Encinal Yacht Club held their doublehanded women’s skipper race, the Gracie & George, on Sunday, August 13. It was a warm, glorious day to be out on the water, despite some pull-up-and-park light spots.
The race starts on the Alameda side of the South Bay, sails west toward San Francisco’s Oracle Park, rounds a couple of buoys, and heads back to Alameda, with a finish down the Estuary in front of EYC’s guest dock.
This year’s race featured a one-tack beat (turning into a close reach when the ebb built) to the mid-Bay red and green SC buoy so familiar to racers out of South Beach YC. Enter parking lot #1. The second division to start, the non-spinnaker boats, caught up to the spinnaker division here. They all slow-danced around the buoy before cracking off to sail south to a red buoy near the S.F. shore. Enter parking lot #2, and an even slower wheel turning ’round the mark.
From there the boats were unleashed for a quick reach to the Estuary entrance in a fresh wind that felt divine. The Wylie Wabbit stretched out on the competitors. The Santana 22 Anemone stubbornly (turns out brilliantly) flew a kite when you would have thought the wind was too far forward.
The wind went light and dead aft for the run down the Estuary, but that’s pretty typical. Competitors stripped off layers, supplemented sunscreen applications, and rehydrated while jibing down the narrow waterway.
The Wylie Wabbit finished first, but it would be the (theoretically) slowest boat in the fleet, the Tuna Anemone, that would correct out to first place. The diverse fleet ranged in PHRF ratings from 66 to 234, but all finished within about 21 minutes, perhaps due to the mark-rounding restarts. See complete results on Jibeset.
The Gracie & George is an event on Latitude 38’s Unofficial Women’s Circuit; see more here in the Northern California Sailing Calendar & YRA Master Schedule. The next event on the list will be Sausalito YC’s Women Skippers’ Regatta this Saturday, August 19.