Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kings of the Bay - Aaron Ross

Editor's Note - Read up and learn about the venue for the 2012 NA's.

Nine teams turned out last weekend for the Kings of the Bay Regatta, hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club in beautiful Belvedere, California. Saturday's racing was held on Southampton Shoals, which is a little to the north of the Berkeley Circle. Being in the lee of Angel Island, there's a little less breeze and a fair bit less chop. This course can also be shiftedto get just the right amount of breeze. The race committee nailed the location, and we had 3 perfect races in 15-18+. Race 1 was a triangle sausage, 2 and 3 were sausage triangle sausages. All the races were gate starts and downwind finishes, so racing time was maximized. The longer courses were only 35 minutes long, so even though there was a lot of corner banging, there was no time to get bored. Mike and Carl won the day with a 1,1,1. Howard and Andy scored a 2,2,2, Jeff and Pat a 3,3,3. Ted with Steve Kleha got a 4,4,4, and Aaron and Rob recorded a 5,5,5. Tim and Garth got a 6,7,6, with Geoff and Reeve breaking the trend with a 6 in race 2. While preparing to be the pathfinder for race 3, Geoff decided now would be a good time to break a rudder gudgeon.

Back on shore, the club wheeled out a dock cart full of beer on ice and a barbecue with all the trimmings. A comprehensive debrief followed.

Since the 2012 North Americans will be at SFYC, the fleet and the race committee took the opportunity to try a new race course on Sunday. We sailed the Knox course, very close to the club between Angel Island and the Marin headlands. With 8-14 knots of breeze, 4 knots of current and geographically shifty breeze, the results were not a repeat of Saturday. Jeff and Pat won the day with a 1,3,2. Howard and Andy would have won the day, but they were outsmarted and outmaneuvered at the finish of race 4 by the incredibly handsome team of Aaron and Rob. Mike and Carl scored a 2,2,3, enough to hold onto the regatta win. There was much place changing between fourth and seventh in each race. So even though the conditions were not as exciting as Saturday, there was never a dull moment.

Back on shore, the club wheeled out another cart full of beer and presented trophies, engraved hot toddy sized thermoses for the top three helms and crews.

A big thank you is due to the San Francisco Yacht Club staff and volunteers, including the local 505 team of Mark Dowdy and Jason Bright. You can always count on the club to put on a great regatta with excellent on shore facilities, race management and logistics. Plus it's always sunny and warm on the club's deck, it's the best place to be after a day on the Bay. God would live in Belvedere if he could afford it. The 2012 North Americans at SFYC is a regatta not to be missed. And unlike the Saint Francis, you can leave your hat on...


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