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Crowd of bulls
The herd mills around at the start in front of onshore spectators. ©2012

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.

Off the line
The scenic start off Sausalito's shoreline. ©2012

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.

Chris Straub
Two time winner Chris Straub shows off the first place trophy and good-as-cash West Marine debit card. ©2012 Seymour Dodds

Savattone even braved the elements in a "sinker" wooden boat with no flotation.

Jim Savattone was the fastest woody sailor. ©2012 Seymour Dodds

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.

Under two
Rounding up the mavericks. With the big ebb boat rescue became top priority. ©2012

For more, see

Vaughn Seifers
Cowherd Vaughn Seifers shows off his trophy. He was able to tow seven El Toros at once to the safety of GGYC. ©2012 Seymour Dodds

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