Rolex Big Boat Series

Rolex Big Boat Series

A year after the contest for the 34th America's Cup, world-class sailing is still alive and well on San Francisco Bay. In fact, for the last four days (Thursday, September 11 through Sunday, September 14), the 50th Anniversary edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series has hosted hundreds of sailors on 99 teams, rotating onto three strategically-placed race circles that triangulate the constant wind and tide challenges of the largest Pacific estuary in the Americas. Having developed stadium sailing long before the America's Cup made it a local colloquialism, the St. Francis Yacht Club ensured fast fun for spectators as well as competitors by designing each day's second race (always sailed in a blustering afternoon breeze) to finish within cheering distance of the clubhouse's famous second-story race deck that commands attention east to Alcatraz Island and west to a sun-drenched, or alternately fog-enshrouded, Golden Gate Bridge. The J/105s made up the largest fleet at Big Boat this year, and Bruce Stone's Arbitrage held the lead every day, earning the team the Commodore's Cup plus the Rolex watch. "This is the toughest fleet in the country I think," said Stone who missed winning last year by a narrow margin. "We felt that the courses were really interesting compared to the past, and St. Francis Yacht Club did a really excellent job," he said. "For us, it was all about keeping the boat moving with all the lulls and gusts and changing of conditions and tides." Scooter Simmons' Blackhawk took the silver position, and Phillip Laby's Godot the bronze.   Complete results

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