Knox today (wind permitting) and then it’s back to the Olympic Circle for the the regatta’s last race tomorrow.

We hope to have a full report on the event in the November issue of Latitude 38.

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We quizzed our readership last week to see if anyone could properly identify the purpose of the unusual Russian sailing craft pictured below.