Ten yacht clubs raced 10 matched J/22s in a three-day challenge to win some heavy silver Friday through Saturday. Friday’s windy race on heavy ebb chop took the four-person teams, with women at the helm, from St. Francis Yacht Club, which provided the boats, to event co-host Richmond Yacht Club.
At least three spinnakers blew up during the first run from Blackaller past Point Blunt, off Angel Island’s windswept southern point, where the washing machine was on spin cycle. RYC’s was the first kite to go, parting at the foot, only about five minutes after the team hoisted it.
The course this year included an extra windward leg, from YRA 8 (aka R4) to Little Harding. The race finished off RYC’s race committee boat, Pelican, on Southampton Shoal. The soaking-wet sailors lined up in RYC’s turning basin and went ashore to share their sea stories and receive the Admiral’s Cup awards.
Saturday’s buoy races were held in nearby Keller Cove. Although conditions were mellower than on Friday, the Sequoia boat took a knockdown, the mast dipped into the Bay, the companionway shipped water, and the boat sank. Russ Silvestri swam a line to the sunken boat. Parker Diving Service put float bags under her and towed her to RYC. They got her to the hoist and were able to lift her just a bit so the gunwales were above water level. Then they got out a large pump that RYC had recently purchased, pumped her out, and refloated her. After a night spent with a dehumidifier running, the boat was out racing again the next day.
On Sunday, the teams raced back across the Bay to StFYC for the Larry Knight Trophy. This time, the skippers had to be age 60+, and they were mercifully given the shorter, more direct course homeward. StFYC hosted the awards ceremony afterward.
StFYC was launched at the start and never looked back. They covered the whole fleet from RYC up Raccoon Strait to the windward mark, Blackaller Buoy, to cruise down to the finish. But RYC had won Saturday’s Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Trophy in six races, and they took the overall prize, the Lipton Pacific Coast Perpetual Challenge Trophy.