Slow Start, Big Turnout on San Francisco Bay

Published on March 15th, 2015

On the first day of the Spring One Design Keelboat regatta (Mar. 14-15) on San Francisco Bay, it seemed everyone was there—80 boats, 300 sailors, 8 fleets—everyone, that is, but the wind. Early season conditions prevailed and the lack of breeze resulted in a string of postponements with, ultimately, no racing.

“We knew that even if we were able to get off a start,” says regatta chair and Express 27 sailor Peggy Lidster, “we wouldn’t have been able to get around any windward mark. There was no wind in any direction, and we were fighting an ebb.”

Sailors made the most of the day by enjoying the sun, admiring the fleets’ many sets of new sails and meeting back at the St. Francis Yacht Club for food, drinks, lawn games and even a s’mores pit in the courtyard.

At 1645 on Saturday, the Race Committee posted two amendments to the sailing instructions: on Sunday, up to four races may be run; and no warning signal will take place after 1530. Day Two launched with a commitment to run as many races as possible, while still beginning at 1100 hours. Luckily, Mother Nature agreed to the plan.

Conditions varied throughout Sunday, wavering between 7 and 15 knots. The unsteady breeze kept all fleets alert as fresh crew shook off wintertime cobwebs and fresh sets of sails took on their first tacks and douses. Racing on two courses—one off Alcatraz, and one off City Front—the fleets got off four buoy races. The Express 27s and Moore 24s had originally planned on running distance races to Point Bonita, but both came to the consensus that buoy racing was preferable for the now-shortened regatta.

Express 27s, Moore 24s, Open 5.7s, and Knarrs raced off City Front while the Melges 24s, J/70s, J/111s and J/120s raced off Alcatraz. “Looking around, you could feel a fervor for the start of the season. These are the Bay-area one design keelboat fleets, and everyone brought their A-game,” says Lidster. “The entire central Bay was filled with sails, from Alcatraz to the gate to the shore. The number of sailboats and the camaraderie between fleets was fantastic—it felt like days of old!”

Spring One Design podium finishes:

J/70s (6 boats)
1. 29, Prime Number, Peter Cameron, St FYC, 1-1-1; 3
2. 534, 1FA, Geoff McDonald, StFYC, 3-2-2; 7
3. 582, Rampage, Tom/ Robert Thayer/ Milligan, Richmond YC, 2-4-4; 10T
4. 371, Spitfire, Tyler Karaszewski, Santa Cruz Yacht Club, 4-3-3; 10T

J/105s (21 boats)
1. 116, Arbitrage, Bruce Stone, St Francis, 3-1-2; 6
2. 40, Blackhawk, Scooter Simmons, SFYC, 4-2-4; 10
3. 44, Godot, Phillip Laby, NoYC, 9-3-1; 13

J/111s (5 boats)
1. USA 17, MADMEN, Dorian McKelvy, St. Francis Yacht Club, 2-1-1-2; 6
2. USA103, Bad Dog, Richard Swanson, StFYC, 1-4-2-3; 10
3. 22, Big Blast!, Roland Vandermeer, sfyc, 3-6/DNS-3-1; 13

Express 27s (12 boats)
1. 28137, Motorcycle Irene, Will Paxton, RYC, 3-2-1-1; 7
2. 18364, Peaches, John Rivlin, StFYC, 2-1-3-2; 8
3. 11, Wile E Coyote, Daniel Pruzan, Encinal YC, 1-3-4-3; 11

Knarrs (20 boats)
1. usa 125, , jon perkins, st. fyc, 5-2-3-5; 15T
2. 140, Svenkist, Sean Svendsen, STFYC, 4-3-4-4; 15T
3. 141, Three Boys and a Girl, Chris/Phil Perkins, StFYC, 10-5-1-2; 18T
4. US102, Benino, Mark Dahm, StFYC, 2-8-2-6; 18T
5. 132, Penelope, Charles Griffith, StFYC, 1-6-12-3; 22

Melges 24 (9 boats)
1. 540, Wilco, Douglas Wilhelm, SFYC, 1-1-1; 3
2. USA24, Smokin’, Kevin Clark, Encinal, 2-2-2; 6
3. USA 855, Combobulated, Duane Yoslov, SFYC, 3-3-3; 9
4. USA 725, Insolent Minx, Zhenya Kirueshkin-Stepanoff, Santa Cruz Yacht Club, 4-4-5; 13

Moore 24s (9 boats)
1. 36, Mooregasm, stephen Bourdow, santa cruz yc, 6-2-1-1; 10
2. 118, Banditos, John Kernot, RYC, 1-6-3-2; 12
3. 66, Immoral, Matt Van Rensselaer, StFYC, 5-1-4-7; 17

Open 5.7 (6 boats)
1. 298, The Rooster, Joe Wells, SSS, 2-1-1-1; 5
2. 310, boaty, Ben & CJ Anderson, BYC, 1-2-6-4; 13
3. USA 281, Frisky, Dale Scoggin, Richmond Yacht Club, 3-3-5-3; 14

For full Regatta results, click HERE.
For images of the regatta by photographer Chris Ray, click HERE.

Report by event media.

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