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Bluewater Bash Bashes Out the Gate Today

The Bluewater Bash started this morning from the San Francisco Cityfront. One sailor’s opinion is that, “This race looks almost like ‘No winners: only losers and survivors.'” Our anonymous prognosticator points out that “If Windy is halfway accurate, it just might be a steroidal sleigh ride coming home. Y’know, the kind where the boat gets going so fast the knotmeter comes out of the water. Getting out looks manageable. Possibly the slower boats might get some bashing when the wind picks up.”

Friday night wind forecast map
The wind forecast for this evening at 10 p.m. The wind speed indicator is about 75 miles out, which is the turnaround point.
© 2022 Windy

The Bluewater Bash is literally a race to nowhere. Competitors will sail out the Gate to longitude 124, turn around, and sail back to the start/finish line off the St. Francis Yacht Club. The theoretical course distance is 150 miles.

The leaders’ sleigh ride will begin on Saturday at 7 a.m.
© 2022 Windy
Lightship Windy map
Around 2 p.m. Saturday near the Lightship.
© 2022 Windy
Windy map near Point Bonita
At 6 p.m. Saturday off Bonita — still honking.
© 2022 Windy
Then there’s the South Tower Demon to get past. This illustration dates back to the mid-’90s MORA days. Among the arrows the Demon is hurling at the Express 27 fleet: Rudder Cavitation, 50K Puffs, Leeward Broaches.
© 2022 Jonathan Livingston

Waves are expected to reach 8 feet around midnight, building to 14 feet at about noon on Saturday.

A forecast for waves of 8 to 9 feet, with a northwest swell of 6 to 7 feet and southwest swell around 2 feet.
© 2022 National Weather Service

The 27 entries (with 119 sailors aboard) are all carrying YellowBrick transponders. Many of them are doing their qualifier and/or crew training for the Pacific Cup, which will start the week of the Fourth of July. But the race committee has postponed the Doublehanded 2 and PHRF 4 divisions (the slower boats) until further notice, bringing the number of boats (potentially) starting today to 20. Each crewmember who completes the race will receive a certificate and a medal.

This inaugural edition honors the late Jocelyn Nash. Among Jocelyn’s other accomplishments, she and her partner Joe Guthrie survived the deadly Doublehanded Farallones Race of 1982 aboard her Hawkfarm El Gavilan by staying offshore all night in the storm, rather than trying to make it back through the Gate. To read reports from that ill-fated event, see the May 1982 issue of Latitude 38:

3 Comments

  1. Christopher M Nash 9 months ago

    Thanks for honoring Jocelyn with this race. She loved sailing in the Ocean.
    “Bird Man” J. Livingston drew the “South Tower Demon” because he knew the demon, personally.
    Christopher Nash

    • Tony Bourque 9 months ago

      Loved sailing and being in a race honoring Jocelyn! We were the ones who felt honored!

  2. Greg Clausen 9 months ago

    We were in the postponed group but did a practice sail out the gate anyway. Very light out there with big swell. The strangest part of the whole day was listening to a Coast Guard request help and looking for an emergency beacon that was set off around the Golden Gate, after a few hours the description was a yellow single engine Cessna which we all thought was very strange it turns out there was a plane crash in Marin

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