Saturday, March 24, 2018

BAMA Doublehanded Farallones Race Preview

Farallones islands/ rocks (San Francisco, CA)- Fifty boats are entered for the 2018 edition of the infamous Doublehanded Farallones Race, hosted by the Bay Area Multihull Association (BAMA).  It can be a thrilling 58.0nm race, a “pea soup” foggy drifter, a challenging marathon, or a benign cruise.

The course could not be simpler, start in San Francisco Bay in front of Alcatraz Island, go west out underneath the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, around the Farallones Rocks to port (teaming with monstrous great white sharks, thousands of seals, a few zillion birds creating too much guano), then back into SF Bay to the finish line just off the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory along the waterfront.  What can go wrong with this picture? Well, in a matter of words, plenty.

J/120 sailing doublehanded Farallones raceMost times, the race takes on multiple personalities, going from sunny & gorgeous, to 20-30 kts offshore with terrifying breaking waves, back to an cold wet blanket of pea soup fog with 50 ft visibility, then finishing with a flourish in nuking 20-30 kts wind conditions inside the Golden Gate Bridge.

Because it is such a challenge, it marks the beginning of the season for many sailors on SF Bay.  It is certainly a very popular event for the short-handed sailing crowd after racing their cherished, insane, Three Bridge Fiasco earlier in the year.

Going for it are five J/crews from various Bay area sailing clubs.  Hoping to lead the entire fleet home will be Rich Pipkin’s J/125 CAN’T TOUCH THIS with a mind-numbing -18 PHRF rating.  Chasing him hard will be Reuben Rocci’s J/111 SWIFT NESS.  Then, a trio of J/120s with a number of class wins in this event will be tough to beat, including Timo Bruck’s TWIST, Ludovic Millin’s SAETTA, and Sean Mulvihill’s JAMANI.   For more BAMA Doublehanded Farallones Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.