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Photoboy
09-27-2010, 09:36 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/12267082681840596144.jpg

This is it. The heart of the Olympic Circle. Host of many a championship series in years gone by.

The area, not the course just held the Melges 32' Worlds, a couple weeks prior the Finn Gold Cup,
last year the 505 Worlds....Oly Trials have been held there along with countless National and International Contests.

http://kimballlivingston.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/BerkeleyCircle.jpg

Layed out post WWII to provide an established " Olympic Course" with 8 Marks radiating out to from it,
making regattas simple to host. Its been a while since it has been used as it was intended, the easterly marks have slowly silted in over the years. But there are some great stories from yester year
out there to be told.

Victories claimed, heartbreak felt. Sparkling Midwinter Regattas in brilliant sunshine with unlimited visibility. Cold, fog ladened afternoons blowing dogs off chain with the painful square chop rising against a massive ebb.

Many a sailor has passed X along the way, there are some tales to be told...What's your fondest memory? When was the last time you used H or A or C? Do you remember the dead pelican hanging from D?


While you are pondering the memory banks, here's a brilliant article by Kimball Livingston:
The Olympic Circle (http://kimballlivingston.com/?page_id=332)

aA
09-27-2010, 11:15 AM
late 80/early 90's laser na's
150 lbs w/water bottles on
full rig
25 and up for 5 days
1.5 - 2 mile beats
gybe marks

still have nightmares

IOR Geezer
09-27-2010, 11:19 AM
Well there was the time many years ago, a BYC mid winters, early January I think. Wind started light and got lighter.
Foredeck skyed the only spin halyard on 1st set of day. Limped around the course with our 150%. 100 yards from finish as dusk was
falling, RC weighs anchor and motors home. Time limit had expired. We had no radio. Our outboard refuses to start. Spent the next 3 hours with paddles and kinetics getting back to
the Berkeley Marina.

Fortunately we had rum.

BobJ
09-27-2010, 12:01 PM
Berkeley Mid's in 2001 or 2002: Running about 4th or 5th in division, we watched the boats ahead going to C or D when the leeward mark was B. We tried to shimmy over without tipping them off. It mostly worked and we rounded 1st or 2nd. Back then you could look up towards Richmond awhile before the start and see a blizzard of Express 27 spinnakers coming down for the races. There must have been 100 of 'em.

Another time we're motoring out across the Circle after a BYC Beer Can race/barbeque. I couldn't figure out why we couldn't go faster than 2-3 knots no matter how much throttle was applied. Turns out it was a minus tide and we were dragging through the mud - the bottom must be like a billiard table out there.

I was on a committee boat for the Soling Olympic Trials around 1970(?) and the starts were amazing. If one was over early, two thirds of the fleet were over early. They must have been reluctant to use the black flag in those days - I think one race we had 6 general recalls. A Soling sank out there in that series. Diane Beeston published a photo of the rig sticking out of the water.

pete m
09-27-2010, 01:12 PM
I was on a committee boat for the Soling Olympic Trials around 1970(?) and the starts were amazing. If one was over early, two thirds of the fleet were over early. They must have been reluctant to use the black flag in those days - I think one race we had 6 general recalls. A Soling sank out there in that series. Dianne Beeston published a photo of the rig sticking out of the water.

'72 I think - sailed out of SFYC, I was a young grommet on a stake boat - Melges won - I remember it was hell getting the anchor our of the mud to go home....hey....I never did get a t shirt

Single Hander
09-27-2010, 08:55 PM
The tell tale signs after rounding "A" of the mud stream kicking up at anything less then higher high tide meant one of two things,
get an e-scow or avoid going there in recent years.

Photoboy
09-28-2010, 11:46 AM
Doing a little research on the subject matter, I just got off the phone with John Nackerude, one of the parties responsible for the Olympic Circle, here are some nuggets:

The idea was drawn up by a group of Finn Sailors in 63' or 64', U.C .Berkeley students at the time.
Eschmont Hall's basement was the location where it was drawn up.

They were seeking a permanent race course they could practice on, and while many were RYC members at time, one of the sailors in the group was black and forbidden from joining RYC, so they broke and started their own sailing club which eventually became the Cal Sailing Club.

The course was layed out by Bub Luten, and engineering student at UC Berkeley, "because he had the know how and access to a Transit" at the time. John had access to a skiff, and they used had signals from Bob on the pier and on shore to set the original marks, which were plastic Clorox bottles attached to concrete blocks, which as it turns out was "kinda ridiculous" John says "You know how hard it is to see a plastic bottle from a mile away? Let alone two? " The other problem was they would break loose with regularity, forcing Bob Luten and whoever he could round up to drag the transit back out and reset the missing mark.

