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The herd mills around at the start in front of onshore spectators. ©2012 norcalsailing.com
Bullship on the Loose
April 17, 2012
The 59th annual Gran Concurso Barca Toro (Bullship to you and me) is in the books, and although it was a beautiful morning on San Francisco Bay only three boats were able to finish. This slow stampede from Sausalito to San Francisco is always challenging and different, and to win you must have a lot of luck and skill.
At the start off of Sausalito YC the wind was looking light, but as the boats headed out a strong ebb built and the fickle winds on the righthand side of the course caused the majority of the fleet to get flushed out under the Golden Gate Bridge. On the left side, Chris Straub, John Amen and James Savattone found enough wind and finished one-two-three at the Golden Gate YC.
Savattone even braved the elements in a "sinker" wooden boat with no flotation.
And what about the others heading out the Gate? The tireless Cowship captains herded them up and towed them across a 6-ft swell back to shore against the strong ebb.
For more, see www.eltoroyra.org.