TMC District 20 Championships

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!

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