With the spring equinox just over a week away, Mother Nature provided a pleasant preview of things to come in the days and weeks ahead for the sailors in the Richmond Yacht Club's Big Daddy Regatta.
Wall to wall sunshine through the weekend and temps in the 60's and low 70's combined with westerly's once again rolling through the gate like they are supposed to.
Saturday's buoy races got off on time with flat seas and winds in the low teens. 3 courses were employed:
Deep Water Course
Division Class Flag
1. PHRF A
2 PHRF B
3. PHRF C
4. Express 37
1. PHRF D
2. Express 27
3. PHRF E
4. PHRF F
Division Class Flag
1. Wylie Wabbits
2. Ultimate 20
3. Santana 22
4. Cal 20
5. PHRF J
Big Daddy Regatta Gallery
The magic number being 3, the RC fired off 3 races for each division on each course. Tight bam-bam races with minimal down time kept the racers on their toes and the day moving along a brisk clip. The wind increased during the afternoon and the flood gave way to a the type of ebb one expects during a full moon, and on the Berkeley flats, that includes a lot of south to north movement in addition to the steadily building square chop that favors longer hulls and close attention to slots between momentum stoppers.
We spent the majority of the day on the Deep Water Course where the Big Daddy himself would have been frolicking with the big boats loaded with RYC juniors back in the day. In PHRF A, the new kid on the block, Frank Slootman's brand new Cookson Built Pac 52' Invisible Hand
was making her racing debut . Matching up against boats of similar waterline and crew sizes, William Helvestines SC 50 Deception
, John Clauser's 1D 48' Bodacious +
, Michael Pohl's Farr 40 Twisted
, Hill Blacketts Class 40 California Condor
(Alex Farell's 1D35 Alpha Puppy
rated 30 also was in division, but seemed misplaced) would provide some much needed practice in can rounding for the New Hand and crew with real life situation unfolding in real time. Rated at -102 in PHRF compared -15 for the 1D48, -6 for the SC 50 and 0 for the 40 footers, and sailing on 1.5 mile windward leeward legs doesn't really give boats a chance to stretch their legs, yet the close quarter sail handling set and douse practices is invaluable for crew and owner alike. The new Hand would need a tremendous lead to earn a corrected time victory, and in the 1st race, with just one lap, and lighter conditions Condor would soar into 1st with Twisted
tying for 2nd and The New Hand
, despite finishing well ahead, would settle for 4th.
But races 2 and 3, utilizing a 2 lap course with building breeze and building ebb would see the new kid on the block build a sizable delta by the 1st windward mark and really extend on the 1st down wind leg, completing their douse while some of the other boat in class has just completed their 1st gybe. Powering back to the top of the course, The New Hand
caught up to the fleet in PHRF C twice at the weather mark, rolling over the top before blasting away, doing some 20 knots boat speed in 15-17 knots of wind speed. To their credit several of the smaller sport boats were able to give the big guy a good short run for the money on the off wind legs, but the thrill was short lived as waterline and sail area vs weight ratio was just too great.
The New Hand's
day would end in PHRF A with a 4th, and two aces for a 6 points to 7.5 victory over Tony Pohl's aforementioned Twisted
in 3rd with 8.5.
Sharing the same course, in PHRF B, Wayne Koide' Sydney 36 Encore
would run the table with 3 bullets, and a 4 point victory over Bob Novy's Frers 40' Jeannette
with Jack Clapper's J44 Phantom
The Sportboats in PHRF C were loving the deepwater course and tight roundings, a bit of breathing room in the middle and
close Hollywood finishes at the bottom. Steve Stroub's C&C 30 Tiburon
climbed back from a 4th in the 1st race to post 2 aces and narrowly eclipse Mark Kennedy's FT10's Cento Miglia
consistent sailing, posting a 2,3,2 for a final of 7 points, one behind Elvis and Company and one point ahead of Gary Panariello's J-88 Courageous
that sailed to a 1,4,3 day and 3rd in division!
Also sharing the deep water were the Express 37s. As is almost always the case, close racing on weather legs, roundings and downwind legs as well. Bob Hartford's Stewball
would go 2,1,2 for class win, 1 point better than Nick Schmidt's Escapade
going 3,2,1 to finish in 2nd with 6 points
Other finishes of the day on other courses:
In Express 27, Steve Katzman's Dianne
from South Lake Tahoe would go three straight firsts to take a 3 points to 8 total victory over Chris Gage's Ergo
Phil Kanesgsberg, also from Tahoe would use 3 aces to sail his U Decide
to victory in U-20 Class over David Woodside's U Again
In the Mighty Cal 20's, Stephanie Stroube would keep the family winning intact, riding her First Rodeo
to 1st over Richard von Quiche-maker's Can 0 Whoopass
, and Marcus Choy's Green Dragon
who tied a narrow but close 6 points to 7points win.
Santana 22's also enjoyed tight racing with 5points to 6 points to 7 points win for Michael Quinn's Albacore
, over Son of Bob, Chris Klein doing the old man proud aboard Alegre
in 2nd and Jan Grygier riding Carlos
to 3rd .
In PHRF D, Brian Richards on the J-109 La Viajera
to a 7 point total tie with Cinde Lou Delmas and crew on the Alerion Another Girl
with Hank Easom 0.5 point off the pace on his Sabre Spirit Serenade
Even more extremely tight racing in PHRF E, with Steve Wonner's Wylie Cat 30 UNO
collecting 7 points total, narrowly edging Andy Newell's Santana 35 Ahi
and Gordie Nash's Yellow Boat. Arcadia
, both with 8 points total.
Last but not least, the J-24 Froglips
takes the PHRF F divison with 3 bullets, Richard Stockdale skipper. In 2nd the Meissner/Nemeth collaboration, Olson 25 Sharks on Bluegrass
sail to a 2,3,2 tune with 7 points....
NEXT UP : Big Daddy Pursuit