Anyone daysailing within the Central Bay Saturday couldn’t help but notice an inordinate number of spectacular schooners traveling in a counter-clockwise loop. Although the fleet was widely spaced apart, this was, in fact, the inaugural running of the Great San Francisco Schooner Race — a glorious day with the strong breeze that these vintage thoroughbreds require.
While we heard no complaints about the race administration, the handicapping system may need a bit of tweaking before next year’s contest, as few schooners finished close to each other despite this being a ‘pursuit’ race, where each competing boat has it’s own start time and, in theory, the fleet finishes en masse. But hey, when has there ever been a race between such a collection of disparate classics when handicapping hasn’t been an issue — or should we say nightmare?
We’ll have a more in-depth report in the October Latitude, but in brief John Collins and John McNeill’s Yankee took top honors among the gaffers, with Ed Witt’s Regulus taking second. And within the Marconi class Paul Kaplan’s Santana squeaked by Peter Heywood’s Elizabeth Muir — the closest finish of the race, as far as we know — with Bob Vespa’s Scorpio taking third. See the website of host San Francisco YC for full results.