Friday Night Light

Last Friday night on the Estuary was short on air movement. More fine weather is expected today, and the afternoon breeze is expected to die in the evening.

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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.”

Jeff Lee’s San Juan 33 Zwei Flying Fish sails down the Estuary.

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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.

Junette Kushner and Kathy Williamson sailed on David Ross’s Merit 25 Faster Faster!.

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“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.”

A wide variety of boats sail in the beer can races. Seen here in Spin I and II, from left to right, are a Farr 40 (Twisted), Islander Bahama 30 (Wuvulu) and Farr 1020 (Tramp Boat). The Coast Guard cutter sat this one out.

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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.”

As the sun approaches the horizon, the crew of Javier Jerez’s Olson 30 Lively work their way down to the leeward mark.

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IYC’s Island Nights series alternates Fridays with Encinal YC’s Twilight Races on the Estuary, so tonight’s EYC’s turn. Find many more beer can series here.

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For that’s the first moment entries will be accepted for the 2018 Baja Ha-Ha cruiser’s rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.
It’s a busy weekend for sailors in the Bay Area. You’ll find most of our staff at our booth at the Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show, where we’ll be schmoozing and showing off our new swag, the Latitude 38 hoodie.