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Storming Through Rolex Big Boat Series

The big question marks going into Sunday, the fourth and final day at Rolex Big Boat Series, had to do with the weather. How wet will we get? Will the gale hold off? What courses will the race committee choose in the southerly? Will the club still hold the awards ceremony outdoors as planned?

Cal 40 Azure
This is what the last leg of the day normally looks like at Rolex Big Boat Series. The shot from Friday shows the Cal 40 Azure in the foreground, with the J/105 fleet sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge, and kiters and wingers taking advantage of the high winds and boat wakes. Note the whitecaps.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
J/105s in the rain
By contrast, here are the J/105 leaders in Sunday’s last leg. Note the mellow sea state and the absence of boardsailors.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

High winds came and went with the squalls, but the direction was mostly from the south with a soupçon of east. In the southerly, the water on the Cityfront was remarkably flat — in stark contrast to that on Richardson Bay to the north, as we see elsewhere in this edition of ‘Lectronic Latitude. The schooners at least didn’t mind their reaching start off the St. Francis Yacht Club race deck. The Classics got the same 11.7-mile course as they did on Thursday. 

Video shot by Christopher Lewis aboard the schooner Mayan.

The rain did indeed soak the sailors. But, what the hey, the rain washed off some of the salt. (Even the streets were foaming with the stuff.) Thankfully, the awards moved indoors. The exuberant celebrants packed the clubhouse more tightly than folks are accustomed to in COVID times — but the StFYC opened the doors for fresh air, and at least we weren’t out in the rain and wind and mud.

Crew with Rolex
The crew of the J/105 Niuhi, with skipper Randy Hecht holding his new watch, at the thankfully indoor awards ceremony. “Niuhi!” is the call among Hawaiian surfers when one of them spots a large, dangerous shark.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

We’ll have much more from the Rolex Big Boat Series in the October issue of Latitude 38, coming out on Friday, September 30. In the meantime, check out the results here.

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Whatever the Weather
The only constant is change, and this weekend was a perfect example. It started as another perfect , sunny September weekend, shifted to a stormy Sunday, and finished under a clearing rainbow.