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Dan Woolery's King 40 Soozal was leading the five-boat IRC B division going into the second day of racing. ©2012 norcalsailing.com
One Day Down, Three To Go
September 7, 2012
In the very first day of racing in St. Francis YC's Rolex Big Boat Series, the new multihull division was down by two boats. Bill Erkelens' D-Class Cat Adrenaline hasn't been here at all – the boat developed a crack just before last Saturday's Jazz Cup.
Then, during the first race yesterday, Bill Turpin's D-Class cat Rocket 88 suffered a similar fate. A crack in her portside hull, forward of the crossbeam, stretched from outside the deck across the deck to about three inches above the keel joint. When asked about the fate of the cat, which set many local race records, tactician Ian Klitza joked, "She's headed for the wood chipper." Serge Pond, the builder, has been caring for the boat, replacing parts as needed, and was on the Protector yesterday. He philosophized, "It's an exotic child who got its foot bent." When asked what caused the crack, Ian joked some more: "It was a really big wave. I think we hit a whale." The good news: only half the boat is broken!
When asked what was the toughest part of the day on the SL33 catamaran BridgeRunner, Jonny Goldsberry responded: "Trying to avoid the J/105s was interesting. In the first race, we broke the jib blocks, so we sailed on main only, and that hurt us. And, unfortunately, we forgot lunch."
"It's tough. It's not a Hobie 16," said fellow crewmember Ian Andrewes. "The loads are insane. You could die out there." The young sailors, including Mikey Radziejowski of UC Santa Cruz, are part of the American Youth Sailing Force and are using the SL33 to train for the Youth America's Cup. This was their first day on the boat together as a crew. "There's constant boat work with the high loads," said Ian. "We're talking about boat handling and crew movement."
"We wondered if we could sail on the Cityfront in the summer," said skipper Urs Rothacher. "We're almost there. We made it around the course. We were going pretty fast before the jib blocks blew up." Even in the second race they didn't use the jib the whole time – it was too windy.
The J/125 Double Trouble took two bullets in the first two races in IRC C. "We had a great team, with Jeff Madrigali as tactician," said owner Peter Krueger. Peter partly attributes the win to weight on the rail and good hiking. "It's seconds. I learned that from Madro. There aren't enough J/125s for our own class, but that's our competition. The Farr 400 was fast upwind, but the three Js smoked downwind. Unfortunately there's only 16 of them. Three are here. They're all carbon – very light. We made a few mistakes – tomorrow we'll be sharper. The key for me is focusing for four hours. We averaged about 12 knots, but we saw 17 knots." That's boatspeed, not windspeed. They got that 17 in 12 knots of breeze. Pete Rowland commented on a tacking duel with sistership Resolute. "Crew work pulled us out."
The boat just got back from Hawaii a week ago. Peter's boat partner Andy Costello had sailed her in the Pacific Cup. Andy's not on the boat for Rolex Big Boat Series – that's Peter's job. Andy handles the offshore racing.
Richard Ferris, the skipper of sistership August Ice told the crew, "This boat is never leaving Tahoe." But this is their third RBBS. "We talked him into coming here." Rob Duncan, the boat manager, said the wind built throughout the day and the boat struggled upwind. "We're trying to figure out the cause. Resolute sat on us all day."
Resolute's crew felt they sailed really well. "The breeze was on," said skipper Tim Fuller. "We're from San Diego. We learn something about the breeze every time we come here. We adjust the rig for this regatta. We use sails we never use down there." Resolute is in second place in IRC C, with August Ice in third. The same six boats are being scored separately in the High Performance Rule division, and the different rule shows different results, putting the Farr 400 Rock & Roll in third. The 1D35 Alpha Puppy is in last place in HPR, but in fourth in IRC C.
Deb Fehr of the J/105 Juju said, "We had almost a perfect rounding. We had the layline, then another boat snagged the mark and moved it so then we weren't on the layline anymore!" Fellow crewmember Cindy Chong looked forward to today's racing. "I hope for the same weather, but no buoy moving."
The RP 44 Tai Kuai (Too Fast in Chinese) was the boat that caught the errant mark, which they believe was off station. As a result, they dropped out of the second race.
The Cal Maritime Academy crew of Recidivist are using the Schumacher 39 for a training platform. They're headed to Annapolis to race against the U.S. Naval Academy in a Navy 44 for the Shields Trophy on September 15-16.
Controversy was fomenting in the seven-boat Express 37 fleet yesterday, as two boats, Blade Runner and Golden Moon, were protested by Stewball and Expeditious respectively. Blade Runner took an RAF (Retired After Finish). Kame Richards went to the protest room for Golden Moon. The international jury found that GM sailed between an orange limiting buoy set off Pier 39 and the closest point ashore. After sailing between the two points, they "sailed back between the two points and passed outside the buoy." Golden Moon was thus disqualified in Race 2.
The first of two races on Friday is underway as we write this, on flat water, with flooding current, sunny skies and a fresh westerly. For much more, including live streaming video with commentary, see www.rolexbigboatseries.com.