Wednesday, September 10, 2014

J/111 BIG BLAST Nukes Aldo Alessio

J/111 sailing San Francisco Bay (San Francisco, CA)- Three days of tight racing with an offshore buoy ocean combo made for a superb weekend during the 2014 Aldo Alessio Regatta hosted by the St Francis YC this past weekend. With nine different courses that would take the fleets out to Point Bonita twice on Friday, beginning with a flood for the first rounding in 12-15 knots, and then switching to a boisterous ebb with 15-18 outside the Gate and much more inside. The fleet, sailing course 5 would leave Harding to starboard, then Alcatraz to port, then down to the red number four buoy east of Point Blunt before sailing back uphill to Blackaller before finishing in front of the StFYC.  The weather and wind conditions made for fabulous sailing.

In the IRC Handicap class, Zan Drejes helped pull together a team that included Tom Siebel (owner of the MOD 70 ft trimaran ORION) to compete on a borrowed J/125- Andy Costello’s DOUBLE TROUBLE.  “We really loved the course selection,” said Zan, “It kept crews on their toes and always something interesting. We didn't sail on Saturday because Tom had other things on the schedule, but Sunday's race was fun too, with the ride out to Point Diablo and then below Alcatraz, back up to Yellow Bluff, back to X down to 21 again then up to Blackaller before the finish, was great.”

J/111 sailing under spinnaker on San Francisco BayIn the ever-competitive J/111 Class, no boat had a bigger comeback than Rob Thies' J/111 AEOLUS, which had a couple snafus during the first trip out the Gate on Friday and was at the back of the fleet as they headed towards the first leeward mark, but was in third when the fleet re-entered the Bay on lap 2.  “We had some hiccups early and the breeze was light, which did not allow us any opportunities on the first lap. But when things picked up a bit, we were able to reel in boats that had trouble with the building breeze and big bay ebb,” alluded AEOLUS crewman Bryan Edwards.

AEOLUS’ owner Rob Thies said, “the Aldo races were great and weather was fantastic. First, we didn't have our regular crew for the Aldo race and several substitutes, therefore execution and workflow was not exactly in synch. We had many good things happen (like - Race 1 in first place, then spinnaker problems put us in last place and then had to climb back up to finishing in 3rd place), but it was largely a disappointment for us over the weekend. Second, I think the fleet is progressing very well. All the other J/111s have stepped their execution on boat-handling. The fleet is very competitive overall and with strong racers. And, third, we would LOVE to see more boats participate for RBBS!!”

Roland Vandermeer's BIG BLAST was able to reel in Dorian McKelvy's MADMEN to claim 1st in Fridays Double Bonita Race, and 3 bullets in Saturday’s Buoy races and a deuce on Sunday's Bay Tour finale enabled them to win the seven boat J-111 division.

Taking second in the 111s was Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG, winning the tie-breaker over MADMEN by virtue of winning the last race of the series on Sunday.  Fourth was Theis’ AELOUS and fifth was Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS.  Sailing photo credits- Erik Simonson-