Monday, March 11, 2013

St. Francis Yacht Club Spring Dinghy - Mike Holt Report

Another well written report here from Mike Holt:

The weekend of March 9/10 saw a large 505 fleet descend on St Francis for the first Northern California event of the year. Conditions looked pretty benign as we rigged, bright sunshine, warm temperatures and no wind, not a breath. AP went up and it looked like we may have a long wait, but soon after the flag went up the breeze filled in. By the time we got out a steady 15 knots was blowing under the Golden Gate and on to the Alcatraz race track.

PRO Tony Chargin and his team set a two lap windward/leeward course and off we went, with a big, no huge ebb tide running underneath us. Jeff and Mike sailing their new ship showed their usual dominant performance while behind the rest of us scraped for what we could get. With the breeze building there were lots of place changes and the onus was on speed and tactics downwind, max breeze and minimum current were the decisions you needed to get right. Lots of teams had their moments but the outcome of the weekend became clear pretty quickly. Jeff and Mike won race 1, from Andy and Howie, Ted Conrads, crewing for me managed to use our slight stature to out run Rob sailing this weekend with Jeff. The pattern stayed the same for the rest of the day although Andy and Howie managed to break Jeff and Mike’s run for a perfect score by winning race 2 and Justin and JB managed to grab a 3rd in race 3. Also going quick were Mathias and Aaron with Rich and Bob keeping CAN well represented.

Sunday started out the same as Saturday, sunny and no breeze and it should have been no surprise that we had a carbon copy on our hands. Today though we spent our time checking out the two very new, very shiny Waterats. Gorgeous pieces of art. Also it appears fast. On queue the breeze filled in and again was up to 15+ by the time racing started. No change and the front, Jeff and Mike winning with Ted and me scrapping 2nd in front of Andy and Howie.

By the second race the wind had ratcheted up a little and the ebb was in full effect. With everyone wanting a committee boat start chaos and a general recall were the inevitable outcome. Once underway a huge course had been set, Jeff and Mike disappearing over the horizon as had the windward mark. Having been sailing for several hours without seeing any sign of the two marks and the boats ahead of us bearing away without rounding a mark, Ted and I came to the conclusion maybe it was a 1 lap race. Almost simultaneously it seemed everyone agreed and bore away and set kites for a very long run back to the finish. Ted and I got there 1st followed by Justin and JB. However debate raged and in first and last place at the end of the discussion were Jeff and Mike who “claimed” to have rounded a rib with some friendly people claiming to be a “mark”. Personally we rounded a seal that barked out a similar statement… As it was it made no difference to the final results.

The final race got underway with a slight reduction in numbers, but no change to the normal finishing positions, which I won’t bore you with here.

So a great start to the season, St Francis living up to their reputation for supplying all the required ingredients, wind, sun, race track and free beer.


1. Jeff Nelson/Mike Martin 9106. 1,2,1,1,1,1
Sailed a great regatta, very fast up and down, completely dominant. Shame the boat isn’t measured and they have to give up the nice Patagonia tops they “won”.

2. Andy Zinn/Howie Hamlin 8762 2,1,2,3,DNF,2
Fast up but unusually suspect downwind, something I am sure they will address before Barbados!

3. Ted Conrads/Mike Holt 8680 3,3,7,2,DNF,3
Slow up fast down, mainly due to weight issues. Ted made all the right calls downwind to keep us in the game.

4. Rob Woelfel/Jeff Miller 9082 4,5,6,5,DNF,4
Getting faster and faster as the weekend went on, especially downwind. The new boat is looking good!

5. Rich Mundel/Bob Tennant 9009 8,7,4,7,DNF,5
Rich and Bob were going pretty good at times and with some better starts could have been fighting for a top 3.

6.  Reeve Dunn/Holt Condon 8559 7,9,9,4,DNF,7
These two have certainly upped their game and show great speed at times, once they connect the dots they will be formidable.

7. Justin Shaffer/JB Turney 9042 9,4,3,9,DNF, DNF
Another team with their moments and good speed, practice will be their friend and with some hours under their belt we could see some changes at the front of the fleet.

8. Mathias Kennerknect/Aaron Ross 7156 5,10,5,6,DNF, DNF
Showing good pace and making few mistakes one less alphabet score would have seen them much higher up the results.

9. Jay Miles/Eb Russell 9004 13, 8, 8, 10, DNF, 9
Another team sailing well, but not crossing the line in the position they would have liked but mixing it at up at the front when all was going well.

10. Blaine Pedlow/AJ Crane 8854 6,11,DNF, 11, DNF, 6
Blaine and AJ were flying upwind at times and AJ clearly proving that you don’t have to be the biggest helm to be fast in SF.

11. Evan and Pat Diola 7611 11, 12, DNF, DNF, DNF, 8
Easily the lightest team out there but getting around the track well and looking good doing it too!

12. Peter Alarie/Hasso Platner 8965 10,6,DNF, 8, DNF, DNF
Going fast a lot of the time but wishing we were sailing some where warmer I think. The car show was an added bonus.

13. Piper Dunlap 8868 14,14,10,12, DNF, DNF
These guys probably thought SF in March would be a mellower place but sailed well to get around in tough conditions.

14. Paul VonGrey/Krysia Pohl 12,13,DNF,13, DNF, DNF
Another PNW team that probably would have liked to see less breeze but again did well getting around the race track.

15. Ian O’leary 7069
Entered and I saw him at the briefing but not on the water.

15. Antoine Laussu 6984
Another no show, where were you?


  1. any photos of 9106 ?

  2. None that I have seen yet. I am also very curious to see how it turned out. I will post if I find some.