Here’s a summary of some of the competitors at the Three Bridge Fiasco this weekend.
We were very happy to see some of the irregulars coming out. Jeff with his beautiful Water Rat. Brandon and Valerie on the immaculate ‘Backwards’. Even visitor David Klatt on Jaded. We’re sorry for them it was such a floater.
Randall aka R3 (Flight)
Jessica and I had a nice lunch with Flight on the hook in front of Ft. Mason while boats mostly slid backward around us. We got some pressure again and gained hope for a bit, but the 5th time seeing the edge of aquatic park slide by was it for me. Alex had set his anchor on Fly By Night by then and looked to ready to wait as long as it took.
My engine had started running really badly on the way over and I didn’t feel I could rely on it after dark, so we retired early and started across the pond. In fits and starts, it did eventually get us to some nice breeze in the North Bay and we sailed the rest of the way in.
Water Rat was at the RYC dock when we got there, they had made it as far as Pier 39. The Pier 39 ferryboat captains were pretty obnoxious this year. They saw no reason to slow down to get through the racers parked in front of their entrance. They were very annoyed and could not figure out why the racers weren’t starting their engines moving out of their way, like they were for the freighters.
When I dropped by Brickyard this evening, Woof was already there and Little Wing showed up a minute (beer) later. Woof had stuck it out on the City Front longer than we did, but eventually reached the same conclusion.
I would consider two bridges a real victory this year
Jasper (Evil Octopus)
We started in counter clockwise direction. My watch was off by one minute versus the race committee, which worked out well because we would have been twenty seconds late. We saw Luther and Ryan heading down on spinnaker near the pin end. Our start was nice and close. We were on port tack at the pin with Jaded (nice to see them out here) on our port hip and Water Rat on our starboard hip. Close by was Alex on Fly by Night. Water rat was killing us as we ducked our way on port tack through the throngs of boats on our way to the shore side. Jeff was sporting some crispy looking sails, but I noticed he had the 100% jib up. No genoa. And he was still creaming us. Then Alex took over putting gas on us. We were in a world of hurt. When we reached the shore line we tacked ever so gently and got very lucky. Because Water Rat and Fly by Night were now in front of us on starboard tack we could see exactly where the current hit them. So we tacked a boat length sooner to stay in the current relief. Instant gain. We kept that up all the way to aquatic park. There the zodiac that was leading a gaggle of swimmers decided we were Octopus non Grata and literally rammed us. No apologies either. Oh well. We saw a slight wind line about 50 yards offshore and dove into that. It made the difference between making it around or staying put. Next up was Pier 39, which proved to be no hassle but once we rounded that we hit some major current. Originally we were aiming towards Yerba Buena, but we quickly bailed for current relief on shore. After doing the escalator run for a while we scrambled to dig out the anchor and had lunch. With us was Val on Shut up and Drive. He and Vince must have done a tremendous job to catch up. After lunch we gambled and pulled up the anchor in order to crab over to Treasure Island. It took a long time but we made it. Once there we did some fancy auto tacking to get around Yerba Buena and then enjoyed a luxurious close reach all the way to Red Rock. At RR the wind stopped again. Somehow Val had ended up there too and he cheered us on as he motored home. But after rounding the rock we had to throw out the anchor again. That gave us time to do the math. We weren’t going to make it. OK, we fought the good fight. Start the engine. What a day.
Tech Talk: I was asked how we trimmed for the light stuff. Having just tuned the rig I can tell you:
Mast butt was set at neutral for 2.5 inches of pre bend at 20/15 on the shrouds, and forestay at 1 finger outside the scale with backstay attached but loose. I left the shrouds there, which is one setting below base. We trimmed our older genoa at 6 to 8 inches off the spreader depending on whether we were coming out of a tack or we were up to speed. Outhaul was off by one inch only. Admittedly these are older sails. The genoa cars were all the way forward.
We tried to roll tack as much as possible. Which is a pain in the bum for the driver.
Darren (Downtown Uproar)
Yeah, we (re)anchored maybe three times at Aquatic Park. Fending off Golden Moon, before a light westerly filled in. Made for a nice spinnaker ride down to Yerba Buena. We had a good rounding staying close to the shore / lighthouse, passing a bunch that went wide. Nice mellow flat water reach to Richmond, where we found a little bit of advantage in closer to the entrance wall. Started to make our way to ‘R2′, around 5 or so our little personal puff evaporated. It seemed pretty clear we were not going to finish at this point, maybe not make it to RR before 7. So headed home. Super fun day though, I loved it. A little bit scary all the five horn blast we heard, I think a little more so the ones coming from the Golden Gate.
Luther (Little Wing)
We started the day with a plan: 1) GGB; 2) RR, and 3) TI. We looked at each other straight In the eyes and said that no matter what we were going to stick with the plan!
So we started about 20 seconds early, what with all the fun of getting the chute up and no one looking outside the boat, I say, ok just 20 seconds and Ryan says we started already. So we pull down the kite spin around and re crossed the line heading for TI. Then we furiously discussed keeping going, but no! We stuck with the plan, spun around when we were about 100 m on our way to TI and went to GGB. We nearly caught up to DTUR and did to Flight, where we had fun match racing until the park up at Aquatic PARK (ah – now I get it…). When it became clear that we were losing our match race to an anchored boat (I did go below and ponder the anchor – ready to go…), and decided that anchor muck was not in the plan, we took a flyer off to (we were thinking Southampton, but current said…) the Straits, where I thought we did circles, but the GPS logger (passive collection) seemed to show us staying on course. We finally got some gas to blow us into to straits and out on the NW corner where we diced it up with a Moore next to the rocks there. They rolled us 2x, but when the wind died, they bailed, and just after they called in and mounted the motor, the breeze came I and we zoomed off to a chorus of their curses!
Then the reality of that old time-distance-velocity thing was pointed out, and we bailed 1/2 way between RR and AI. Smart move.
Melissa (Downtown Uproar)
The second time (I think) we were anchored some of the swimmers came out to observe and speculate if this was what sailboat racing was all about and be smug about the cost of swimming vs. sailing. We were slightly surprised Aquatic Park wasn’t restricted, but maybe the swimmers have mocked other sailors in the past.
If I’d thought we’d make it around red rock by 6:30 (even knowing we couldn’t finish) I’d have been more in favor of pressing on just to say we’d done it, but I swear that it seemed like after 5pm it just never…got…closer. But yeah, fun day, and we had enough beer on board to keep the crew happy.
For pictures check out Norcalsailing LINK