The Great Vallejo Race

This event is hosted by the Vallejo Yacht Club. The race most often starts near the Berkeley Circle on Saturday morning, rounds a single weather mark near Alcatraz, and then heads to Vallejo, usually under spinnaker for the remainder of the race. The challenge is to maintain speed through the shadow of Angel Island, find the best combination of wind and current past the Richmond-San Rafael bridge and East Brother Light Station, and then avoid the mud shoals on the east side of the San Pablo Bay. As the boats enter Carquinez Strait, they bunch together, making the turn into Mare Island Strait a nightmare for many boats. Because of the topography of Mare Island, as well as the fact that it sits at the mouth of the Napa River, local knowledge (or many years of sailing the race) can make the difference as the yachts maneuver toward the finish line on the Vallejo city waterfront. Winds vary from light to heavy, and become exceedingly shifty. In the dash for the finish line, sharp crews can usually pick off several places with close attention to trim, wind, and current. The big J/105 one-design fleet saw spirited competition, with BLACKHAWK (Kristin Simmons) winning followed by 007 (Justin Hersh) second and CUCHULAININ (Jim Mullen) in third. For more Great Vallejo Race sailing information, visit!great-vallejo-race/snxu0.

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