(San Francisco, CA)- This past weekend was the occasion for one of the most popular offshore classics in the San Francisco/ Monterrey Bay region that take place all summer long. The Windjammer Race is the late summer dash of 67nm from San Francisco, past Año Nuevo, down the picturesque California coastline to the sunshine of Santa Cruz. For many, it's a great way to enjoy a Labor Day holiday weekend in the sun and join in with the "Day on The Bay" charity organization to support the "Big Brothers" and "Big Sisters" organization.
Celebrating more than most this past weekend may have been Howard Turner's brand new, fresh out-of-the-box, J/111 #91 called SYMMETRY. Indeed, there was good "karma" for this team from Santa Cruz YC, as all the commissioning bits & pieces all magically came together in time to sail their first offshore race! And, what a ride it was!
Up against the creme'de'la'creme of the Northern California offshore racing community, Turner's J/111 team on SYMMETRY simply blew the doors off their competition to take both class honors and overall fleet honors! Their sleigh-ride down the California coastline was described as "breathtaking"! With spinnakers up and all kinds of "laundry flying", the J/111 flew down the track and when the breeze came on they were just sitting at 20-22 kts boat-speed for minutes at a time, totally planed-off and "hauling the mail" down to Santa Cruz! SYMMETRY's win was all the more astonishing since they beat the pants off other well-known, famous Left Coast sleds like the SC 50 ROLLER COASTER in 2nd, Greg Slyngstad's J/125 HAMACHI in 3rd, the SC 50 HANA HO in 4th and the infamous R/P 45 CRIMINAL MISCHIEF in 5th. One can only begin to hear the drumbeat of why J/111's are so effective offshore-- this "newbie" crew simply proved it, again. Given most conditions, the J/111 is simply a "roller-skate" once the wind is aft of abeam when it's smoking, or when it can launch a Code Zero and simply disappear on any fleet. No wonder it's such a wildly successful, popular boat for the Chicago-Mackinac Race (a largely reaching race).
In PHRF 2 division, the J/105s sailed well, liking the reaching conditions as well. Second in class was Richard Pipkin's RACER X from Encinal YC and third was Jon Kim's VUJA DE from Santa Cruz YC. For more Windjammer Race sailing information