Skip to content

Stormy Doublehanded Farallones Succesful for Some, Not so Great for Others

BAMA’s Doublehanded Farallones Race on Saturday was a true test of mettle this year, dishing out 25-35 knots of southerly storm winds, which gradually turned offshore for a sort of a reverse Farallones race: off the wind on the way to the island, and upwind on the way back. Boats that were able to reduce sails and remain in control found that they had a record-fast sail out to the island in rough conditions. They had a slower return against the wind. The winds eventually turned light inside the Bay. Late returners had a beat back to the finish against the new ebb.

Dismasted sailboat with USCG cutter
Shake & Bake, seen with their broken mast on deck, motored back inside the Bay on their own, but then they had motor trouble. The Coast Guard stood by, before the towboat arrived and brought them home the rest of the way.
© 2024 Truls Myklebust

Several boats turned back once they saw the conditions offshore. The Farr X2 monohull Shake & Bake dismasted outside the Farallones. Thankfully, nobody got hurt. They were able to secure the broken mast on deck, and motored back to the Golden Gate on their own. Other boats reported a broken bowsprit, lost battens, a lost mast-top antenna, various other gear washed overboard, and motor, radio and tracker problems. Everybody returned back safely at the end of the day.

Rufless, J/125
The J/125 Rufless finishes, taking line honors.
© 2024 Truls Myklebust

It was a very quick race overall — near record-breaking territory. First to finish was the J/125 Rufless, with Rufus Sjoberg and Ian Rogers, in just 5 hours, 57 minutes, 33 seconds. The overall winner on corrected time was the Mancebo 31 Bloom County, with Elliott James and Kyle Vanderspek, with a corrected time of 6 hours, 59 minutes, 3 seconds. The multihull fleet had one finisher, the F-31 Ma’s Rover. Mark Eastham and John Donovan finished in 6 hours, 28 minutes, 23 seconds.

Bloom County, Mancebo 31
Bloom County broke the “7-hour barrier” for corrected time.
© 2024 Truls Myklebust

Read more about the race, and see more photos, in the May issue of Latitude 38. In the meantime, you can check the results at

Relax by reading our monthly print publication when you subscribe for you or a friend by clicking here


  1. Jackie Philpott 1 month ago

    Cliff Shaw and I were out there on his catamaran s/v Rainbow. Eight miles from the Islands the wind increased ten knots in five minutes and we experienced sustained 29 knots for twenty minutes before turning around. The wave sets came from lotsa different directions and they were breaking. Talk about washing machine conditions! On my Maytag washing machine it would require the “heavy load” setting. Just when we headed for the gate we heard over the radio something about Shake and Bake losing its mast. Wow. I am so impressed that those sailors captured their mast and returned to the bay without rescue. Problem solving of the finest quality.

    • Roger Briggs 1 month ago

      Jackie. Sounds like you made a smart move to turn around. Live to sail another day. Please say hi to Cliff. We bought our boat (an S2 35 CC) in Emeryville and Cliff had Rainbow in a nearby slip. We visited several times. Later we ran into each other at Catalina Island at Two Harbors. He came over for dinner aboard our boat. Marney and I took that boat on HaHa XIII and stayed for six months cruising in Mexico. We now have a different boat in Santa Barbara Harbor and are enjoying her very much. Hello Cliff!

  2. Rosanne 1 month ago

    I feel deep sympathy for the owner and crew of Shake n Bake. They are so nice and so competent and prepared the boat well, they’re the last program that deserves this misfortune. Sailing is a b*%#} of a sport.

  3. Rosanne 1 month ago

    Yes to what Jackie said— the seamanship of recovering the mast while in the snot on the windward side and then getting all the way back under the bridge on their own is remarkable and inspiring.

  4. Westsail Tortuga 1 month ago

    It was pretty giddy up out there! Glad everyone was OK! Tortuga made it out and around the island in record time, but we got hosed when the wind went light and shifted more SSE/E and couldn’t make it in the Gate in the lighter breeze and still big seas.

  5. Cliff Shaw 1 month ago

    Hey Roger & Marney, I recall dinner aboard your boat fondly — it was nice to be in good company during an otherwise solo trip! Good to hear from you & best wishes. Cliff

Leave a Comment

From the Magazine
How do you bring more sailors to the sport of sailing? Start early and start small. Martha Blanchfield writes about kids who are born into sailing families.