News and Events
(yes, this post is some weeks late)
Thanks to the multitudes who contributed time and effort to help make the J/24 Western Regionals & Nationals a success!
Congratulations to Pat Toole on 3 Big Dogs for holding off Scott Milne of Tremendous Slouch and taking overall honors at the Nationals, and to Chris Snow on Bogus for winning the Nationals, beating Deke Klatt of Jaded by a point.
Regionals results: http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=10146
Nationals results: http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/9710#_newsroom+results
Photographs from the events:
(Thanks to Darren for the post title)
10 J/24s signed up for 2015’s 3 Bridge Fiasco, all in the double-handed division, the first race in our unofficial party circuit. But, spoilers! Not all of them finished.
This year’s race had echos of last – light air and heavy current foiled many best-laid plans across the 360+ boat fleet. Two J/24s – Evil Octopus and Shut Up and Drive – made it all the way around. Kudos to Jasper, Peter, Val, and Zane for sailing fast and executing well!
A few of the boats who went out were happy to share their write-ups of the event. Happy reading!
I’ll call this one ‘optimism’
Jasper (Evil Octopus):
Well, we got a gun at 16.22.15 so we must have done something right, but with the TBF you have to have a lot of luck. We were about 20 seconds late starting on port tack but that worked out OK because we were able to miss the pileup at the pin. We flopped over immediately and were on SB aiming for Angel Island and hoping to find some residual flood to shoot us towards Berkeley. Paul, Val, Darren and one other boat all went with us in that direction. Val and Paul tacked back to port early. We waited a few for minutes. Bad idea. We found very light wind and were way behind. going between Alcatraz and Angel. Darren tacked even later and looked fast for a while then hit a hole and we never saw him again. We figured there would be a big left shift after Angel Island and so we actually took a hitch between Alcatraz and Angel to set ourselves up inside the pinwheel. That worked out brilliantly. The boats that were ahead were all still aiming for the Berkeley shore while we got lifted and were having to crack off to aim straight at Red Rock. We were feeling momentarily very smart. Then of course we found another hole while the Berkeley shore got a nice thermal. All those boats passed us to leeward. By the time we got close to RR the wind really shut down. We were kind of glad to have some boats ahead of us (Paul and Val) to see which way around would work best. We finally opted for counter clockwise. But when we drew up even with the rock it was anchor time. We stayed on anchor for less than five minutes. Then anchored again. Basically just holding our spot. After another five minutes a light zephyr came in from the west and we were able to spinnaker around outside of Val who had been sucked in too close to the rock. We never saw Paul again and wondered what happened to them. Found out later that night.
The rest of the race was pretty simple. Close reach on SB until the slot. Kite up broad reach until the bridge. Clockwise around TI. No real hole behind TI to deal with. Then riding the current up to Blackaller. Set the kite there and almost got sucked back into the gate. But found just enough wind to get us home. Still don’t really know overall rseults, but we had the radio on for the last half hour and didn’t hear too many boats coming through the finish line. Three or four Moores and thre or four other boats.
We were pretty stoked to have finished the thing.
Val was right behind us and towed us into Brickyard when the wind died. Our motor mount had broken off again. Anybody know where to get a good one? Only four beers consumed each. Oh and a few sips from a flask. Good times.
(Looking south from our anchorage at Red Rock somewhere around oh, 2:30pm)
Melissa (Downtown Uproar):
That hole south of Angel just sealed the deal for us. Once we escaped that we had some really nice breeze on the east side of the shipping lane, maybe a down vector of some sort off Angel, that looked a bit faster than the breeze in the flats – really gorgeous sailing for a while. But because of that hole we got to Red Rock too late, and anchored in the current relief of the rock for .. at least an hour? Long enough to see the other 100+ boats closing under spinnaker. Pete Trachy and a J/22 anchored with us for a while and then Pete got bored (or nervous, with the almost-but-not-quite-there fleet), launched again, and veered off towards the fuel dock. We watched him gybe in place for a long time – he stayed way east until close to 3, at which point he finally took our (still anchored) transom, then headed back to catch something to the east again. After watching him make a bit of headway we launched around 3:30, sailed up to our anchor, and finally made it around CW. Watching the fleet try to make it up to RR was really entertaining – kinda like Zeno’s paradox where you cover half the remaining distance but never actually get there… Anyway we had enough breeze to get around outside of a bunch of parked (or aground) boats and start heading south – we saw Evil Octopus around 5pm? We hit the south side of TI around 6:15 and the wind shut down – we wanted to see how far we’d get since TI is home for us anyways. At 6:30 we retired and headed back, and some poor sod in a Wabbit asked if we were motoring back to Richmond – sucked to be him.
