Archive for the ‘Regattas’ Category

OPB-YC 2nd Annual Crew You Regatta – “I’m down with OPB…”

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

DSC_3643

Pictures
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.

Long Beach Race Week – Western Regionals- June 28/29

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Evil Octopus made the road trip to Long Beach for the famous LBRW regatta which happened to be our western regionals this year.

Started off with a bang (aka bullet minus 1) and then whimper, moan, grunt and whimper.
Great venue, but tricky to read the light and shifty winds.
Great team, but first time really racing in these positions together.
Big road trip, made more exciting when the trailer came detached 100 yds short of the freeway.
And stiff Mt Gay cocktails, but not free.

No excuses though, Evil Octopus is getting ready for Nationals in May. And many of these top tier boats are planning to be there. We were glad to have gotten a chance to cut our teeth some more.

Here’s a vid of the Saturday night post party scene..

We vote to move the J/24 Spring One Design race to Puerto Vallarta!

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Tuesday marks the beginning of the Regatta Copa Mexico and the J/24 North Americans in Puerto Vallarta. The San Francisco Fleet 17 has 5 boat owners down here; fielding two teams

Photo Apr 01, 11 27 10 AM

Our absence resulted in not enough boats on the line for last week’s Spring One Design at the St. Francis. But we’d to suggest to our fleet that we just move our Spring One Design to Banderas Bay every other year.
This is what makes J/24 One Design sailing so awesome. We can travel internationally and step onto a boat that is basically the same from Japan to Jamaica (although usually the rentals require a day of fixing up before racing). It’s affordable to sail, and these international races attract the top racers in our class. How often do you get to jockey at the start with top European (yes, see the speedo in background), Brazilian, East Coast, and Mexican talent?
Sailing One Design in Banderas Bay is hard to beat. The Copa Mexico race organizers and sponsors pull off great parties every night, the wind goes on at 1pm and off at 5:30, and we are sailing in shorts.
It’s only a four hour flight from SF to PV. And did we mention sailing in shorts?

Regatta Announcement

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Inaugural Regatta COLOR

TMC District 20 Championships

Monday, August 15th, 2011

The 2011 TMC District 20 Championships, held August 6 and 7th, resulted in a terrific J/24 boat turn-out, with boats traveling to SF bay from as far away as Southern California and Seattle. The hosting Yacht Club, Berkeley YC, was accommodating as always, providing facilities as well as on-the-water support for PRO, Travis Lund, who sent the fleet off on 7 races – 4 Saturday and 3 Sunday.

The weekend began on an unfortunate note when, during BYC’s Friday Night Beercan, Seattle competitor Hot Pursuit was involved in a boat to boat collision with Downtown Uproar and sustained severe damage. None of the crew were injured, but the accident left the Argentina-bound team unable to compete – a serious let-down for all after the trip and preparations.

SF is a busy bay, and thanks to the presence of other weekend races, on Saturday the RC set the course up close to shore north of the Berkeley Pier. Conditions were on the mild side of the typical SF summer pattern, with all boats starting off with the genoa, but changing down before the second race as the wind started to build. While the standard hold-onto-your hats fill didn’t materialize before the end of the day, the start / leeward gate end of the course was situated in a location where the wind occasionally shifted to the south, making for interesting starts, downwind legs, and finishes.

The wind was however strong enough to cause some equipment damage – Lynch’s Badfish sustained a broken boom early in the day, but managed to find and install a replacement in time to race on Sunday. The last race of the day involved a wandering leeward gate mark and a left shift that resulted in a lot of position changes and some really terrific, competitive sailing. Remember, when looking for the favored end of the line, to be sure that the mark isn’t drifting!

Saturday’s participation was superbly rewarded as Chef Lulu once again graced us with her award-winning paella. Surely there can be no greater compliment to a chef than a dining room full of sailors who are too busy eating to talk (well, talk much)! The party was kept going both by superb entertainment and wine (Berryessa Gap returning once again for a welcome appearance), and BYC’s terrific hospitality capped the whole thing off. We were welcomed back at the dock by our inimitable and very tan district governor Jasper, who had just returned from racing the TransPac and boat return, and fleet racer Robin, who met up with Jasper and crew in Hawaii to assist with the return. I’m sure their regular boats are delighted to have them back!

