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Libra was the lonely only Express 27 on Saturday. Arcadia is in the background. ©2011

YRA Season Closer

September 26, 2011

Any time you have enough wind to get around the course at the YRA Season Closer it's been a good weekend. And this weekend's races hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club saw a mix of plenty of wind on Saturday (maybe too much for some) and just enough on Sunday to make it back to the club (but with the first fall rain).

Mintaka4 and Ay CalienteGerry Brown's Farr 38 Mintaka4 and Aaron Kennedy's Beneteau First 36.7 Ay Caliente, two Farr designs, main to main at the start on Saturday. Mintaka4 would win the pursuit race on Sunday. ©2011

On Saturday the fast boats received the longest course possible with a tour of the islands: Alcatraz first then Angel and around Red Rock. Usually this course means a no wind zone at the back of Angel Island and at Red Rock but with the morning breeze already building the confident race committee sent them off on a 21-nm romp. The slightly slower and speed challenged boats were sent on a shorter (16 nm) course around Blackaller buoy and Alcatraz. Apparently the RC wanted the slow guys to get back in time for dinner too. Most boats got back in time for a late lunch with everyone back at the dock before 1500 hours. With 20+ knots of wind and the right currents the boats blazed around the Bay.

Red Rock
The Express 37 Stewball on a rip-roaring beat down the blustery North Bay after rounding Red Rock. ©2011 Erik Simonson/

But it took a lot of work from some of the crews to get around the course. "We were the only boat in the SF30 division to show up," remarked George Ellison of the Schumacher 30 Shameless. "I thought we were going to take it easy but everybody was calling for sail changes up and down and trying to go as fast as possible. Maybe we should have just relaxed a bit more." Sometimes it's hard to slow down after a long summer of racing.

Life Is Good
Living the good life in Tiburon aboard the Wyliecat 30 Life Is Good. ©2011

Sunday brought rain and light wind to the race, which is a pursuit around both Angel and Alcatraz Islands in the form of a figure eight. The choice of direction is up to you. 99% of the boats went for Alcatraz first, and, like on Saturday, the wind hole that usually sits behind Angel Island wasn't there. In fact the boats that stayed close to shore made the right move and scooted into Raccoon Strait and onward to the finish first. And like Saturday all the boats got in early and got back home in record time, leaving CYC looking like a ghost town by 1800 hours.

Complete results from each day are available at Not all YRA racing is done for the season. Next up is the OYRA's Lightship II next Saturday, October 1, which completes the ocean racing season.

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