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Rolex Big Boat Series Wrap-Up

What a rush! Tom Thayer’s J/70 Rampage was looking fast at the Rolex Big Boat Series, but Andy Costello and Paul Cayard on Double Trouble won the 13-boat class.

© 2014

St. Francis Yacht Club’s 50th anniversary Rolex Big Boat Series wrapped up four days of racing on San Francisco Bay yesterday. The first of two races on each day was scheduled to start at 11:00, and, as SF Bay regulars know, the wind can be light and spotty that early in the day, so some starts were postponed. But each day’s second race had more than enough wind to satisfy the adrenaline junkies.

In Friday’s second race, the race committee failed to record the finishes of several boats in the ORR class (the heavier handicap boats), so the entries in that division agreed to sail an extra race on Sunday. The Farr 40 class also sailed two races on Sunday, as part of the lead-up to their Worlds, which will be hosted by StFYC on October 15-18. Everyone else sailed a single Bay Tour race on Sunday.

On Sunday afternoon, the crew of the Sydney 36CR Encore were pretty sure they’d won the ORR division, but were still holding off on popping the champagne until the results were official. Left to right (front row): Ben Burbridge, Cheri Benjamin, Kelsey Tostenson, Suzie Koide, Julia Paxton, Will Paxton; (back row) Casey Grey, Rick Schuldt, Randall Lesley, Wayne Koide.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The HPR division (high performance handicap boats) had a particularly exciting regatta. Bernie Girod’s Farr 400 Rock & Roll took the lead on Thursday, then Dan Thielman’s R/P 44 Tai Kuai edged ahead on Friday. Going into the final 25-mile race on Sunday – practically a marathon – Don Payan’s MC 38 Whiplash and Greg Slyngstad’s J/125 Hamachi were tied for points. Whiplash, with local rigger Scott Easom calling tactics, won by a single point.

"One of the big reasons I love racing this boat is because of these guys,” said the skipper of Whiplash, Don Payan. Left to right: Pete McCormick, Ernie Rodriguez, Don Payan, Steve Marsh, Gary Sadamori, Scott Easom, Chris Lewis, Matt Siddens.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Other classes weren’t ever close. Kame Richards’ Golden Moon dominated the Express 37 fleet with six bullets and a second. Don Jesberg’s Melges 24 Viva had a perfect score after six races, so the boat sat out the seventh race on Sunday.

Kame Richards and crew on Golden Moon sailed a nearly perfect regatta.

© 2014 Daniel Forster / Rolex

In the small multihull division, Tom Siebel’s MOD70 trimaran Orion, the biggest and most arresting boat in the regatta, started the series with a fourth, then won the rest of the races. Tactician Charlie Ogletree, an Olympic Silver Medalist in the Tornado class, said, "We want heavy air."

Tom Siebel’s MOD70 Orion appears ready to gobble up Peter Stoneberg’s ProSail 40 Shadow.

© Daniel Forster / Rolex

These are just a few highlights. We’ll have oh, so much more in the October issue of Latitude 38.

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