Saturday, June 4, 2011

J's Double-Down Spinnaker Cup Race

J/125 sailboat Double-Trouble- sailing Spinnaker Cup
J/125 & J/111 Surf To Victory
(Monterrey, CA)- Each year, the San Francisco YC and the Monterrey Point YC host what has turned out to be a fun, classic NoCal/SoCal style race.  This one has a twist since you gotta beat upwind out of the the Bay, out under the Golden Gate before you turn left and hopefully take a sleigh-ride downwind in mountainous Pacific swells rolling down the coast to Monterrey.

Friday’s annual kick-off to the Memorial Day Weekend started just about 11:00 AM off the Knox Point area of Angel Island. The 90 NM downhill jaunt to Monterey featured a fleet of 44 boats ranging from 24 to 78 footers. Cool and overcast at the start, the front which brought late season rain to the SF Bay Area exited just as the fleet exited the Bay and made their way south along Ocean Beach. Aided by the beginnings of an building ebb, and the clocking wind, switching from jibs to reachers and then chutes began just south of "Montara".  Winds continued to shift aft and by "Ano Nuevo" the pressure began to increase and the fun meters started pegging and the grins got bigger and bigger. As opposed to more recent Spinnaker Cups, the Ride across Monterey Bay was a fast one for the majority of the fleet with breeze on until just off the finish.

Andy Costello's J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE doubled down and won the Spinnaker Cup Race to Monterrey- Overall and Class A. Frank Slootman's J/111 INVISIBLE HAND smoked down the course and won Class C and was 3rd overall-- not bad for their second offshore race!

Andy offers his insights sailing his J/125: "Well, we have been prepping the boat hard for Transpac so it was so nice just to go sailing. We went into SpinCup as more of a practice for big race in July. We may have compromised the over all win as we tested different sails working on cross overs so to come out with a Class win is awesome. The boat,electronics and crew all performed well.  We had a blast the last 30 miles and across Monterey Bay we really never dropped boat speed below 16 knots and had some blasts up to 20 knots!  The sea state was very flat with not much swell so no super high speeds, just good consistent bust speed.  Thanks to my crew for another awesome race. Trevor Baylis, Patrick Whitmarsh, Mark Breen, Gilles Combrusson from GC Marine and Peter King (who came along to dial in all the nV software and instruments).

J/111 speedster sailboat- one-design racing sailing cruising boatFrank Slootman offers his perspectives sailing the J/111: "It's about 90 nautical miles down the coast, but the first 3 hours are beating out the gate and then fetching with a head sail, gradually allowing for an hour or so of code zero up. Conditions all the while around 9-11 kts of breeze. Wind built gradually to mid teens and aft of the beam, and last 4 hours we had 20-24 kts of breeze, and we were gybing back and forth from Santa Cruz to Monterey.  Epic sailing down wind across Monterey Bay, mid-teen speeds, peaking at 17-18 with 20-24 kts of breeze.  Apparent wind pretty much right on the beam in these conditions. Before dark we switched from the A2 to the A4, which was very much needed. We were hitting sustained mid teens, peaks of 17 and 18 kts at the time.  We caught all boats ahead of us in our class those last 2-3 hours. The 111 lights-up pretty good in these conditions, just "nuking" down the course. Nothing broke, boat felt nice and stiff.  We did get to the edge of conditions where we can carry the big kite. This regatta is a classic in the Bay Area. Our division had half the boats in the entire fleet in it, so it sure raised some eye brows to see this boat in its first attempt grab a bullet. I think the boat is aptly named as other sailors kept saying "you guys were coming out of no where".

Of note was the fact that Bob Johnson's J/92 RAGTIME! sailed a nice race to get 7th in Class C and 15th overall behind Frank's J/111.  Also, special mention must be made of Jim Brainard's J/35c BRAINWAVE, winning not only the Double-handed IRC Class, but finishing 19th in fleet in a "cruising J", beating some famous offshore SoCal/ NoCal "sleds" and ULDB's along the way!! Thanks to contributions by Erik Simonson-   Sailing photos by
For Spinnaker Cup sailing results