The Hydrofoil Pro Tour combines with the San Francisco Bay Challenge today. The racing starts in front of Crissy Field, rounds a weather mark near the Golden Gate Bridge and then becomes an open course downwind to Berkeley Marina and back. The SF Bay Challenge has been one of the longest running races in the bay. Tactics become critical based on navigation, obstructions, boat traffic, and pressure zones. Planning properly for wind conditions throughout the entire bay is always a mild guessing game. Looking for the leeward buoy and the Berkeley pier becomes a landmark guessing game for the racers, especially the first timers.
Today also provided some entertainment with the local outrigger paddle boats racing along the shoreline of Crissy Field and sharing the National Park with other watermen. Both kiters and windsurfers raced the course with Johnny Heineken finishing in just over 45 minutes and Nico Parlier a mere 19 seconds behind. You can not drive to Berkeley and back in that time! The bullet finisher for the windsurfers finished in just over 88 minutes. That is on a formula board meant for speed. The hydrofoil kite racing is truly amazing in terms of speed. More here.