With plenty of breeze, a great turnout, and rockin’ shoreside entertainment, this weekend’s Great Pumpkin Regatta left little — if anything — to be desired. Richmond YC did a customarily great job of pulling off a huge weekend getting things off on the right foot with gin fizzes Saturday morning.
Over 150 boats in 19 classes showed up for Saturday’s three buoy races held on three courses. Their reward was a light flood and breeze that ranged from 8-12 knots in the first race, built to the high-teens in the second when a block of fog moved in over the top of the course, and low-teens in the third. With the exception of the second race, it was sunny all day and practically tropical back at the club. We overheard a racer remark, "Days like this make me feel sorry for the poor bastards on the East Coast." And yeah, it really was that pleasant.
The centerpiece of the Great Pumpkin — indeed either of the club’s big regattas — is a rockin’ party on Saturday night. The party theme this year was "Castaways" and Gilligan’s Island characters could be found jammin’ down to a live band while the mojitos flowed.
While Sunday didn’t quite have the breeze of the day before, a short postponement was all the race committee needed before a 10-knot westerly filled. Clockwise was the path of choice for the choose-your-own-direction "two-island fiasco" around Alcatraz and Angel Island. We’d guess that less than five percent of the fleet — which numbered over 200 entrants, although we’re not sure about the number of starters — tried to go the other direction, getting caught in the lee of Angel Island. Greg Greenlee’s J/22 Trinity was the eventual winner, taking advantage of the late ebb early in the race and the fact there was no real parking lot on the course — while it did get light through Raccoon Strait and Southampton Shoal, Trinity got through the finish line before hitting the slows.
If you missed this year’s Great Pumpkin, then you really missed out. You can find results for both days’ racing on the club’s website.