Friday the 13th ended up being an unlucky night when it came to wind. The first of Island Yacht Club’s beer can races was exactly that: a relaxing cruise down the Oakland-Alameda Estuary, toward the sunset, beverage in hand. Carol Klammer, who skippered the Santana 22 Island Girl, called it “3 to 5 knots at best.”
Phantom came in first place in the Spinnaker II PHRF >151 division. John Gulliford has been racing on his J/24 with the same crew for more than 50 years. “We have over 100 years experience all together on that boat. There is no training. We don’t even need to say anything to each other.” The Merit 25 Faster Faster! tailed them for a close finish.
“The conditions were warm and beautiful. The tide wasn’t very influential, and you had to move quietly on the boat,” said Dawn Chesney, who crewed on Wuvulu, an Islander Bahama 30, which placed third in their division. “We set the spinnaker, did three jibes, dropped the kite and stayed dry.”
Tim Roche, who filled in as the race officer said, “Unfortunately the wind dropped significantly shortly after the start, leading to a longer-than-expected race.”