Thursday, April 26, 2018

Light, Sunny SSS Round the Rocks Race

J/105 sailing SSS Round the Rocks Race (San Francisco, CA)- An even 100 shorthanded crews signed up for the Single Handed Sailing Society's "Round The Rocks" race on Saturday. A 19.3 nm jaunt from the Berkeley Circle, up and over "The Rock" of Alcatraz, and up to Harding Rock and then north to "the Brothers rocks," leaving all to starboard, then back south leaving Red Rock to port and finishing in the Potrero Reach at the RYC Race Platform.

Conditions were as expected, light to medium at start with winds in the 8-10 knot range with slack water changing towards an ebb made for a fast ride to the west from the flats towards the gate, and just enough south in breeze for boats carrying kites to set them after rounding Harding. Nary a boat we saw headed towards Point Blunt, instead Raccoon Strait was the route d'jour. Though winds were lighter in the strait for the front-runners, it was still enough for decent VMG through and out towards the North Bay.

The one caveat for the fleet was the sneaky mud bank that lives between Elephant Rock and Bluff Point on the north side of the strait. Some boats managed to hit it!

The winds started off light, but late in the race, a sudden increase in the breeze gave the boats in the back a healthy dose of “hallelujahs” and the crew working the finish line got a big shot of "Yikes, they are all coming at once!!”

Overall, the vast majority of the boats finished in a window between 15:15:00 and 15:40:00 in the afternoon on what was an absolutely gorgeous day for the short-handed crews sailing around San Francisco Bay.  J/Crews had a fun time and even managed to collect some silverware for their trophy shelves.

In PHRF 6 Doublehanded Spin class, Jeremy Moncada & Richard Craig’s J/88 JUNO took 2nd in class.  In addition, classmates Eric Patterson & Tim Russell on their J/105 NENE finished 5th place. Not that far off the pace, and hurt by the fleet closing from behind, were Ludovic & Delphine Milin’s J/120 SAETTA in 10th and Richard Leute & Ken Grayson’s J/44 ACEY DEUCY in 11th.

In the PHRF 7 Doublehanded Spin class, Luther Izmirian & Ken Brown’s J/32 PARADIGM secured 4th place just six minutes in arrears on corrected time from first place!

The J/109 LINDO skippered by singlehanded sailor John Kalucki took third place in the PHRF 13 Singlehanded Non-Spin division.  Thanks for photos and contribution from Chris Ray’s PRESSURE-DROP.US  For more SSS Round the Rocks Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.