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SFYC Race Report

posted May 8, 2012, 12:29 AM by sfformula18   [ updated May 8, 2012, 12:58 AM ]
From Rich (USA 5150).  Thanks, Rich!

The last time the San Francisco Yacht Club hosted a multihull regatta, the calendar read 1980 with the C-class and 18 Square Meters on the lawn. After 32 years the beach cats were back this weekend, with the F18 fleet showing up with 8 boats. 

Photo by Anne Sromek.

Friday saw 5 boats showing up at different points during the day. We were greeted by Forrest Gay, the Director of Sailing at SFYC. He showed us where to rig and store our boats and answered any questions we had. We all got our boats rigged and into the designated areas making our plans for the morning. As the lot began to fill we really became thankful for our reserved parking spots right across from the hoist. Several people then chose to gather at CYC for the beercan barbecue and drinks.

Saturday morning saw our final boats showing up. We all worked together to get our boats hoisted and set into the water. With the boats tied off to the guest dock at SFYC we all moved to the bar for our skippers meeting. Our PRO, Anne Scully, had a description of all the courses and new sailing instructions for the day. After a brief and informative meeting we all went to get geared up and going. We all got our sails up and pushed off for the ride to the course.

A slow ride out to the bay where we saw the wind fill and we were set for some fun racing. With a nice 15 to 18 we saw double trapping up the bay. The flood tide made for a pretty smooth ride with the wind chop at about a foot or two. The windward-leeward course made for a 2 tack up and 2 gybe down providing some long legs and still tactical calls to stay in the running. A double lap race gave us our first chance to see what we were looking at for the weekend.

With 8 boats there was tight racing at all the marks and places being swapped on a regular basis. A good call gained a place, where a bad call or blown tack would cost a position or two. With 4 races we made our way back to the docks to put in for the night. After changing into dry clothes we all sat and chatted about the day and enjoyed the provided chips, salsa, and beer. Checking the scores and talking about what did and didn’t work.

We then went to the Cinco de Mayo dinner at SFYC. We were given the Commodore's Room for the 20 plus people we had in attendance. The buffet style diner featured all sorts of Mexican food and made for a nice nightcap after a full day of racing. The mariachi band was playing from room to room as people finished their meals and we sat and had dessert and drinks. As people were enjoying the evening we chose to leave and get a good night sleep.

Sunday morning we had a few boats to put back in the water and got our gear ready to go. We all gathered in the sailing center to discuss our races for the day. The plan was a short 2 lap race followed by a "bay tour" point-to-point race. We were going to break it up into 3 legs with a rabbit start on each leg. After a slow ride out to the course we found a low wind out of the north with a strong flood. We could sit in one place and sail against the current at about 4 knots. We all waited till the wind filled in from the west and we were set to run again.

As the wind filled in we set off on a three lap race in building conditions, and we had a fun race to the mark. The wind was up to about 16 to 18, and we were flying up and down the course. With the windward mark out in the bay we were having great fun with the turn down. Bows down and sheets eased to keep from pitching as we rounded the mark. By the time the third lap was done it was starting to touch 20 on the wind scale and building. After the race was completed we were told the bay tour was off and one more 2 lap race would be run. The wind was now solid in the low 20s with the occasional gust making the downwind run tricky. At one point there were 5 boats over at the same time. The race finished with all the boats back upright. We all made it back to the docks safe and sound and began de-rigging.

The SFYC then had a nice cooler full of beer and more chips and salsa ready for the awards and final scores. We all shared stories of the flips and pitchpoles we did that day. As all but 2 boats went over in the last race there were plenty of stories to go around. Charles and Jim took the first place trophy home. Phillip and Bill followed in second, with Michael and Jose in third. Alex and Sean took fourth with Dan and Katie in fifth. Frank and Jody took sixth with me and Daisy in seventh. Peter and Jasper brought up the rear after a hard fought race a dramatic pitch pole. We all said our good-byes and finished packing the boats.

We had wonderful time and felt warm and welcome at San Francisco Yacht Club. Thanks to Charles for setting this up for us. Thanks to Forrest, Anne, and the rest of the SFYC volunteers who put this on. Thanks to Jeremy at Sail Revolution for coming out to get photos. Thanks to Anne Sromek for getting pictures on Sunday. We look forward to doing this again.
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