The names Louie Nady, Arnie Nerlinger and Roul (?) come to mind as member of the original Finn Sailors, of which there were 6-8 Finn sailors at the time. Joh also recall those were the days when you could surf in the the Berkeley Marina, before the breakwater was installed, and most of the slip were covered...A different era...

The concept was simple, place 8 marks in a circle, each 1 mile from the center buoy "X" and 1 mile apart, out of major effects of currents with a least an 8' minimum mean lower low water depth, so course could be run in the Olympic fashion, which was windward, wing, leeward, windward leeward and finish at center. The Bay Model had just been built and the effects of structure on the currents and tides in SF Bay were just beggining to be understood and employed by sailors on the bay.

"What we did know was if there were regattas running longer than 1-2 days, we figured out which side of the course paid off and everyone would sail there the following days"

The Clorox bottles were used for 4-5 years before a more permanent set of buoys were installed.

Those "ragtag" marks lasted until 1983 or 1984 when Military grade surplus spheres where installed,
according to Bob Thalman who tend the buoys for approximately 15 years...

The name of Bill Krysler and Jim Dewitt come up as additional attendees to the mark over the years...



YRA Chairman Pat Broderick adds the following:


"I think you'll probably find that over the years the Oly Circle morphed as different folks "tended to" it. I remember sailing on the Circle in the 1970s, but I also remember a mix of buoys, one or more of which seemed to always be missing.

I remember a Star Worlds held on the Circle in the late 1970s I think. Tom Blackaller, Paul Elvstrom, and the rest of the Star-World sailors had a panel discussion of the Corinthian YC after Saturday's racing. It's notable in my mind for two reasons.


1) My wife asked for rose wine and the bar tender up on the 2nd floor promptly got out a jug of white and a jug of red wine and "pinked" up a glass of rose.


Turns out Tom had lost his Star that afternoon. A total of 3 sank that day, but Tom's (which of course he didn't own) went down on the East edge of the Circle and was lost. The other two went down in the shallows and were re-floated. We didn't know this beforehand. The other sailors appeared and took their seats on the CYC Ballroom stage, but Tom's seat remained empty.

Pretty soon the other began saying things, like "Where's Tommy?" and "Wonder if he's still in the shower." After awhile Tom appeared, looking more frumpled than usual and slumped into his chair. Then the kidding really began. There was actually a cartoon-like black cloud hanging over his head he was so grumpy. Then it came out that he'd lost the boat and it had joined the other Stars that had been lost over the years. Eventually he came around and participated in the Q&A that followed, but only after a few glasses of that jug wine the CYC was serving in the day."

EVK4
09-28-2010, 12:01 PM
My daughter's favorite mark has always been C for a few reasons:
1. it's close to the marina
2. it's her first initial
3. and when she was 3, it cracked her up to "see C at sea".

This picture is the first time she tried to round it at the helm; that's when we discovered for absolute certain what material it was made of (styrofoam and barnacles).
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/46/126010203_6cdfa1ddde_o.jpg

Photoboy
09-28-2010, 12:03 PM
Speaking of sinkings on the Circle...Anybody remember the Santana 20 "Urban Gorilla" ( Orange boat with large bow to stern yellow lettering) which used to terrorize the PHRF fleet in the late 70s?

Photoboy
09-28-2010, 03:06 PM
Just off the horn with Bob Thalman, the volunteer buoy tender for YRA from 1981 to 1996.

Bob along with Roger Elderidge (sp?) was teaching race managment seminars during the 1980's and the discussion of buoys came up, and one thing led to another and before he knew he was the Buoy Tender...At that time many of the buoys about the bay were primarily government owned and the government was in the process of taking them out, which would mean no buoys for racers.

This accomplished two things, according to Bob, it opened doors for meaningful dialect between the USCG and the sailing comunity in an effort to place and maintain marks. Bob and crew found a marine surplus supplier down by the Oakland Airport in 83' that had stacks of these spheres and they loaded up a couple truck loads at $250.00 a pop.

It also create trust and respect between the USCG and the YRA and their members, something which
had been deficient in years past.

By then the Berkely Circle had been maintained by a whole variety of volunteers who had ended up using just about anything that floated as marks, including some modified highway cones....Bill Chrysler voluntered to paint the whole batch up at his shop in Penngrove, and the 1st batch of YRA sphere were delivered.

