Wednesday, May 4, 2016

J’s Romp In SSS Round Rocks Race

J/105 sailing SSS Round Rocks Race (San Francisco, CA)- 106 intrepid short-handed boats signed up for this years Singlehanded Sailing Society Round the Rocks Race. An in the Bay, 19.3 nm event that originates on the Berkeley Circle just off Richmond YC, leaves Alcatraz to starboard, Harding Rock to starboard, The Brothers to starboard, Red Rock to Port and on to finish in the Point Potrero Channel next to Richmond YC.

Light winds at the start left some boats drifting on the flats while others we able to ghost their way up towards Treasure Island into a slight westerly. However, unusually soft, lightening winds and a steady, stubborn 2-knot flood was too much for the fleet. The winds, for what they were worth, seemed to stay on the left side of the course, paving a way for the sportboats to work their way above the mark, with a generous over stand in Harding Rock in the middle of the Bay.

The lucky few on the initial pulse that rounded Harding then rode the flood for all it was worth straight east, some setting kites and some not. Initially it looked liked either method proved equally effective. Some of the early rounders set their kites, leaving Point Blunt well to port and went right to the edge of the flats to stay in favorable current and milk what little breeze their was.

Harding Rock bell- San Francisco BayAs the morning turned into early afternoon, a second, more populous pulse of boats, tangled with the Harding Hole, riding high over the top after observing the fate of their predecessors, many choosing Raccoon Strait as a path to the North Bay. Why not? With the flood and expected westerly, it made sense. Until it didn't. The Raccoon can be stubborn as well, and what appeared to be a short cut turned into a park up for many, who saw their sails go limp as they swirled about in the current, making some easterly VMG, but not much. Slowly, the westerly filled from the back of the fleet and a tight parade of boats spilled into the North Bay.

The big slug of boats fanned out quickly across the North Bay as the majority slipped past Red Rock. It was gonna be a slow speed drag race to the finish right off Richmond YC!  Thanks for contribution from Chris Ray at!

J/Teams faired incredibly well in these challenging conditions.  In Class 4- Singlehanded Spin, Chad Peddy’s J/24 IRISH BLESSING got her blessing, taking 2nd in class after sailing the 19.3nm course.  As he has done in the past more than once, Bob Johnston’s J/92 RAGTIME took the Class 4-Singlehanded Spin class by over 6 minutes.  In Class 9 Doublehanded Spin, Tony & Maureen Castruccio’s J/30 WIND SPEED managed a 5th place while the two dueling J/32s finished next to each other- Luther & Robert Ismirian’s PARADIGM over John Riley & Larry Weinhoff’s LA DOLCE VITA, in 7th & 8th position, respectively.  Yet another J/24 enjoyed shorthanded racing success, in this case it was Jasper Van Vliet & John Pytlak’s CAN’O’WHOOPAS commanding the bronze in Class 10 Doublehanded Spin.  The big J’s had great success in Class 11 Doublehanded, with Ludovic Millin & Dave Corbin’s J/120 SAETTA winning class with Richard Leute & Ken Grayson’s J/44 ACEY DEUCY in third position and Reuben Ricci & Nesrin Basoz’s J/111 SWIFT NESS completing the race track in eighth place.  Just off the pace was Timo Bruck & Fraser Novakowski’s J/120 TWIST in eleventh.  Finally, in Class 12 Doublehanded Sportboat, Morgan Paxhia & Dave Roach’s J/70 PENNY PINCHER took fourth overall.  Thanks for report contribution from   Sailing photo credits- and   For more SSS Round the Rocks Race sailing information