Sunday started brisk, gray and breezy — but like much of the summer season, the clouds parted, the sun shone through, and a cool breeze moved in. Except where it didn’t. Opening Day on the Bay showed off the spectacular nature of local sailing and a broad spectrum of conditions, depending on where you chose to sail.
This past weekend’s Opening Day was themed ‘Holiday on the Bay’. It was the 102nd annual Opening Day on the Bay organized by the 100 member clubs of the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association, or PICYA. In 1963, the Corinthian Yacht Club added the blessing of the pleasure craft to Opening Day festivities, modeled on age-old traditional benediction of working-fishermen’s vessels. The Corinthian positions a blessing vessel, with clergy of multiple faiths, in Raccoon Strait in front of the club to bless all boats and boaters for the coming season. The PICYA parade route starts at Crissy Field and passes down the Cityfront, past the San Francisco fireboat with hoses blasting, and finishes just to the east of Pier 39.
There’s no racing scheduled on the Bay for Opening Day so racers, many of whom have been racing all winter long, can join the parades and join the ranks of ‘pleasure craft’ that are out doing their recreational best. Even the foiling SailGP boats, which are anxious to be out practicing for next weekend’s Cityfront event, stayed off the Bay to make room for the hundreds of boats getting their spring blessing.
How was your sailing weekend?