Along with a small army of volunteers (Dick Horn from RYC and Tom Allen from StFYC among them)
They scavaged ground tackle, the 1st time around using 3/8 chain, which turned out to be less the effective as winter storms would tear them away in rapid sucession. They then were offered some 1" chain from an undisclosed source and 750 lbs railroad wheels to anchor them in place, and those seem to do the trick...especially in the deeper water apps like YRA 15...

All was fine until some recreational sailors bumped into them in the night and complaints were filed with the USCG, who following guidelines, insisted that the spheres be replaced with the the new standard buoys, the styrofoam lighted units you see today...the 6' units run $2,500.00 per unit and the 8 foot tall ones cost $4,000.00....quite a change from the $ 250.00 with free ground tackle in earilier days...

Our own Buoy Boy N.S. can probably fill us in on ongoing struggles and cost estimates to keep these
aides afloat, probably even shanghai you into some nefarious jobs to occupy your free time if you are not too careful!

breezetrees
09-29-2010, 08:54 AM
This picture is the first time she tried to round it at the helm; that's when we discovered for absolute certain what material it was made of (styrofoam and barnacles).


I see the boat snack is Pirate's Booty, I heard somewhere it's made from styrofoam and barnacles too.

EVK4
09-29-2010, 09:31 AM
I see the boat snack is Pirate's Booty, I heard somewhere it's made from styrofoam and barnacles too.

That's what gives it flavor. Mmmm, pirate's booty.

enzo
09-29-2010, 10:35 AM
My favorite regatta shirt:

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/21171995326770679709_thumb.jpg (http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/viewer.php?file=21171995326770679709.jpg)

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/73352744205634410450_thumb.jpg (http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/viewer.php?file=73352744205634410450.jpg)

IOR Geezer
09-29-2010, 04:45 PM
The Big Daddy Lives!

Nick Salvador
09-29-2010, 06:49 PM
The "Big Daddy" Bob Klein buoy is today located off of the Richmond breakwater and is the provenance of the Richmond YC juniors who are fiscally responsible for it's upkeep. RYC/Klein went on walkabout about 8 weeks ago and was re-set after it was found drifing/dragging towards the BYC. If I can convince someone with a RIB to take me for an afternoon ride, I plan on conducting a buoy survey before the year is up. You'll all get pics and positions on the YRA site once the survey is complete. We're also going to be putting the deep water buoys (Mason and Blackaller) on a six month maintenance program because resetting these two marks is incredibly expensive. I've decided that a preventative maintenance program is a hell of a lot cheaper than re-setting each time they go adrift.

Finally, if ANY OF YOU happen to see boats of any kind using the YRA marks for moorings, would you please take note of the time and date, and if possible snap a pic and send it to the YRA offices. There's no reason that our racing dollars should be spent replacing marks that are pulled off station by a herring boat using Blackaller or any other mark for a pit stop.

Photoboy
09-29-2010, 09:47 PM
If I can convince someone with a RIB to take me for an afternoon ride, I plan on conducting a buoy survey before the year is up.


You no get up before noon anymore?

Photoboy
09-29-2010, 09:47 PM
If I can convince someone with a RIB to take me for an afternoon ride, I plan on conducting a buoy survey before the year is up.


You no get up before noon anymore?


http://www.heyokay.com/images/siesta%20time.jpg

Photoboy
09-30-2010, 09:19 AM
When Seņor Nick wakes up, we have some informations and questions for him and the buoys...

Tells him to calls....

Photoboy
09-30-2010, 07:57 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/80849377956175764307.jpg

Super Dave...where are you?

Nick Salvador
10-06-2010, 08:34 AM
I have been advised that OC-E has gone on walkabout. It apparently broke free of it's mooring about a week to 10 days ago and has yet to turn up, so if you happen to see a yellow can with the letter E on it, drop a line to the YRA office please. In the meantime, I'm going for a bike ride to see if it turned up on the east bay shoreline anywhere.

superdave
10-06-2010, 12:47 PM
I believe I am the guy standing next to the mast (runnunig toward stern) in said photo......
PhotoBOY, you are just dragging this shot out cause your crappy gay pride team is still playing in October.
I'm still a Dodger fan....so there.
Oh, and I also believe this was up near Berzerkley....

Photoboy
10-06-2010, 02:55 PM
I believe I am the guy standing next to the mast (runnunig toward stern) in said photo......
PhotoBOY, you are just dragging this shot out cause your crappy gay pride team is still playing in October.
I'm still a Dodger fan....so there.
Oh, and I also believe this was up near Berzerkley....

Went by "the Yard" this afternoon...it looks quite nice with all the bunting and stuff....

Will chat soon...

:)