• 2019 Westpoint Regatta: It Don't Get Much Better Than This!

    It just doesn't get much better than this....

    When they drew up the original Westpoint Marina Regatta a number of years back, to help promote the newly
    opened Westpoint Marina, the concept was simple. Start the weekend off right with a pre race party in the City the night before,
    then when the wind arrives, at a respectable hour, no earlier than 11:30 start the race when you can almost alway count on wind,
    just north of Treasure Island, send the boats west towards the Golden Gate soe the feel like they earned it, then let them peel off
    and bear away towards a warm, sunny destination when the party would continue.

    In years past, there have been some decent winds and some years some not so decent winds. And if you had listened to the official weather prognosticators,
    a northerly offshore was predicted to create some light drifting conditions and 80 degree heat. Even more disturbing was looking at the early morning observations
    around the San Francisco Bay, and for the most part, what wind the was, seemed mostly out of the North.

    However, somewhere around the 11:00 hour, the heat of the interior valley enticed the squashed down marine layer with a come hither smirk, and all the dynamics changed
    for the better. By 11:30, teams were bundled up in in foulies, putting up the small sails and setting off towards Harding Rock against the remnants of the
    early morning ebb. 57 teams had signed up for this edition, and those that decided against it due to the apparent forecast, were wishing they had instead of sitting in traffic
    at the Sonoma Raceway.

    Summer had arrived just the day before, and the Solstice never looked more splendid. The 1st boats rounded Harding around 12:20, lead by
    blind sailor Walt Rainer in the BAAD's Sonar 2 Bravo Zulu as the bore off across the slot in 20 plus knots making tracks towards the Bay Bridge
    with a large contingent in their wake.

    The path across the Central Bay had enough southwest wind in it to prevent all but the most flat kites awaiting deployment until the region off Pier 39
    and Blossom Rock, when the chute pooping began in earnest. But the ride to the Bay Bridge was a short one, and as boats approached the span, decisions needed to be made.
    The wind lightened and the temps began to soar, the scent of grills from the waterfront restaurant on the Embarcadero wafted across the water. Foulies were discarded. Beers were
    cracked. Lotion applied. Do you take the shortest route near the cityfront of ride the currents of central span, OR head off toward Yerba Buena and get the remnant northerly?

    As it turns out, after a 1/2 hour to 45 minutes of light air, the westerly began to make its presence known. Ist along the City Front, then the center course and then the easterly side.

    The wind was warm, pleasant flat seas and pressure in the low to mid teens at 1st. Boats along the Dogpatch would get big puffs rolling through the urban landscape,
    providing moments of "Hang on to your beer" before evaporating again. Mid bay the winds were more steady. The ride smooth. Just like the brochure had promised.

    The Gulf of Candlestick and the San Bruno Gap provided the next jolt of pressure, winds picking up to the high teens, and maybe a 20 plus in there. Seas remained flat with just a slight
    bit of bump. And it remained warm. Just like sailing to Hawaii. Only different. As the wind coming off the Peninsula changed to a more NW direction the South Bay became a colorful
    canvas of spinnakers, smiles and pleasant memories being made. The wind would remain in the manageable range all the way to The San Mateo Bridge and all the way to the finish in Redwood Slough
    where the party would continue.

    In the midsts of the sea of smiling faces, was on Andy Schwenk aboard John Ross's Santa Cruz 27' Gotcha. Recently relocated from the Puget Sound Area, and running the
    rigging at Svenden's Bay Marine new location in Richmond, this was Andy's 1st Westpoint Regatta, and he summed it up nicely: I was impressed with the artwork for the posters, the part ath Treasure Island
    was well done and the racing was terrific. And upon arrival in Redwood City, they had boats to escort you to the correct slip and even people on the docks to take your bow lines. The party
    and food and drink were excellent, the evening warm and the vibe fantastic. Well done!


    This article was originally published in forum thread: Westpoint Marina Regatta started by Photoboy View original post