Monday, March 24, 2014

BLACKHAWK Flies @ Spring One-Design Invite

J/105s sailing on San Francisco Bay(San Francisco, CA)- Hosted at St Francis YC, the annual spring-season opening regatta for the J/105 fleet sailing on San Francisco Bay took place last weekend.  With a terrific turn-out of nineteen boats, the largest one-design fleet in the event, the competition was sure to be close and there were also sure to be lots of hiccups for the teams as they dust-off the cobwebs accumulated from a long, cold winter without any sailing.  At this event, there always appears to be dramatic roller-coaster swings in individual team standings as the sailors learn, yet again, how to “saddle-up and ride that pony hard” to the finish line.

Continuing there most excellent performance last year was Scooter Simmons BLACKHAWK team, seemingly never losing a stride and showing their booty to the fleet in just about every race.  Their 4-2-1-4-1 tally for 12 pts was enough to be crowned the “Spring Champions”.  Not giving much away and sailing exceedingly well was Jeff Litfin’s crew on the mighty MOJO.  Starting out with an extraordinary 2-1 in the first two races, they settled into a good rhythm and posted a 4-5-2 for the next three to lose the “match race” to the BLACKHAWK gang but still secure second overall.

J/105 Blackhawk winning sailboat race on San Francisco BayBehind the two regatta leaders, it was a bit of a washing machine scenario, with five boats (GODOT, AKULA, JAM SESSION, ARBITRAGE, RISK) getting spun all-around the course, leaping up and down the ladder of success (or despair) in a somewhat random fashion.  Surviving the drama better than most was Phil Laby’s GODOT, starting out really slow with a 10th, but posting a very consistent 3-3-3-4 for 23 pts to snag third overall.  Next up was Doug Bailey’s AKULA, grabbing fourth with a 3-9-6-2-6 for 26 pts.  And fifth went to Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION, like a flaming meteor fading over the horizon. The JAMMER’s managed to fly out of the gates with a 1st in the first race, but posted a 5-5-8-8 in the next four races to win a three-way tie at 27 pts.  Losers of the tie-break were Bruce Stone’s ARBITRAGE in sixth and Jason Woodley/ Scott Whitney’s RISK in seventh.

Watch this space for the next major J/105 regatta coming up in three weeks.  It’s likely many of the same nineteen boats will be sailing the J/Fest San Francisco Regatta and, as has been customary for this competitive fleet, the players may be the same but the results could easily be much, much different (perhaps the giant full moon had something to do with it?).  Sailing photo credits- Rolex/ Daniel Forster.   For more J/105 Spring One-Design Invite sailing information