Slow Start, Big Turnout at St. Francis YC Spring One Design Regatta

Slow Start, Big Turnout at St. Francis YC Spring One Design Regatta

On the first day of the 2015 season opener, the St. Francis YC Spring One Design regatta, it seemed everyone was there: 80 boats, 300 sailors, 8 fleets. Everyone, that is, but the wind. Early season conditions prevailed, and the lack of breeze resulted in a string of postponements with, ultimately, no racing. "We knew that even if we were able to get off a start," says regatta chair and Express 27 sailor Peggy Lidster, "we wouldn't have been able to get around any windward mark. There was no wind in any direction, and we were fighting an ebb." Sailors made the most of the day by enjoying the sun, admiring the fleets' many sets of new sails and meeting back at the St. Francis Yacht Club for food, drinks, lawn games and even a s'mores pit in the courtyard. Conditions varied throughout Sunday, wavering between 7 and 20 knots. The unsteady breeze kept all fleets alert as fresh crew shook off wintertime cobwebs, and fresh sets of sails took on their first tacks and douses. "Looking around, you could feel a fervor for the start of the season. These are the Bay area one design keelboat fleets, and everyone brought their A-game," says Lidster. "The entire central Bay was filled with sails, from Alcatraz to the gate to the shore. The number of sailboats and the camaraderie between fleets was fantastic. It felt like days of old!" While the smaller boats competed on the City Front course, the 21 boat J/105 fleet started off the western face of Alcatraz, heading upwind 1.3 miles toward the mid-span of the Golden Gate Bridge. There was a heavy ebb, creating the inevitable short chop as the current flows into the prevailing westerly, especially acute as winds eventually built to 20 knots by the third race. The day was dominated by Bruce Stone's team on Arbitrage #116, turning in a 3, 1 and 2 to finish with just six points. Scooter Simmons' Blackhawk placed second with 10 points, and Phillip Laby's Godot third with 13. (Photo credit: Chris Ray)   Complete results

Comments are closed.