Darren (Downtown Uproar):
I’d only add the awesome sandwiches and and snacks, really enhanced our anchored picnic entertainment. We definitely suffered early on for getting too close to AI, probably leading to us not making it to RR in time. Maybe the should change the name to “Escape from Red Rock”, or at least that is the way it felt this year.
No matter how far you made it (or didn’t), the views were gorgeous.
“You are going the wrong way”, rang in my ears on Flight most of the day. They were Jasper’s words as he and Peter came passed us on Evil Octopus going the opposite direction across the 3 Bridge Fiasco start line. Don Ford and I had decided to gamble on the breeze holding long enough for clockwise to work this year. If we could get across the gate and through Raccoon Straights ahead of the 4 knot max ebb we would sail the shortest distance to Red Rock and be golden from there. That plan worked all the way past Yellow Bluff when the NE breeze shut off in the building ebb. As we were being flushed back towards the Gate with Woof, they too questioned why they had opted to follow us the wrong way. We were almost out the gate, when I looked back at all the boats who had been outside the gate to see they were setting their kites. We set ours and when it got to us we had enough solid breeze form there to get all the way through the straits. As we were following Gordie Nash through the current relief off Tiburon, again it came to me “you are going the wrong way”. Then, it was just 3 hours of exchanging jibes in a fleet of 200 friends on 100 boats inching our way to Red Rock against the ebb. We exchanged positions with Fly By Night and our identical kite several times and as we were finally getting towards the rock, Downtown came passed having rounded in the other direction. Again, it come to me “you are going the wrong way”.
The “plan” for rounding Red Rock CCL was to give it a wide berth and stay in better air up towards the bridge. The reality was that on the first jibe back from the bridge we were sucked all the way back next to the rock. After our next jibe, we could hear the water lapping on the beach 10 feet astern. On our next jibe though, we were now out of the current had a good shot to get across in front the rock. That’s when the big boat ahead of us called back that they were aground. Don then asked them best question of the day. “How much do you draw?” When the answer was 2 feet more than a J24, I opted to go between them and the rock rather then getting stuck outside in their wind shadow.
That gamble paid off but at around 5:00 the wind had shut off in the north bay. There was no time left to continue our wrong way crusade back to finish before 7:00. Besides we were passing Richmond Yacht Club and cold beer. Motoring in we found SUAD towing Evil Octopus home with a broken motor mount. They had both finished very well going “the right way”.
Val (Shut Up and Drive):
We didn’t get a gun but were really LUCKY to finish at 4:24. 15 min before start wind died everywhere except Berkeley circle so we decided to sail where wind was less likely to die – towards Red Rock via Berkeley circle (going through Raccoon straight was too dangerous due to building ebb). Plus we thought that if we can make around Red Rock in northerly wind in the morning then we can get around TI and Blackaller in afternoon westerly. Start was crazy with starboard boats coming down at you in the row but finally we made it though. Tacked early on port and sailed into windhole in the lee of Alcatraz where spent next 20 min (lesson number 1 – do not sail too close to islands). Finally got to Berkeley circle and slowly converged with Paul, he finally tacked towards Angel and got inside huge lift, we felt so stupid not to follow him.
Arrived to Red Rock around 12 pm, about 100 yards to the island wind died. 20 more min of breeze and we would be golden! Had to drop anchor twice, raised/lower spinnaker 4 times, finally sailed too close to the rock and got stuck in classical Red Rock windhole on Richmond side (lesson number 2 – do not sail too close to islands! do we really need to do it twice to learn?). Couple gybes, and 6 beers later we finally rounded it, by that time Jasper passed us sailing just outside of our personal windhole. Rest of the race we were chasing Jasper, TI was pice of cake with steady breeze all around it. Around Yerba Buena picked up wicked ebb (GPS said we were going 8 kt!), only 4 tacks on the city front got us to Blackaller. Quick set, immediate gybe to avoid windhole towards shore with genoa up (how come with works with crew of 2 but aways fails with crew of 5?) and adverse current took us to the finish line. One more beer to celebrate the end of the race and then casual sail to Richmond where we saw that majority of boats are still around Red Rock. Well they wouldn’t call it Fiasco for no reason!
