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Saturday's run from Blackaller to Southampton, via Pt. Blunt. ©2012 norcalsailing.com
SSS Corinthian Race
April 8, 2012
Just because it's a holiday doesn't mean the race won't be a success. The Singlehanded Sailing Society boldly booked Easter weekend (and Passover) for this year's Corinthian Race and 130 boats showed up to race in light and very light winds. Add a four-knot flood and you would think it would be a recipe for disaster. Yes, a lot of boats did not finish, but many others never stopped moving and finished in the mid or late afternoon.
The course is the always interesting: a Bay tour from the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, across to the Cityfront, down to Shouthampton Shoals and back to finish at the Corinthian, while having to round Little Harding as a first mark and the last mark. This course usually offers plenty of passing lanes, and this year there was more passing and being passed then ever before. From the start the game plan for the whole day was to stay out of foul current and stay in what wind there was. All the fleets seemed to get across the Bay just fine. With the big flood, getting down to Shouthampton from Blackaller was a piece of Easter cake.
Then the decision of which way to go back to Little Harding mixed everybody up with half the boats going up Raccoon Strait and half going around Angel Island in search of more wind. (It seems like a longer beat to go around Angel but the big secret is it's actually the same distance.) For some, going around the island paid off, for others Raccoon worked. It all depended on how fast your boat was. And that was the heartbreaking part of the story, because if you were in a speed-challenged boat the tide turned to an ebb and the wind softened even more before the finish. Some boats who sailed the whole 18 miles were stymied in the last half mile and couldn't make it back to CYC against that ebb.
Jeff Dunnavant (who recently sold his own Baltic 42dp True North) and Alicia Yballa borrowed Bob Bloom's J/35 Jarlen and raced in the non-spinnaker division, which started first. After the start, Jarlen sailed all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. The North Tower was the only place they found wind. "It was a roaring flood," said Jeff. The wind filled in at Blossom Rock. They had a close reach to Blackaller, and were the third boat to round it. From there, they had a broad reach to Pt. Blunt, where the wind shut down again. The current carried them to a cold northwesterly behind Angel Island, and they were able to lay Southampton. Darren Doud and Chris Lewis on the Corsair 31R Roshambo finished first, Dan Alvarez and Andrew Hura on the JS9000 JetStream finished second, and Jarlen finished third. "The wind died behind us," said Jeff.
JetStream corrected out to first overall doublehanded. The first singlehander overall on corrected time was Greg Nelsen's Azzura 310 Outsider. Complete results are online at www.sfbaysss.org. Come cheer for the podium finishers on April 18 at Oakland YC.