The weather broke even more from the pattern on Sunday, with overcast conditions and oscillating breeze that may not have ever reached 15kt. Big shifts led once again to very dynamic racing conditions and place changes, with the bottom of the course once again seeing a southerly shift that made those starts and roundings interesting. We’re always happy when we can provide lighter air days for our SoCal friends. :)

For the weekend, TMC convincingly won first – congratulations again on a stellar performance! On Belay came in second, and there was a fiercely fought battle for third between Shut up and Drive, Take Five, and Downtown Uproar which ended up with DtUr narrowly squeaking ahead of Take Five by a single point to take third. Results are posted here and the full photo album is here.

Thanks once again to everyone who participated for raising the bar yet again with excellent competition and excellent company. I hope we get to see everyone again next year, if not well before that!

I have certainly missed recounting some of the happenings, so please email or comment and I’ll add them!

Elite Keel Wrap

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Elite Keel 2011 was a roaring success. We were not plagued by the usual nuclear summer pattern….. yet. Nor did we get the rain and thunder that was predicted. As someone put it: “It did not blow snot in the slot.” Hmm.. Instead we got 10-15 knots from the SW with relatively flat water. What a treat.
On Saturday we all got schooled by the OCSC team a.k.a Rail to Rail. We were all wondering whether they had some kind of special weather guru and were hitting all the shifts and currents perfectly. But post race discussion made it clear their genius was very simple: Clean starts, clean air, clean manoeuvres. Duh.
The good ship Woof proved once again that the key to a great weekend is simply showing up. Sadly we missed Cry Havoc this time. Shut Up and Drive was also absent, though the crew wasn’t. They were all crewing on other boats. Spying I’m sure. Another spy/guest was Stephen Gonzalez who usually races his lovingly restored J24 in Stockton. He reminds us that the Delta Ditch run is coming up. Who’s in?
A welcome new crew showed up with an old friend. Formerly Vitamin J, Formerly Casual Contact is now Badfish. It is sailed by Raymoondo Lynch and his buddies from the Maritime Academy. They’re young, they’re stoked, they’re all dingy sailors and they’re fast. They’ll be a force to look out for. Amazingly they also proved you don’t have to wait ‘til after the race to open a beer and still do well. Beer, the new recovery drink???
As we expected earlier in the season, the racing is very close this year. There were some great starts followed by some looong drag racing on the first beat. It is taking ever longer for anybody to get a nose out and or tack away.
The last upwind leg on Sunday was the epitome of close racing. The left side had been working all day. But the previous leg had proven that the waves were getting too big on the left, so this time everybody went right. But with the big ebb it was very risky to get anywhere near the corner for fear of over standing the layline. So the lead boat (TMC) would go right until they were able to tack on top of their closest competitor (R2R) forcing the latter to tack away to the right. R2R would then keep going until they could tack on top of the next boat (On Belay) and so it would domino all the way down the line. This process was repeated at least five times on the way up as we inched closer to the layline. It must have been hell on the trimmers.
We all have some weeks off to lick our wounds and get some practice in. Let’s come out strong for the NOODS.

Vallejo Wrapped

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

The Great Vallejo Race is truly one of the all time great sailing events and parties of the bay area. This year it was extremely difficult due to very light winds and strong currents. Over 200 boats registered, but less than 50 finished on Saturday. Sunday was no picnic either, although we had plenty of time to do that too. Here’s the blow by blow of the race where the wind just didn’t blow. We had four J24s on the line so we shared the starts with some other boats.

