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When the Wind Goes Light

St. Francis Yacht Club’s Rolex Big Boat Series is famous for its nuking, gear-busting conditions. It’s an ideal race for muscle-bound grinders, adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers. Yes, it also has spectacular scenery, a complex and intricate overlay of strategy and tactics, testing currents, and more lane-puzzlers than a miniature golf course. Despite this notoriously famous set of reliable sailing conditions, Mother Nature still likes to throw in the occasional wild card. Thursday and Friday, September 12-13, were very short of wind, resulting in long delays and late-afternoon starts. That means sailors had to work extra hard to see if they could break something.

Pineapple - Golden Moon
Kame Richards and his crew aboard Golden Moon went for a twofer. Can we rip two spinnakers in one set?
© 2019 Bill Price

One valiant effort was made by the Express 37 Golden Moon, which used Friday’s postponement to put all the laundry out to dry. With the split up the middle someone wisecracked it was “now an asymmetrical.” Of course, sailmakers feel a little safer trying out these experiments, and, despite the novelty, it all came off without a hitch. In fact, the J/24 Butter & Thongs did a similar stunt on a recent fleet cruise to Rio Vista.

Express 37 Golden Moon
Later in the regatta, as Mother Nature laid down her full hand of cards, Golden Moon showed us how it’s done.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Mother Nature got back to normal for the weekend, and so did Golden Moon. She burned up the racecourse with four firsts and a second to take first in the Express 37 fleet. Read much more in the October issue of Latitude 38, coming out on October 1.


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