This year’s Fall Dinghy hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club showcased 15 boats with teams traveling from the far reaches of the Northwest to Los Angeles to compete on the classic racetrack framed by the Golden Gate Bridge to the north and Alcatraz to the south. The venue lived up to its reputation with strong breeze and challenging conditions both days. Saturday got off to a slow start as the sea breeze took its time before filling in with the wind speed ranging between 15 and 20 knots over 3 races.
It was a welcome sight to see Adam Lowry back in the front of the boat with Mike Martin driving as the team exhibited unmatched speed both on and off the wind with straight bullets through the first 5 races. As Mike and Adam sailed away the rest of the fleet was remarkably close. Ted Conrads and Brian Haines narrowly captured second, while teams Miller/Diola and Russell/Miles took 3rd in races 1 and 2. The third and final race on Saturday was a nail biter for 2nd through 4th with Conrads/Haines flipping on the last jibe to the finish before teams Miller/Diola and Hamlin/Von Grey captured 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The morning conditions on Sunday were in stark contrast to Saturday with temperatures in the high fifties and a cool sea breeze in full force as the teams headed out for the 11 a.m. start. The breeze was gusting up to 25 knots into a fading ebb tide. Racing was once again tight behind Mike and Adam with Conrads/Haines squeaking out a 2nd in race four and John Turney and his teammate Ashley taking silver in race five. After sailing with AJ Conrads on Saturday, Rob Woelfel joined Mike Holt to christen Mike’s new ship on Sunday. As expected the pair put in a solid performance with 3’s in races 4 and 5 before finishing off with a 2nd in the final race. As the breeze built the final race turned out to be a short but harrowing experience as Mike and Adam graced us with one mistake as they took a swim during the spinnaker set before recovering to finish 5th and solidly winning the event with 5 firsts and a 5th place as a drop.
Rounding out the top 5 were Conrads/Haines in 2nd, Miller/Diola tied with Hamlin/Von Grey for 3rd and JB Turney and his teammate Ashley in 5th