By Christine Weaver | February 2, 2022 | San Francisco Bay | 7
The Three Bridge Fiasco, with 303 boats entered, started and finished off Golden Gate Yacht Club on the San Francisco Cityfront Saturday morning. It’s a puzzle for participants and a spectacle for watchers on shore.
The puzzle part: Racers choose the direction of their start, mark roundings and finish. And they can take the three course marks in any order. The three marks correspond to three Bay Area bridges: Blackaller Buoy, east of the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge; Yerba Buena Island, which bisects the Bay Bridge; and Red Rock, just south of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
Maybe the organizers, the Singlehanded Sailing Society, should call it the Four Bridge Fiasco. After all, the Bay Bridge is not one but two bridges, and each presents its own challenge.
“My daughter was the secret weapon,” writes Brendan Mercer of Tenacious Cuttlefish. “When we thought about the currents and the wind dying in the afternoon, we knew the only way to finish was Red Rock first. What really made it work was that she was afraid of the current in Raccoon Strait because she hates the washing machine. And I saw the wind direction might give us plenty of breeze east of Angel Island. So we stayed on the right side of Angel Island and had strong breeze upwind. We did Red Rock in two hours, then it was just playing the currents to drift to Blackaller. Addison saw a wisp of a westerly at 4 p.m., so we raised the anchor and got into it and creeped across the finish.
“We would have won, but a big boat came up behind us and took our wind as we were hunting Water Rat. Good reminder to always watch behind you too. After leapfrogging with them for 7.5 hours they beat us by 2 seconds!”
Out of 30 singlehanded starters, only three finished. Out of 232 doublehanded starters, 60 finished. Who were they? Find out on Jibeset. We’ll have much more in the March issue of Latitude 38.
Which way did you go? Feel free to tell us about your TBF in the Comments section below. Please be sure to identify the boat on which you sailed.