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Combat sailing on Easter weekend

Published on April 17th, 2022

While the 2022 World Match Racing Tour season got underway in Southern California, a fresh crop of match racing newbies were getting a taste of ‘combat sailing’ up in north In San Francisco, CA.

Six teams entered in the Grade 5 Bunny Bash on April 16, and with the race course alongside host St. Francis Yacht Club, they had the Blood Mary crowd as their witness. And like few places, if you want to test someone’s mettle, ask them to match race J/22s in 18-22 knots and big ebb chop on the San Francisco City Front.

Rising to the occasion was the 17-year-old Tor Svendsen and his crew Will Paulsen, Noah Barrengos, and Mimi El-Khazindar, defeating Sam White and team 2-0 in the Finals, after running the table 5-0 in the Stage 1 Round Robin.

Humble about his talent on the helm, Svendsen claimed, “The key to my success was truthfully my crew having so much experience on board really made my job as a skipper much easier.” As the overall winners, Svendsen and team took home giant gold-wrapped milk chocolate bunnies!

As event co-chair, four-time U.S. Women’s Match Racing Champion Nicole Breault had previously held a six-week clinic series on Thursday evenings, and the Bunny Bash was the graduation test for her students (9 of the 16 raced).

“This was the first straight-up entry level match race regatta we have run,” noted Breault. “I was super proud of how they played the game in tough conditions.”

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