Saturday: After a last minute 90 degree wind shift Val and his crew got the best first leg. They footed off directly towards the rounding mark while the rest of us were still in automaton/point mode. The wind, such as it was, was mainly from the north so the usual lovely spinnaker run up San Pablo Bay was not to be. Many boats got stuck at Red Rock, one of the narrow stretches with consequently strong currents. Many also risked their hull by going inside the restricted area around Castro Rock. The next hurdle was the Richmond Bridge. We had to make about 6 tacks between two towers of the bridge but finally we got through. Others got caught in just a slightly different wind gap and spent hours there. After that there was an extremely funny Charlie Foxtrot at the piers off Pt Molate. One boat was stuck in the mud. Other boats were short tacking along the pier. Many oaths were flung. We stayed away from that melee, but it still took about two hours of tacking back and forth before we finally tossed out the anchor. At that point, many other boats had dropped their jibs and engaged their engines. Being on a J24 that was not really an option. What was especially frustrating was that you could see a nice breeze just a quarter mile ahead in San Pablo Bay past the Brothers. Eventually a little puff of wind allowed us to weigh anchor and move up the course. The lead had changed a few times already and would do so at least two more times. When we finally got through the spinnaker run was off-wind and an absolute blast. What a relief after all that light wind stuff. Once we entered the Mare Island channel the wind shut down again. Another mile or so of praying for puffs and at last the finish where TMC kept their focus and was able to pick off On Belay by 11 seconds. Seven and a half hours to complete 21 miles. Ouch. That night I heard so many similar stories. Many lead changes, anchors, being stuck in mud etc. etc. But the party at Vallejo was excellent. It was the best chance to catch up with sailing buddies and make new friends too.

Sunday: The race back was absolutely gorgeous. This is what it must be like for those lake sailors in the rest of the world. Nice warm breezes, sailing in t-shirts and shorts. We never get that in San Francisco. Our boat was able to short tack against the current on the left side of the channel. We were probably boat number ten out of the river. However TMC and Downtown were the heroes of the day. They were the first boats out into the bay. And for a long time they were the only ones to make it out. They stayed on the right hand side out of the current and just kept battling the flukey wind. This was quite a feat. Looking back up the river we could see the entire fleet of 200 plus boats stuck in a massive wind hole. Apparently more than thirty of them had dropped anchor and of course that was the moment the Vallejo ferry decided to show up. I’m sure that was the reason I saw so many red flags flying off the sterns of finishing boats.

Speaking of red flags, we learned a valuable rules lesson on Sunday. At the start there wasn’t the usual RC boat on the starboard side of an upwind start. The Race Committee was on shore on the left side with a pin on the right and the wind coming from the right too. We were on starboard tack on the layline for the right hand side pin. But another boat came in on our right. We called “leeward-boat” a few times but they refused to budge. Then the starting gun went off and our skipper decided not to push the issue. Probably a good call since the windward boat was rather big and couldn’t really move as quickly as us. But still, we ended up in their foul air and the other starters below us walked away. The team discussion afterwards revolved around the question of whether the starting pin was a regular mark and whether they had “inside” room rights. They didn’t (see Preamble to Section C of the RRS). Also we wondered if, after the starting gun, we had to go straight at the line instead of at the pin (Rule 17). We didn’t. Overlap was not established from clear astern and also ‘proper course’ is too subjective at the starting line. Lesson learned: When you can anticipate a different type of start than usual read the rules and know ‘em. Lesson two: Stay away from marshmallows.
Next up: Elite Keel. Woohooo.

J FEST

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
One of the best parts of a St. Francis regatta is coming together like this