The as-official-as-we-can-get-it schedule for 2015:
1/31 3 Bridge Fiasco, SSS
5/2-5/3 Great Vallejo Race, VYC
7/18 Plastic Classic, SBYC
7/11 Midnite Moonlight Marathon, SFYC
10/3 OPBYC Regatta
2015 Season Counters
4/11 Small Keel #1, SFYC (3 races)
4/18-4/19 J/Fest, StFYC (~5 races)
5/16-5/17 J24 Western Regionals (Elite Keel), SFYC (~5-6 races)
5/21-5/24 J/24 U.S. Nationals, BYC (~9 races)
6/20 Small Keel #2, SFYC (3 races)
8/1-8/2 BYC One-Design, BYC (~7 races)
8/8 Small Keel #3, SFYC (3 races)
9/5-9/6 Jazz Cup w/ J24 Return, Benicia (~2 races. Last season counter)
Other dates of note:
4/4: (tentative) Racing Clinic
7/25: Angel Island Fleet Party
Another great RegattaPro race on Saturday. Crazy currents and even crazier wind shifts created plenty of passing opportunities. Look at this sweet conga line.
On the “Nationals” front we are getting some offers for lodging in which is GREAT. Thank you all. We still need to lock in about four charter boats, so please be our eyes and ears for charter opportunities.
This was the last race of 2014!!!! What a splendid year it’s been. The goal is for 2015 to be even better.
Yes, here is our fearless leader Richard Stockdale on the iconic “Froglips” This was at the RegattaPro Winter Onedesign regatta. Richard had the genius to go right in the second race and took advantage of the current switch to bag the race. A few boats followed him there but none could catch him. Conditions were pretty much perfect as you can tell from the pictures.
Please ask around for us: We are in need of charter boats and housing for out of town sailors for the Nationals and WR’s combined in May. Now is the time to start planning for that. We have had multiple inquiries from as far away as Texas. Seattle boats and SoCal boats are coming too. We expect at least 8 but possibly much more. These will be the best sailors on the west coast. Some crews are like many of our crews: excellent sailors competing on a shoestring. Wouldn’t want it any other way but let’s see if we can welcome them in the best way possible.
Changing topics again. This year’s Fleet Banquet and awards party was attended by 47 people. That’s a modern day record I’m sure. New partnerships were forged. Darren was lauded as season winner. Alex was most outstanding second, Val had the best praise for the fleet calling 2014 the best season ever. A quick skippers meeting brought a few things to to the forefront:
1 We loved the many ‘single day’ regattas thanks to SFYC’s efforts. So we definitely want to do that again.
2 We are considering shortening the season by removing the first and last month.
3 We have some conflicting regattas coming on back to back weekends in spring and in August, (And May of course).
4 We are considering doing a regatta in the Alameda Estuary (preferably a two dayer to make the commute worthwhile)
5 We are considering a parallel party circuit type of thing: Pick 3 regattas that at least a core of boats commit to and that make it attractive for casual J24’s to come and compete. Would love your input on all of this.
Also, don’t forget about the Berkeley Midwinters. Froglips, TMC and Evil Octopus were there last Sunday and had a close battle.
On September 20th, we had another fantastic Crew You Regatta and post-race raft up in the lovely Richmond Riviera.
We had nine J/24 boats come out for this unique event. There are a few rules for this event – (1) the owners may not drive their boat (2) Extra points awarded for retrieving a beer from the Beer Duck Buoy and (3) at 12 knots of breeze we go down to the jib.
Exceptionally exciting was that we coaxed out at least two boats that don’t regularly race with us (Phantom and Backwards) and third was chartered by the OPB-YC Commodore, Jasper van Vliet, so that he could technically still sail “OPB”. On top of that we had 15 new crew recruited to sail for this event, and could easily staffed another boat if we had one. We hope to see these sailors back out racing during the midwinters because they had a great time.
