North American Championship Day 1

North American Championship Day 1

If any regatta is worthy of doubling as a major championship for one of its classes, it is the St. Francis Yacht Club's Rolex Big Boat Series, which started Thursday, hosting 89 boats on San Francisco Bay. Held annually for over five decades and revered for its keen offerings both competitively on the water and socially ashore, the four-day event is serving as the North American Championship for the J/105 Class, which with 27 boats comprises the largest fleet. Today, the unthinkable happened, when the club's race committee-known for expertly conducting more than its fair share of regattas thanks to San Francisco's ideal winds (consistently strong), challenging conditions (currents aplenty) and superior setting (stadium sailing at its best)-had to postpone the morning race for two hours due to lack of breeze. It left the J/105 sailors champing at the bit, but in the end nothing was missed when both of today's scheduled races were completed in 15 knots of westerly breeze. As all Classes must do, the J/105s rotate each day between the Treasure Island circle and the Alcatraz circle. Today, J/105s started with Treasure Island, sailing a 10.9 mile course, and followed it with an 11.1 mile race on the afternoon's Alcatraz course. The latter race's downwind finish wowed spectators at Crissy Field and the St. Francis Yacht Club Race Deck as competitors jockeyed for position under their large spinnakers. As tradition calls for, all Classes finished their second race the same way and at the same place: between the Race Deck and a mark set just shouting distance from the shore, with the Golden Gate Bridge set to the west as a backdrop. Shawn Bennett's Jose Cuervo and Ryan Simmons' Blackhawk are tied for first with 5 points each, after both tallying a 4 and 1. Jeff Littfin's Mojo is one point back in third. Racing continues through Sunday.   Event website and results

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