Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring One Design: A Wet and Wild Ride

J/105s sailing San Francisco Bay (San Francisco, CA)- The 2016 racing season kicked off with a blustery start this weekend, as the sailors in Spring One Design experienced gale-force winds, rain and even a bit of hail. Despite the gnarly conditions on Saturday, Race Committee and Regatta Chairperson, Peggy Lidster, managed to get off five successful races on one course for the nearly 60 boats in attendance. Fleets in attendance included J/70s, J/105s and J/120s.

Saturday delivered consistent rain and heavy summertime air from 150 degrees, along with a strong ebb. Experienced NRO Bartz Schneider strategically planned a successful course layout working within the challenging conditions, some of which included a strong crosscurrent and winds from the southwest. There were three successful races in each fleet after which the sailors poured into the Northwest Room for warmth and camaraderie.

On Sunday, the conditions were a bit drier and the breeze a bit lighter. After a 30-minute postponement waiting for a wind shift, there were two successful races run in each fleet.

The J/70 class saw Craig Healey’s BOTTLE ROCKET and Scott Sellers 1FA in a titanic struggle for the top spot in the class.  In the end, Healy’s crew posted a 1-2-2-2–1 for 8 pts to take the title.  Sellers sailed an equally consistent 2-1-3-1-2 for 9 pts to take the silver.  Third was class newcomer Tracy Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN from St Francis YC with a 3-3-1-3-3 for 13 pts.

The twenty-two boat J/105 class produced close, competitive racing as usual in this famous fleet on San Francisco Bay.  On the comeback trail is Shannon Ryan & Rolf Kaiser’s DONKEY JACK, never winning a race in the five race series but sailing consistently in the top five to finish with a 4-2-2-3-6 scoreline for 17 pts.  Taking second was Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s ARBITRAGE, also compiling a steady record of 3-6-4-1-8 for 22 pts.

There were a couple of new faces in the top five for the J/105 class; that included Tom Kennelly’s WONDER from Richmond YC taking the bronze on the podium with a 9-1-1-11-7 tally for 29 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Steve Kent’s PERSEVERANCE crew from Balboa YC in 4th and Scooter Simmons’ BLACKHAWK in fifth place from San Francisco YC.

Finally, in the “big boat” J/Class, the J/120s saw the return of MR AGOO at the top of the leaderboard, with Steve Madeira’s St Francis YC crew posting an amazing 1-1-1-3-1 record for a mere 7 pts- a dominant performance in the class.  Another top crew took second place, Barry Lewis’ CHANCE managed to compile four 2nds on the way to an 11 pt total score.  Just one point behind in third place was David Halliwill’s PEREGRINE.  SF Bay yachting photographer Erik Simonsen was on the water on Sunday and grabbed some great photos.  For more Spring One-Design sailing information