Another exiting weekend is over. After the first day of racing there was a three way tie for first place. As ‘Big’ Mike said it is an indication of how the rest of the season is going to play out. Bring it…..We also were graced with the presence of a new J24 on the scene. Cry Havoc was a positive competitor and we hope to see them come out again. I’m sure we all want to offer them any assistance we can.
On Saturday we had ‘happy zone’ weather for the first race and then the wind picked up to about as strong as we’ve ever seen it. I’m sure it was in the low thirties at times. However the currents were the big handicap all weekend. Rivers of flood mixing with big blobs of ebb and switching back and forth rather randomly. On Belay was OCS and Shut Up & Drive was late at the first start leaving the fighting between TMC, Woof, Downtown and Little Wing for the first upwind. The extreme right paid off for Shut Up however and they were back in the race. Little Wing was in the middle for a while but opted out toward the extreme left. That also paid off massively. The fight for the next three legs was between TMC and Little Wing, while Downtown whistled joyfully to a first place finish. There was also an epic battle between Shut Up and On Belay which was settled by a nasty J105 blanketing the former. A little mishap on Little Wing even let the two stragglers in for a third and fourth place.
On the second race we had all switched into survival mode. Head sails changed, hatches shut (well most them), rigs cranked down. There was a nasty port starboard bump at the start. Most likely due to a vang not being eased on time. We’ve all been there. Both in the giving and the receiving role. So our sympathies go out to both crews. Thankfully there was no personal damage. But Little Wing (now named Broken Wing by SA and Little Rolex by moi) has a nasty gash that will need some repairing. The second race was won resoundingly by On Belay. They found a relatively nice piece of ebb and were able to control the spinnaker well on the downwind.
We were all relieved when the RC decided to call it a day and point us to the barn.
On Sunday we still had the roller coaster currents, but the wind was back in the ‘happy zone’ and was relatively predictable. It was very tight at the top end. On Belay, TMC, Downtown and Shut Up were close together on the first rounding. At the leeward gate TMC went for a starboard rounding and On Belay for Port. It put TMC on the inside of the mid course left shift and also in some better current. TMC was in the lead and never let it go.
The start of the last race was now a match race situation between TMC and On Belay. It was fun to see the cat and mouse game at the starting line. TMC made no mistakes and covered covered covered until On Belay started making desperately crazy decisions. At which point Shut Up and Drive again made hay. They were finding the right currents and sailing clean and fast. Their second place was well deserved. Nice going Val.
The best laugh of the weekend was when the prizes were being handed out. The look on Lulu’s face was priceless when it was announced that third place in the J24 goes to TMC-Racing……..what? wait just a cotton pickin’ second…….. oops my apologies…. third place to Downtown Uproar…..Yay Darren!
Results

Spring Keel

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Spring sailing at the San Francisco city front is always a challenge. Relatively light winds (for us) and majorly big currents (thank you snow melt) make for unusual courses and precarious reaches. The J24’s were lucky in that we were able to finish all four races. Some of the other fleets were not so fortunate. Hats off to the St. Francis race committee for being able to get all the races off with square lines.
It was exciting to see the familiar J24 crews coming out to play. Little Wing is back from sabbatical and made a splash, applying for both the wanker of the year award as well as the sportsmanship award. They called a foul on themselves for cannonballing their crew around a little too much. Welcome back guys and ladies.
The first start on Saturday was the closest. The video shows us all nicely lined up. Unfortunately triple threat Woof had to do a triple start due to a horrendous current pushing them OCS by inches. The windward mark saw the fleet rounding very close together. The starboard rounding threw off the crew of On Belay and so the rest of the fleet was able to squeeze in front. The first leeward rounding was close again. Downtown Uproar made a brilliant shoot to windward followed by a slam dunk tack to close the door on On Belay. The finishing leg saw a few lead changes due to wind shifts and some sloppy tacks and the finish was very close indeed.
The second race was a barrel of laughs. Little Wing was not prepared for a port rounding and was stuck waiting for two boats to pass them so they could gybe and set the chute. The conversation went somthing like this: “Sorry, I’m not trying to be a jerk, I just need to get over there” “Please feel free to take our transom” was the reply from one boat, “get outta the way” from the other. Meanwhile Downtown Uproar headed downtown and never gave up the lead. Shut Up and Drive was sporting their secret weapon for this regatta: Ned “the professor” Walker as tactician. For a guy who’s moved his boat to the cape he’s having an awfully big impact on the J24 fleet. Post race it was declared that the professor as tactician barks at the driver, and then when he takes the helm himself he still barks at the driver. Equal opportunity barker.
The funniest part of the weekend was that only one boat realized that the course had been shortened and we had been finished at the leeward gate. So the epic upwind battle ended up in the vicinity of the windward mark with boats looking around desperately for a finish line. Unwilling to give up and go home we almost went out the Golden Gate in search of a finish.
Mystery Boat “Red Stripe” remained a mystery the entire weekend but it was agreed we all approve of the boat name. So they’re winners in our book.
The rain came down on Sunday and a Southeasterly puffy flukey wind came with it. For those of us who mustered the energy/were crazy enough to come out it was a very frustrating day. Lots of wind holes to get stuck in which meant getting flushed out to the ocean. On Belay had thrown tons of cash at the problem and was sporting brand new sails. It certainly gave them the edge on the day.
Looking forward to a fun season. Thanks for coming out to play.
Results, until we get this website working correctly, are here.

Spring Keel video link

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Spring Keel Start 2011
Oh to be a fly on the wall…..Well here was the best start of the weekend.