• 2018 DHLS: Atmospheric River Assisted

    Moore 24 White Trash Coorects Out To Win 2018 DHLS

    Forecasts for the week leading up the 2018 Doublehanded Lightship Race looked bleak, with a monumental amount of rain starting 36 hours prior to the start and maxing out just about the time of the start with strong winds from south thrown in for entertainment value. But as luck would have it, the peak of the late season inundation passed through the Bay Area in the wee hours, leaving just a thick, moisture ladened marine layer, and a massive outflow of water exiting the Golden Gate.


    “We checked the tide tables, just prior to the race, and they were all wrong”, was the common theme from skippers across the fleet. Not that anyone was complaining, the west bound escalator sent the fleet out the gate and into the shipping channel at a brisk pace before easing when mixed with the predominant north to south Aleutian Current where the channel ends. “Never have seen such a strong current line before, just a remarkable line with blue water on one side and brown water on the other” remarked Karl Robrock, sailing with Gilles Combrission aboard his well-seasoned Moore 24 Snafu. “Good breeze at the start with a forecast for a bit stronger outside, so we flew out #3 in anticipation”

    But when the ebb ended, a more challenging ride was encountered, as the wind dropped to 6-7 knots about 2 miles from the lightship. With a bit more bite to the westerly swell, keeping boat speed was keen at that point, which is where Andrew Hamilton and John Kernot made their move. The two have miles and miles of offshore races between them, but usually against each other. The Moore 24 White Trash is usually sailed with Andrew and his boat partner Pete Trachy, however “Pete has temporarily relocated to Texas” Explains Andrew, and John, who usually sails his boat Banditos, was available, so Team Trashy Bandito was born.

    “We flew our # 2 from the start, which was a bit much early on, but paid off in spades when things get light. Sailing shorthanded and changing sailing sails in bouncy conditions is slow on the Moore, so we got it right this time” Says Andrew. The advantage got them around the weather mark early and they headed to the north side of channel to stay out of the ebb. The wind remained westerly and kites would get popped, and the lighter boats with larger kites would make their moves. “The Moore really loves the reachy conditions in moderate wind” Karl notes “Pete and John sailed a great race and we needed a flyer miracle to catch them”

    They also needed to catch some larger boats with bigger sail area:

    Cant Touch This

    “It was a light boat day” said Rich Pipkin, sailing with wife Mary McGrath on the J-125 Can’t Touch This Rich and Mary are committed shorthanded sailors, that have raced together in offshore events for years on their old J-105 Racer X, but were more than happy to upgrade to the bigger boat when the opportunity presented itself a couple years ago. In their sights currently is the Pac Cup, with a full crew of 5, a crowd for the twosome. The J-125 carries a lot of kite and is relatively light @ 8,500 lbs, compared to near 1,400 lbs of it’s cousin the J-120, of which there were four racing Saturday. And the acceleration was evident as the 1st boats emerged from the haze near Point Bonita. With their red kite leading the pack, Can’t Touch This would accelerate nicely in the 14-15 knot puffs and head high swell.

    “We knew there was a bit lighter current closer to shore, but we sailed a more conservative strait line course once inside the strait, to avoid doing any extra jibes, Rich indicates” We showed a 3 knot offset from ground speed to our water speed, but had done enough gybing already”. Rich and Mary would be 1st to finish, finishing the 25 nm course in 3h, 58m 17s, some 14 minutes ahead of the closest boat, the J -120 Mr Magoo, sailed by owner Stephen Maderia and crew Jefferey Lawson, which won their division, edging out consistent class champion Peregrine with Michael O’Callagan and Michael Fingleton on board.

    Mr Magoo


    Another green boat with some not so green sailors aboard, father and son duo of Andrew and Jim Quancy, sailing the family steed, The Cal 40 Green Buffalo carried their momentum into the bay and past the armada of J-Boats on the City Front to correct out for a PHRF win head of two Express 37’s (Elan and Bullet) and the J-125 CTT.

    Green Buffalo

    Motorcycle Irene

    Yeti and Snafu

    But the race for overall corrected time winner was still very much up for grabs. A trio of Express 27’s, led by Zachary Anderson and Will Paxton on Motorcycle Irene would hug the north shore all the way in, seeking asylum from the ebb that would not end. And just behind them, Team Trashy Bandito. “The Moore 24 has a sweet spot in the lighter air conditions and surfs quicker, and with a much lesser load than the bigger boats, ideal for double handing” a modest Andrew Hamilton would reflect.

    Team Trashy Bandito would use that sweet spot to win the Moore division but also correct out well ahead of the next boat, Green Buffalo by 3 minutes and 50 seconds, a third overall victory for the mighty Moore in this early season, with the 3 Bridge Fiasco and Double Handed Farallones already secured.

    But the day was not over for a couple of competitors. Not by a long shot.

    Two of the Express 27’s, Motorcycle Irene and Fired Up would quickly reload, and once again exit the bay. This time adding another 150’ nm to their weekend. The newly established Pac Cup Qualifier, and things got pretty hairy… Stay tuned…

    Riff Rider



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    This article was originally published in forum thread: Double Handing With A Twist started by Photoboy View original post