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Race Report

Race
Report

Tenacity

This
is the race your Ed was supposed to do, but didn’t. Lucky.

Yogi
Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” This quotation
may well become the motto of the 17 finishers in the 2008
Spinnaker Cup
that began with 70 entries last Friday.

Traditionally,
the 90-mile Spinnaker Cup Race heads out the Golden Gate against the prevailing
winds from the northwest, and then bears away south for a spinnaker sprint
Monterey. Average times for the races are 10-16 hours. Most boats usually
arrive at the co-host Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club before the bar closes.
I was crewing for Paul Nielsen on his Santa Cruz 27 Tenacity in the double-handed
division.

But
this year, a vagrant low pressure trough triggered a 180 degree shift
in the offshore winds: Instead of a downhill sled run to Monterey, this
race became a grueling 90 mile beat into light-to-moderate wind. A tacking
exercise with 8-10′ swells abeam, this was clearly going to take a lot
longer than 10-16 hours.

Getting
through the Gate was difficult. The race started just at the peak of the
flood tide in through the Gate, and we were trying to sail out against
it. Imagine trying to sail upstream in a 4 knot river. It took seemingly
forever to short-tack our way along the Marin shore before we could escape
the inbound river.