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Sail Sausalito

posted Jun 16, 2011, 8:49 PM by sfformula18   [ updated Jun 16, 2011, 11:50 PM ]
Last weekend Hobie Division 3's Sail Sausalito regatta turned out to be more like the Sausalito Spanking.

Charles's new beast, with fabulously color-coordinated threads on the sailors.  Photo from

Very few crews hauled their boat out on Saturday without having gone swimming at some point, and if you only went swimming once you were lucky. On the race area between Pt. Knox and Yellow Bluff, the wind cranked up very quickly not long after the start of race 2, and it stayed in the high 20s for the rest of the afternoon, with the worst gusts deep in the 30s. The chop ensured that whichever teams could handle those wind velocities in more sheltered waters would get smacked down anyway. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt. Boats came back with various degrees of damage. Almost all sailors came back on their own boats.

All of which is too bad, because the Formula 18 fleet saw a great turnout of 7 boats. That may not sound like a lot, but it marks a real milestone in a class where, just a year ago, you had to be a little optimistic to anticipate even 4 entries at northern California events. Getting 18 teams to show up from all over the coast to last year's West Coast Championship at StFYC was a big deal, but in a lot of ways getting consistent double-digit turnouts at non-championship local events is an even bigger deal. And we're very close: the 7 entries at Sausalito Spanking did not include 2 other Hobie boats actively sailing in the Bay, nor the 2 non-Hobie boats in northern California that we can expect to see at future events. Anyway, enough back-patting…

A world of fun before the carnage.  Photo by

Unfortunately there's not much to recap. Race 1 started in generally light conditions with breeze that was patchy but sufficient. Jason and Jake sailed a very good race. They went too deep to the right and came very fast and hot for the first weather rounding, but it didn't do much to their lead. But then they went through the gate and started another lap, while the rest went for the finish, where a big wind hole let Bill set up for a tight cover of Phillip and Charles that paid off when the next puff enabled him to reel them both in. The RC then realized that the courses described at the skippers' meeting were not the same as those in the SIs, and they concluded it was best to just throw the race out. Although the finishes were later reinstated for other fleets, they weren't for us. Not sure why. Anyway, race 2 then started and all hell broke loose, but everybody made it back eventually, although only Charles actually finished. The weather did take a toll on equipment, however. Jesse and Chris, Jason and Jake, and Charles and Jim were able to start race 3 Sunday morning. Jason finished first followed by Jesse; Charles's mast flopped over when a shroud came unshackled at the chainplate, so they retired for the day and got a tow in, although there was no obvious damage. Jason and Jesse sailed a final 4th race, finishing in that order, before Jason headed in. That left Jesse, the newest fleet member, the last man standing, which is pretty impressive.

What's with the leg, Bill?  Photo by

Thanks to Rich and Daisy for making the trip down again. Thanks also the outsiders who stood by or assisted with the mayhem on Saturday, including folks from SFYC, StFYC, one of the ferry lines, and the Coast Guard. And thanks also to Hobie Fleet 281 for organizing everything and to Sausalito YC for hosting it.  Big welcome to Jesse for his first F18 regatta, and also a big congrats to Charles on his new Wild Cat, which is indeed one very hot ride.