home page
race report
Pursuit race rounding Harding Rock
Sunday's pursuit race was a close one. Twenty-six boats, half of them Express 27s, finished in less than a half hour of each other. Here they are at their windward mark. ©2011

Sarcoma Cup

August 28, 2011

After only four years in the running the Sarcoma Cup is looking like a race weekend to match the veteran races here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Comprised of buoy racing on Saturday and a pursuit race on Sunday (or more buoy racing for a couple of one design fleets), the format is familiar but different enough to attract 77 boats this year. Berkeley YC hosted the event for the second year in a row on August 27-28 with lots of on-the-water assistance from Richmond YC.

J/105s at the mark. ©2011 Stephen Buckingham

On Saturday, two courses were set up outside of the Olympic Circle with a mix of PHRF and one design fleets. The usual OD suspects were there, including J/105s, Express 27s and a rapidly growing Open 5.70 fleet, which had 13 boats on the line (three from the Southland and ten from the Bay Area.) This race also counted as their West Coast PCCs, and Michael Gough's Boracic won the new plastic and carbon fiber trophy.

The Rooster and the Maker
The Rooster got third. ©2011

Said Michael, "This was a classic Circle weekend with challenging light conditions in the morning and a great breeze in the afternoon. The ebb meant the waves were steep on the beats but the surfing was great on the runs. Seemed like someone different was in first every time we looked around. Four different boats got bullets in five races. That should give you a good idea of how competitive it was at the front!

"We sailed conservatively and just tried to keep the mistakes to a minimum. The big joke on our boat was how bad I was driving in our jibes. I didn't actually kill either of my crew but they would tell you that wasn't because I didn't try.

Boracic crew
Left to right: The crew of Boracic - Nik Vale, Michael Gough, Tyler Gough - and Sarcoma Cup mastermind Nathalie Criou. ©2011

"I think we stayed in the top half of the fleet every race because of crew work. Nik and Tyler were just awesome. Obviously Nik knows 5.70s as well as anyone on the planet, and although Ty is still pretty new to sailing he kept his wits about him and his grin throughout both days was infectious." Ty is Michael's son.

Hazardous Waste
The hot pink color confuses the shrimp. ©2011 Stephen Buckingham

The conditions on Saturday were a Central Bay carbon copy of most of this summer: foggy until noon and 15 knots of wind building to 25 by 1500.
A quick rundown of all the racing on Saturday goes like this: Close racing by the J/105 and Express 27s top of the pack with the stragglers out behind. Some bad boat and sail handling was seen, as to be expected for the conditions later in the day. The J/105 Blackhawk, owned by Scooter Simmons squeaked ahead of Bruce Stone's Arbitrage by one point and Tom Jenkins' Express 27 Witchy Woman got all bullets to secure the win in Saturdays racing.

Expresses in the pursuit race: the 37 Stewball (which came in fourth) and the 27 Magic Bus. ©2011

Five Wabbits showed up representing the Richmond Wabbit Mafia, and John Gray on Jack, borrowed from Bill Erkelens, showed them who was best. In the PHRF fleet the Schumacher designs won with George Ellison's Schumacher 30 Shameless and Bob Hartford's Express 37 Stewball winning Divisions B and A.

Jack Wabbit at Harding Rock
The Wylie Wabbit Jack rounds Harding Rock. ©2011

Jack Wabbit also won Sunday's pursuit race and the Sarcoma Cup itself in what seemed like perfect sportboat weather; lighter wind for the beat, getting windier for the run. The second boat was the always fast JS9000 Jetstream owned by Dan Alvarez. At the club after the race Jack's crew David Rasmussen, Kelsi Schoenrock and John Gray were happy to have a boat to race, "Thank you Bill," said David. "We rounded Harding Rock in second, then passed the Express 27 El Raton shortly after setting our spinnaker. We rounded the reaching mark first with the JS9000 behind us and catching up fast. Another 15 minutes and they would have passed us."

Jack's crew
Jack's crew: Kelsi Schoenrock, David Rasmussen and driver John Gray, getting a well-deserved massage after the race at Berkeley YC. ©2011

One 29er competed for a new 29er Perpetual Trophy. Robbie Engelhart sailed all five races, even though he didn't have to, to win the trophy.

The lonely only 29er. Maybe next year they'll get some competition. ©2011 Jennifer McKenna

How much money did the Sarcoma Cup raise to Beat Sarcoma? The final numbers aren't in yet, but when they are, we'll report them. The SmugMug photo galleries are complete, featuring photos from Erik Simonson, Sergei Zavarin,, Stephen Buckingham, Nathan Bossett and Nathalie Criou. If you buy photos from any of these galleries, the proceeds benefit Beat Sarcina. Complete results are available at

Motorcycle Irene
Aboard the Express 27 Motorcycle Irene on Saturday. ©2011 Stephen Buckingham

Bookmark and Share

< previous next >