Some valuable lessons were learned at this weekends Elvestrom- Zellerbach regatta hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club on the San Francisco Bay.
With 4 dinghy classes and the Formula windsurfing fleet on the city front course, the RC managed 7 races for each fleet over 2 days in sunny conditions ranging from 15-20k on Saturday to a breezy last race on Sunday with the wind up to 30k and some serious voodoo chop on the course. Watching the dinghies tack up the city front where there was some relief from the 4k flood tide was a great lesson but the boards still choose to maximize their VMG and bang the corners.
After all- speed kills!
Xavier Flerlet GBR-451 cleaned up the formula fleet with 6/7 bullets.
The only race left was for 2nd seeing US-44, Eric Christanson and myself, USA-4 tied on points going into the last race.
Leading the final race in EPIC conditions, I held out until the last downwind on the double windward leeward course before exploding within spitting distance of the finish line.
The big lesson for me was no matter how big your lead, it’s not over till you cross the finish line!
At the end, Xavier stole the last bullet with the SF Formula fleet clearly in awe.
Great sailing mate.
And from the 29ers…
The San Francisco cityfront, arguably one of the most challenging, nuanced and wildly fun places in the world for skiff sailors, saw ten 29er teams battle it out this weekend under sunny skies and solid breeze. Sharing the venue with Finn and Laser sailors, the 29er fleet worked the wall on long upwind legs all weekend in the prevailing flood tide and then went down the middle in what seemed like 60 to 90 second runs under spinnaker.
The 2010 Youth Worlds team of Antoine Screve and James Moody won the regatta with four bullets and a total of 9 points. Max Fraser and David Liebenberg took 2nd place honors in a tiebreaker with 3rd place finishers JP Barnes and Chris Rast. Kristen Lane and Charlie McKee were in trophy contention until race 6, when two converging swells reached up and ripped Kristen right off her boat during a windward mark rounding, causing a minor injury and early retirement from the regatta. Honorable mention goes to 14 year old Paris Henken and 29er newbie Co nner Kelter, who despite submarining in a wake trough in high winds on the final leg of the last race, dropped their jib, righted their boat and finished 5th . . . under main only . . . and in time for a whistle and thumbs up from the race committee!