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View Full Version : 10 Years Gone: A decade of 18's on SF Bay



Photoboy
08-30-2011, 11:31 AM
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Shifting to Glaser Sails, Hamlin has found the downwind speed he lacked since shifting to a stiffer rig


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5 Bay Area Boats and 8 from OZ and NZ and 2 from Socal made this years 15 boat fleet the biggest yet!

As the racing wrapped last at the St Francis YC for the 2011 18’ Skiff International Regatta, it was harldy noticed that a decade had passed since the event had returned to SF Bay.

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Coxon's Thurlow Fisher was smoking fast all regatta long

Indeed, the contest on the water remained the primary concern, and for the top three boats, Yandoo, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and CST Composites, a razor thin margin separated them after 8 races, including the previous evening’s Bridge 2 Bridge downhill marathon.

With all the marbles on the line, the top 3 finished race 9 again in the top 3 positions, with Thurlow Fisher on top, CST 2nd and Yandoo a close 3rd.
It became clear that the final race would decide the fate of this 10th edition, with Howie Hamlin’s CST needing only finishing no worse than 5th to take home his 6thTitle. And things looked rosey after the 1st mark as the top 3 rounded the weather mark and bolted toward the limiting marks and the bottom of the course.

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A big pack arrive at the bottom mark


Remarkably, the pack consolidated at the 1st leeward mark, with a jumble of 7 skiffs arriving simultaneously, the tightest bottom rounding ever in the 10 years this event had been run. Sailing a tad too conservatively, Howie ordered the spin dropped too early, prudent for the gusty 25 knot puffs rolling through, and paid a high price.


The rest of the pack carried a few more boat lengths with kites up, and CST dropped from 1st to 6th in a heart beat. And the next weather leg, the main pack stayed outside in favorable breeze, and CST took a flyer inside and gained nothing. It appeared the race was now Yandoo’s or Thurlow’s to take. But skiff sailing on SF Bay is a game of attrition and will, and nothings over til it over.

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Leftin and a rightin, Yandoo goes out, Smeg covers inside

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Mid Pack competition was stiff

Clawing back , CST gained a few spots on the uphill leg and round the final top mark in 3rd, with Thurlow Fisher and Yandoo ahead. Michael Coxons TF looked perfectly positioned to dance away with the prize, a healthy lead and clear air ahead. Meanwhile John Winning’s Yandoo went uncontested towards the outside, and Hamlin and company in a downwind duel with Smeg, forced to the inside. This time the inside track payed dividends and as they rounded the bottom for the final race, it was TF, CST, Smeg then Yandoo. With another stroke of lady luck shinning on them, Trent Barnabas’s trap line failed on the final leg, leaving Thurlow Fisher stalled just yards from the finish, allowing CST an opportunity to slip by and claim the race and regatta!

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Patrick Whitmarshes White Lightning was the top bay area boat for 2011


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Harken Black and The Yellow Boat impersonating Canadians working forthe vintage class bragging rights.


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Chad "oh OH Sincko" and crew slogged through a tough regatta. "The Pink Sponge" sopped up pounds of bay water during the event, its source remained a mystery though the event.




Hamlin sailing with Paul Allen, fresh off a victory in the 70’s sled Class in Transpac aboard Holua and the return delivery, was joined by Matt Noble, RYC alumni and fresh off a 3rd place finish overall in the 277 boat strong IRC Class aboard AAOT’s RP 65 Vanquish in the Fastnet, where he served as boat captain.

With a decade now passed since Hamlin rounded up the crew for the 1st SF 18’s event in 2002, we thought it time to reflect on some of the history over the past years.

PD: Aside from Matt and Paul, who has crew for you on the 18's over the past decade?

HH: MIKE MARTIN HAS BEEN MY MAINSHEET GUY FOR 7 OF THOSE REGATTAS.
ANDY ZINN, FRITZ LANZINGER, TRENT BARNABAS AND RON HOWELL ARE OTHERS.


PD: What was the impetus for the 1st event in 2002?

HH: ST FRANCIS YC HAS THE BEST WINDY SKIFF VENUE ON THE PLANET.


PD: How much work was it to round up enough boats to pull it off?

HH: SKIFF SAILORS LOVE SAILING IN BIG WIND, SO IT WAS EASY TO GET THE FOREIGN TEAMS TO COME.


PD: Aside from Yandoo and team Winning, are there other foreign teams which have been here every year?

HH: GRANT ROLLERSON AND TREVOR BARNABAS HAVE PROBABLY DONE 70-80% OF THE EVENTS.

PD: How many Skiffs have you gone through over the years?
HH: 4 NEW BOATS OVER 13 YEARS.

PD:Most of the boats from down under seem to be Munster boats, any local builders shown any interest?-

HH: THE BOATS ARE EXTREMELY LIGHT (HULLS ARE LESS THAN 200 LBS) AND HIGHLY LOADED SO THE CLASS HAS FOUND IT IS BEST TO HAVE ONE BUILDER WHO CAN REALLY SPECIALIZE IN BUILDING PERFECT BOATS. VAN MUNSTER IS THE CURRENT BUILDER.

PD: In OZ, they sail them every weekend from October through March, and 4-5 years seems to be the competitive longevity of the hulls and rigs, then they are passed on and trainers, would a new hull on SF Bay last as long?

HH: THEY BUILT A NEW DECK MOULD LAST YEAR THAT SOLVED SOME STRUCTURAL ISSUES. SO I THINK THESE NEW BOATS WILL LAST 10 YEARS, EVEN ON SF BAY.

PD:Cost for new hull? 4-5 year old hull?

HH: A NEW HULL WITH WINGS, BLADES AND CRADLE IS $50,000. ADD SAILS, SPARS AND HARDWARE AND THE TOTAL IS ABOUT $90,000. FIVE YEAR OLD BOATS ARE WORTH ABOUT $20,000.

PD: Favorite moments of the SF Event through the years-

HH: WINNING THE B2B 3 YEARS AGO AND BEING THE FIRST SKIFF TO BEAT THE KITES AND WINDSURFERS.

PD: With the Foy Trophy rotating through SF next year, combined with the AC 45's in SF, any chance to rally the European teams to come over?

HH: MAYBE , BUT IT IS BAD TIMING FOR THE EUROPEANS, THEY WOULD MISS THEIR ENTIRE SEASON UNLESS THEY CAN SHIP A SECOND BOAT.


PD: Any talk of a "Vintage" division being established in SF for future events to give the older boats something to gun for?

HH:THAT IS A GOOD IDEA AND WE SHOULD DO IT.

Thanks Howie!

Final Results (http://www.stfyc.com/files/2011%2018%20Skiff%20Day%205%20Results.pdf)