The fog that camped on top of San Francisco Bay yesterday for the Big Boat Series. set stakes down today. The RC delayed racing on the City Front course for about 20 minutes and on the “North Course” (essentially the Circle) for about 45 minutes in hopes of gaining a bit more visibility. Until just now (at 6pm) we couldn’t see across the Bay, much less to the Golden Gate Bridge. Didn’t stop the 105’s from having some nice close finishes as pictured above.
Interestingly, the weather wasn’t the story today though. Most of the sailors I talked to had a blast. Jeremy Wilmont “Troll” crewing on Bliksem in the Melges 32 fleet said the toughest part of the day was the upwind slog from Treasure Island to the windward mark, nearly 4 miles. Imagine looking at your ankles on a bucking bronco for 4 miles. Urgh. Other than that he was totally pumped about their gybing duel with his brother sailing on Star, who got by them when the casing of their spin sheet gave, but Bliksem eventually ground Star back and beat them, Wilmont said. Bliksem is still in first, but B-lin sailing is biting at their stern only 2 points behind.
Tony Rey, sailing with a true Samurai warrior (more on that from Tony later in the week) on one of the three Japanese entries in the M32 fleet, was equally pumped about the racing. They didn’t have the best day – a deep and a 13 – thanks to an over early, but he couldn’t stop talking about how phenomenal the competition is. He always tells me that his favorite racing is the Jag Series in Miami, but his ear to ear grin belies that.
PROTEST! This was the call yesterday from the J105, Risk, immediately after the Melges 32 ‘Bros’ tacked in front of them in the old windward mark “we can make it just push the bow up at the end.” The J got tossed and are pretty upset at the decision. They suffered from a lack of witnesses and are left with, according to co-owner Jason Woodley “what can I learn from this?” Bros was to leeward, pushed up to make the mark, went over to Port (this is the bone of contention) and then back to Starboard to round. Risk clipped their stern as they tried to avoid, but literally had no place to go without hitting Bros or Arbitrage, immediately to windward. The PC heard one witness who evidently mischaracterized the event, so his testimony was thrown out. Thus left with a he-said she-said, it becomes a toss up. The Risk wasn’t on Woodley’s side this time.
In the other fleets, Kame Richards the owner of local sailing shop Pineapple Sails has a dramatic lead over the rest of the Expresses (8 total) with 3 bullets and a 2. Bruce Stone is leading the J105s by 14 points, Vincetore, one of the true “Big Boats” is rocking along with a 1, 1, 3, 2. No surprise, Soozal who seemingly won everything in their season last year is leading their fleet – but it’s just by one point. Wasabi, with anarchist Schoonerman aboard, has the bullet record thus far in the regatta with a 1, 1, 1, 1.
Day 3 forecast is again for light air, 10-15, and clearing skies. I guess SF is saving up their wind power for the Melges Worlds next week. – Dixie.