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Thread: ORYA Farallones 2 : There Can Be Only One Winner

  1. #1
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    ORYA Farallones 2 : There Can Be Only One Winner



    34 boats departed for the Stinky Rocks Saturday, a great turn out considering the usually bleak conditions on might expect in mid July. Better for salmon fishing than sailing, which by the way started picking up Friday along the Marin County Coast, with 1 fish per rod average or better and hogs in the 25-30 range common...But we were here to talk about sailing...

    As the photos attest, wind was a virtual no show. Even the mighty Mod 70 Orion which was a late entry, texted at 3:30 PM " We pulled the plug, no wind"
    Image © Bryan Edwards





    John Pytlak, who took this photo, reported "1st time in 8-9 trips around the Farallones I have seen it this calm"





    Liz Menon took this image of the *Light Bucket* (looks different than last rendition) stated they tossed in the towel when their calculations indicated a post midnight finish





    The Sole Survivor of the drift fest/ offshore slog, was James Bradfords Farr 40' Bright Hour, which completed the 58 NM course in 10:45:57, true, dedication by skipper and crew...

    * er, weather buoy, oops
    Last edited by Photoboy; 07-20-2014 at 11:36 AM. Reason: to make Nick more happy...
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  2. #2

    Thats the NOAA weather buoy

    Not the sea buoy/Lightbucket.

    The 46026 placard is the dead giveaway.

  3. #3
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Salvador View Post
    Not the sea buoy/Lightbucket.

    The 46026 placard is the dead giveaway.




    How about now?
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  4. #4
    Ahi had a great day on the ocean. Yes, we could have used a few knots of wind, especially in the lighter patches, but we got what we got. The conditions were a bit of a tease. If we had the conditions in the picture above for the whole course we would have sailed much less distance and dropped out much earlier.

    Instead we had light but sail-able conditions in the 5-9 knot range for most of the race. We were never want for the ability to steer (like on parts of the HMB race) and were able to make reasonable boat speed for most of the race. Through what I think was a somewhat unexpected southerly shift we found ourselves in maybe the front 10 boats in the fleet when we got to about 3 miles from the island by about 1700. Who ever heard of the wind shutting off at 5pm? Well it did. We went from doing 4-5 knots all day to less than a knot. We waited until we could get the 5pm buoy report for buoy 26 and when the report was 4 knots and we did the math. We had another couple of hours to get around the rock, only 7 hours to beat the deadline, and even worse a 3.7 knot max ebb at about 2300. Since there was no way we could average 5 knots of VMG in 4 knots of wind we knew we were not going to be able to finish. We took the #1 down and put it away and started the engine. We made the GG Bridge a little after 2100 and were losing a lot to the building ebb. It was still honking on the bay and we made our best speed of the day on the trip back to Berkeley. We got the boat in the slip by around 2300.

    Two things did not happen. We did not get to sail around the Farallones but only to the Farallones, and we were not able to finish the race putting us in a 33 way tie for second. Those two things aside it was a delightful day on the ocean.

  5. #5
    I'm doing a separate post since this has nothing to do with Ahi's nice day.

    We saw the light forecast and watched it closely all week. We even briefly discussed keeping the fleet inside the bay or using a shorter course but quickly dropped both of those ideas. Farallones is what we all signed up for so Farallones is what we got.

    I'm not sure I agree that flat calm conditions should have been anticipated when we did the schedule last fall. OYRA had races in July, August and September last year and almost all of them had boats finish with plenty of average VMG to finish a longer Farallones course. Are conditions likely to be more moderate in July than May? Sure. Who says we have to do Farallones in 25 knots? It is possible that some of the boats that signed up for yesterdays race did so because they did not expect 25 knots and 12' seas and they might not want to do the race in the spring. Three weeks ago on OYRA HMB we saw 26 knots as we rounded the weather mark after a really light start.

    The DH Farallones race is usually in March or April and 2012 saw very windy conditions (30+?) and most boats stayed home. 2014 DHF was in March this year and ~50% did not finish due to lack of wind. We put the OYRA Farallones race in April in 2012 to try and accommodate the Pac Cup boats and we all know how well that worked out. That leaves us with May, June or July. We always check the currents because starting a long race like this in adverse current makes the race even longer, so we are pretty limited in our choice of dates.

    Then we take the available dates and have to coordinate with the other ocean race organizing authorities and we are left with fewer choices. Lastly we take the remaining dates and try and fit them into the sponsoring yacht club's calendars. May was too busy with Memorial Day (and Spin Cup) being a week early so Farallones got pushed to June. The YC sponsoring the Farallones race had a conflict for the date we wanted in June so we ended up in July.

    I share all that so that you realize that we don't always get our pick of dates, but have to deal with reconciling many potentially conflicting schedules.

    Do I want a spring Farallones race next year held in Goldilocks conditions? Sure. Are we going to get one? Time will tell.

    So here is the point where I would actually like some input from the OYRA racers and maybe some of the armchair ocean racers here too. Should we have done anything different on race day?

    My take on the whole thing is that we did the race as advertised on the best date we could get. The fact that the conditions did not cooperate is just a tough luck thing. It was still a nice day on the ocean.

    There may be other options. We could have started the race earlier. We could have extended the deadline, although based on the conditions last night I think that would have simply prolonged the agony. We can have shorter courses available in the sailing instructions in case our scheduled date turns out to be light like yesterday.

    Any other ideas?

  6. #6
    Maybe reducing race length to Light Ship if conditions look iffy day of?

    Late June, July and early August seem to be the most fickle months for the Gulf of the Farallones.

  7. #7
    Now if you book a salmon fishing trip, it will be lumpy and blow like stink.

    Go figure!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonapah Low View Post
    Maybe reducing race length to Light Ship if conditions look iffy day of?

    Late June, July and early August seem to be the most fickle months for the Gulf of the Farallones.
    We thought of that possibility, but we were afraid it might piss off racers who wanted to make the journey around the Farallones, whether it was reasonably possible given a particular days conditions or not. Until a few years ago we did the Jr Waterhouse race late in the year and conditions were often light, so it was always the short course (a channel mark then finish in Richmond). A couple of years ago we moved the race to July so we could do a longer course and it has worked well.

    Realistically if we had a few more knots of wind yesterday most of the boats could have finished.

  9. #9
    Mammy Nun Thing-Fish's Avatar
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    Don't worry about the schedule. July can be fine. I'm happy to spread the sched out over the Summer, there is no need to crowd the whole ocean/DHF/DHLS into the boisterous spring. Sometimes you go home because too much wind, sometimes not enough. I'd be happy to see more events even in Sept/Oct.

  10. #10
    Andy, As someone who's been involved with scheduling races for a long time, I think your observations above are right on target. And I agree that July can be just fine. I don't like all the Farallones Races stacked up - and I usually sail all 3 of them. The mid-July weather this year is really strange; feels like a coolish Hawaiian day outside right now and we used the wipers on the way to dinner. Go figure! I'm just happy it didn't turn into another BAMA race where we gave up minutes before the wind arrived. Don't mean anything bad for my shorthanded competitors, but tying for first place with them yesterday after a pleasant day's cruising around the Gulf of the Farallones wasn't half bad. I even took a nap on one long tack with Pat W. steered us another whole 0.5 nm closer to the island. And the white shark was pretty spectacular, too. -- Pat Broderick

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