We were fortunate that the RYC race committee asked us to move further south than we originally wanted in order to make more room for the International 14 Nationals. It put us more into the slot than we would’ve liked, but we heard from the dinghy folks that they barely had any wind behind Angel Island all day.
After 5 races, we rafted up our boats with our race committee and started up the BBQ. We will keep brainstorming to find a location that might be less rolly for next year but still deep enough for the motherships to anchor.
We hope to see you all again next year!
Some kudos and thanks:
JWorld: Thanks for letting us use your racing marks and ground tackle. Come and race with us next time.
Phantom: Appreciate you guys coming all the way up from Alameda and waiting around for the first race. You would’ve won your division had you heard the OCS call and cleared it. It seemed like you were enjoying the tunes as well.
Hans: great job on race committee again. Fun and organized all in one package!
Sue and Bill: you guys rock, thank you for the use of your boats for both the race and the raft up. You are amazing friends.
Volunteers: Dave, Annette and Andy – it was great to have you on the RC it was clear that you got the spirit of this event and were glad you had fun helping us out.
Shumar: You nut. Thanks for dressing up like an Evil Octopus and throwing yourself in the water to get up-close action photographs. Were glad you came out with all your tentacles intact. (Pictures are coming, we’ll share on our OPB-YC Facebook page)
Owners: thanks for letting other people drive your boat, we hope that was as good for you as it was for us!
Zane: After tucking the boats away, Peter, Jasper and I were enjoying a little vino at a local bistro. I was re-capping the song list for the day when a lovely blonde at the next table looks over and says “I’m down with OPP”. Before Jasper could ask her weight, and while her date was blushing horribly, I clarified “OPB”.
We got a lot of positive feedback on the race too. One said he thought it was the best regatta of the year. We’ll take that. Another said he’ll certainly crew again unless he gets his own J24 first. We’ll take that too. We’re stoked to get so much positive feedback. We’re also seriously considering either moving this regatta to Alameda next year or doing an additional one in the estuary there. Shorts, T-shirts, you get the picture.
Yes it’s the annual Crew You regatta. We have a few crew who are still looking for boats. So let us know if you’re short.
Also remember to actually sign up either by paypal or with an email. The link for the SI’s etc is here:
Here’s a visual reminder:
We solicited a few of the fleet skippers for their recaps and reports of the terrific and fun Small Keelboat Series, hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club. Don’t miss the video from Randall showing not only the excellent conditions, but a special guest appearance by Dean Don!
Alex and Craig from Fly By Night:
“The 3rd and final day of the San Francisco Yacht Club Small Keelboat Series was held in the Berkeley Circle on June 28th. Warm weather and mild wind combined to create ideal sailing conditions, which gave the sailors the luxury to focus more on tactics and less on survival! Six J-24s participated including Woof, Flight, Downtown Uproar, Rail to Rail, Shut Up and Drive and Fly By Night. The race committee overcame engine woes before setting and then resetting the course following a big west shift. Race 1 saw Rail to Rail, Downtown, and Shut Up pull away from the fleet while Flight and Fly By Night found themselves in a tight match race on the final downwind. Rail to Rail got the win, followed closely by Downtown Uproar and Shut Up and Drive. Between races the wind started to build, prompting several boats to switch down to a jib, but the wind soon lightened and these boats were left underpowered. Woof capitalized on a south shift and moved up to fourth place before just being edged in a dramatic finish. It was all genoas for the third race. Rail to Rail avoided the crowd with a great start at the pin on the way to their third bullet of the day. Fly By Night battled it out with Downtown Uproar for second place, with Fly By Night slipping ahead after a tight leeward rounding. Once the racing was through, four teams met up at the gorgeous SFYC. The friendly staff there welcomed us and provided complimentary ice-cold Trumer, which we all enjoyed on the patio with a breathtaking view. The consistency of Downtown gave them the overall win, with Fly By Night in second and Rail to Rail overcoming a trio of DNCs on the first day with a near-perfect 7 points through the next 6 races to come in third. The well-run regatta was a big success for the resurgent J-24 fleet. On behalf of the entire fleet, we want to extend a big thanks to the race committee and SFYC for hosting the event.”
