Sunday, June 19, 2016

Three Buoy Fiasco Preview

J/105 sailing off Seattle (Seattle, WA)- The host for the highly popular Three Buoy Fiasco is not your ascot-wearing, martini-sipping yacht club. Far from it.  Sloop Tavern YC in Seattle, WA was launched by a man without a boat, in his tavern, in the hope of cultivating a more respectable clientele than the barflies who would show up in the morning at opening time!  But, despite its rather dubious beginnings, the Sloop Tavern YC is going strong 30 years later, one of Seattle’s best-kept secrets for sailors who are in it purely for the love of the sport.

The club’s genesis dates back to 1976, when Wayne Schmidt bought the Sloop Tavern, a slightly seedy watering hole not far from the Ballard locks. About half the bar’s regulars would show up early in the morning, and Schmidt began thinking about how to bring the clientele up a notch or two.

Sloop Tavern YC SeattleThe STYC was founded by a group of live-aboard and free spirited sailors who wanted to create a yacht club the right way.  From the club's inception over beers at the Sloop Tavern, not surprisingly (!), the STYC has been a special place that has attracted sailors with a sense of fun and adventure.  The members adopted the motto- “Where Sailing is Fast, Fun, and Friendly!”

The club has always been a wonderful place for those new to sailing and new to racing that's why they have always had non-flying sails races (even though we now include spinnaker classes for some events). You can race with a much smaller crew single-handed, in fact, when rounding the weather mark, all you had to do is just ease the sheets!

As a result of their free-loving spirit, the club has always been home to some of the finest sailors on Puget Sound. Its members have won great honors in events ranging from the Duck Dodge to Tri-Island, to Whidbey Island Race Week, to Swiftsure, to Victoria-to-Maui, to TransPac, and Pacific Cup. Which now leads to “why” the Three Buoys Fiasco.  Well, in deference to another free-spirited organization in San Francisco Bay, the Singlehanded Sailing Society, the STYC created their version of the Three Bridge Fiasco, a race where you have to round marks in any order you want next to all three famous bridges in the Bay.  Since STYC has no bridges, they instead chose three well-known buoys in Puget Sound (see map) for the fleet to round.

The Skippers Meeting will be Friday, June 17, 2016 @ 6:00PM at the Ballard-Eagleson VFW Post (just East of the Sloop Tavern).  And, the well-attended Award Party will be immediately following the race in front of the main Shilshole building (North end).  There will be beer and brats- a very popular food combo for 3BF sailors!

Who’s going in the J/tribe so far?? Lots of boats! Thirty-eight boats are entered into Flying Sails (includes spinnakers) and Non-Flying Sails (jib and main only).   In the 32-boat Flying Sails division, there are eight J’s participating- exactly one-quarter of their class; including a famous J/105- Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO, two J/30s- Geoffrey Wolf’s CONRAD J and Ulf Georg Gwildis’ IMPULSIVE, a J/109- Jerry Woodfield’s SHADA, a J/80- Walker Lockhart’s JOLLY GREEN, a J/24- Mark Daniel’s ROSHAMBO, a J/27- Leo’s WIZARD, and a J/29- Jessica & John Aguilar-Kazaras’ RUBY.

In the Non-Flying Sails Division, we find William Daniel’s J/100 TOURIST from Seattle YC up against a Hunter 34 and Newport 28-2!  Goodness gracious, hope the TOURIST team can fill us in on epic racing around the cans!

Quite an eclectic fleet of “classic” J’s that span several decades.  For sure, FUN will be the overwhelming theme for the weekend of sailing! Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson/ JanPix.   For more Three Buoy Fiasco sailing information