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Sportboat start
The Sportboat start of the Vallejo 2 at VYC in a northerly breeze. ©2011 Evelyn Ivey/

SSS Vallejo 2

October 17, 2011

On Saturday, 63 singlehanders raced from the Berkeley Circle to Vallejo YC, with a start off Richmond YC's race committee trawler, Pelican, and a temporary mark set in place of the still-missing GOC (see our report from Saturday). At Vallejo, they picked up crew and raced back on Sunday doublehanded.

Kristen and her black cat
This as-yet-unnamed black cat raced with Rob Macfarlane aboard the Nelson/Marek 45 Tiger Beetle on Saturday, while Sunday's crew, Kristen Sotebier, helped the race committee. On Sunday all three raced back together. ©2011

They got to Vallejo so early, so they had plenty of time to enjoy the hospitality. The race committee put up a slideshow, posted preliminary results, and announced first, second, and third place winners in each division, plus the overall winner of the day, the Cal 20 Can O'Whoopass. Leftover Half Moon Bay 2010 hats were passed out to the second and first place skippers. The racers enjoyed a rather late dinner, an early breakfast the next morning, and then they were off on the race back to Richmond YC.

Pat and Jennifer at VYC
Hanging out at Vallejo YC on Saturday afternoon: Pat Broderick of the Wyliecat 30 Nancy with Laela French and Jennifer McKenna of the Santana 22 Zingaro (which won Non-Spinnaker both days). ©2011 Stephen Buckingham

A strong ebb in the Mare Island Strait made staying on the upriver side of the starting line off the Vallejo YC race deck a challenge, but everyone managed to avoid being over early. Many set their spinnakers for a downwind start, including all in the Sportboat division.

The race finished between the race platform on the RYC breakwater and 'Killer Green', a buoy in the Richmond Channel. A huge ship bracketed by two tugboats, not to mention a bunch of kids sailing El Toros in the Junior Program all afternoon, cluttered up the narrow finishing area, but no incidents were reported.

About the race in between, Bill Erkelens Jr. of Jack Wabbit commented back at RYC, "That was a very civilized yacht race." Jack came in second overall on Sunday and won the Sportboat division. First overall on Sunday was Steve Wonner's Wyliecat 30 Uno.

Jack Wabbit
Dad Bill Erkelens joined son Bill Jr. for the ride back on Sunday. ©2011

Max Crittenden on Solar Wind said, "It was easy getting out of the river. The tide started to change at Pt. Pinole. The flood started there. We were tacking like crazy." Ruth Suzuki on the Nashified Santana 27 Arcadia called it a "Fun trip. It was a really nice day. We had five knots of breeze at the least and 15 at the most." Arcadia won their PHRF division.

The Express 37 Bullet (seen here edging into the med-tie of big boats in front of the clubhouse on Saturday) finished Sunday's race first. ©2011

Mike Maloney's Express 37 Bullet was first to finish on Sunday, at 13:55:58. Jackie Philpott's non-spinnaker Cal 20 Dura Mater came in last, at 17:18:32, more than an hour and forty-five minutes after the penultimate finisher. Fellow Cal 20 Can O'Whoopass hailed them on the VHF and encouraged them: "You're going to make it, you've got an hour and a half until the deadline, keep the pressure on and bring it home. We love you." The race committee ran the air out of their air horn when Jackie and crew Jan Brewer crossed the line.

Complete results are still preliminary but are available at The Vallejo 1-2 is scored as a two-race regatta, which is part of the annual SSS series. Of note: not one boat dropped out on either day, unusual for long races.

Sue Estey, crew on the Wyliecat 30 Dazzler, took some photos before and during racing; see her gallery at

The trophy meeting for the Vallejo 1-2 and the season, plus the annual meeting, will be on Wednesday, October 26, 1930 hours at Oakland YC in Alameda. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

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