Sunday, February 23, 2014

The NOT Three Bridge Fiasco!

J/22 sailing in Three Bridge Fiasco regatta in San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)- The fleet of 357 single and doublehanded boats set out on January 25 for a 21 nm tour of San Francisco Bay– it’s called the “Three Bridge Fiasco”. The 2014 edition of the Singlehanded Sailing Society’s annual race is one which will go down in infamy. Not because of crappy weather, freezing temperatures, pouring rain, hail or sleet. Not because of too much wind or that it was too cold. None of those. It was the wind. Or the lack there of.

With many boats circling the starting area off the Golden Gate YC in the pre-race hours before the 1st gun and first boat to leave at the 9:00am start enjoying a nice 8-10 knot easterly moving quite nicely in the building ebb, all looked well.

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge- during Three Bridge Fiasco regattaThe early birds, which got the proverbial worm and the most breeze, had the best choices, and the wisest of them all were to cross the ebb of the Central Bay first and utilize what wind there was and try to get to the tide relief of the Berkeley shoals and then get up to Red Rocks and hopefully get some of the forecast NW winds before the tide got to strong.

However, it was all for naught.  There were dozens of J/Teams sailing including a fleet of 10 J-22’s, a half-dozen J/70’s, loads of J/24’s, J/29’s, J/30’s, J/105’s, J/120’s, and so on, but only one boat finished— minutes before the official deadline with the sun setting and most other boats already motored or towed in!  Read more of Erik Simonson’s PRESSURE-DROP blog about the experience here.