Darren from Downtown Uproar:
“A better Summer day for racing on the Bay, I can not conceive of. Cloudless skies, no fog, and south by southwesterlies never really making it to the 18 kts. mark. An organized and communicative race committee, great competition, what more could one ask for? This was the scenario for our final set of races in the SFYC series of three.
We went into the day one point behind Alex and “Fly by Night”, so our focus would mainly be on them. Though it would have been nice to take one or two away from Rich and “Rail to Rail’s” near monopoly on firsts. Was a little bit late on the first start, but still on top of a lot of boats, “Rail to Rail” in contact, but out in front. Stayed on their tail the majority of the race. We separate some from the others, but could not find the speed (or angle) to get past R2R.
Race 2, saw some boats changing down to blades, but we were not seeing Karl at the Gate, so thinking the weird (for this time of year) southerlies were mitigating the big blow. We spun up one setting on the shrouds. Shadowed by R2R into the start by the committee boat. But, got an opening, pulling the trigger a little late again, put over a good portion of the fleet. Saw some boats stuck in a “second row” start. R2R out in front with a great start again. Val and “Shut up and Drive” made a tight cross on us. Maybe the pin was favored? Though the left paid off for us, and we stretched out a little, though out of striking distance on R2R. One above base felt a little slow here.
Final race, starting to feel a little more pressure, but the genoa still manageable. Again shadowed by R2R on the prestart. But, they peel off to start down the line. Hit this one pretty good, but on the first tack R2R is well ahead. Thinking we missed the shift here, and the pin-favor? FbN goes all the way out to the port layline, and are able to round inside of us (overstood). Good drag race downwind, we have the inside. Big shift from the South at the leeward side of the coarse. Slightly late and sloppy douse / gybe, and again FbN slip inside the open door. Try and split with them, but they are dialed in and sailing fast, extending by a couple boat lengths.
We sailed to SFYC for a round of mai tais on the deck, and socializing. Sunny and beautiful as usual. Great reach home around the Island on the settled in southwesterly. ”
Randall from Flight:
“The Battle of Red and Blue
Some might have thought Alex and I had planned to be Fourth of July patriots for day 3 of the SFYC Small Keelboat Fleet Regatta. To go with our similar names, both Flight and Fly by Night had identical red and blue spinnakers to go with our white boats. The truth goes a bit farther back in Fleet 17 history. Don Taylor always had red and blue spinnakers on On Belay and years ago Don gave one of his old kites to Val, last year Val gave it to Alex. With the forecast of 30 knots for the regatta Saturday, I decided to bring out the old double stitched red and blue kite which I inherited from Don when I bought On Belay and renamed it Flight 4 years ago. To add to the coincidence, Don Taylor was back trimming his old red and blue kite on Flight Saturday.
In the last downwind of the first race Saturday, Flight and Fly By Night ended up in the battle of the Red and Blue Kites. We had held Fly By Night off for the first 3 legs of the race and rounding the upwind mark for the last time, Flight was still several boat lengths ahead. The guy tripped out of the end of our pole just after the set and by the time that was fixed and we jibed over onto port, Fly By Night was pulling even to the left of us. We tried to push him up but was too far away, so we just went for speed. Alex responded by jibing over to starboard, so we jibed over to avoid fouling him. Now the windward boat, we were able to pull forward, and came within 6 inches of breaking overlap, but no matter what we did we could not pull forward those extra inches to get rights ahead. Soon it became apparent we were heading to lay line for proper course to the finish mark and we both jibed back to port. Being inside, Fly By Night had now pulled ahead and finishing a couple boat lengths ahead. Here is the video from our stern pulpit:
In the overall results of the regatta, Downtown Uproar took first overall with their usual consistent great sailing each day of the regatta. Alex was just a few points behind in second, and Rail to Rail was third after missing the first day of racing and getting all bullets but one in all of the races they sailed. Val took fourth on Shut Up and Drive. A broken rudder gudgeon causing SUAD’s retirement (and much excitement) in second race of Day 1 was the major contributing factor there. Evil Octopus moved down to sixth overall giving us fifth, since they were in Long Beach this weekend representing Fleet 17 in the J24 Western Regionals. With heavy air and light crew Woof doggedly stayed in the hunt, several times showing great boat speed.”