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Thread: Digging The Ditch

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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Digging The Ditch



    "This will be the 30th running of the Delta Ditch Run - only a year late, and a bit more subdued ashore than normal due to Covid. Get out the boat and help celebrate this big milestone for this great event. It promises to be a great 65 nm downwind ride from the Richmond Yacht Club, up the bays and rivers, to the Stockton Sailing Club. Be sure to check out the NOR and “Regatta Guidelines” in the race documents section for details."


    https://www.regattanetwork.com/event/19906
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Ditch Run 2021 : Fun In The Sun For The Upriver Down Hill Run



    A toasty day with just enough breeze to make it interesting yet not terrifying.
    Peter Stoneberg's Extreme 40' Shadow X would take line honors again, but fall to the bottom of the multi hull pack on corrected.
    Peter has enough pickle dishes and is probably happy to sail with a full crew again!




    Trevor Baylis teamed up with David Schumann on the Sea Cart 30 Bottle Rocket for the win in Multi ! division




    Evan McDonald brought the shortest multi to the party, his Farrier 22' Greyhound yet would correct out well ahead of all other multis
    for Multi 2 victory!





    Zhenya Kirueshkin-Stepanoff's Nice Rack was the 1st multi into the Carquinez Strait





    Rufus Sjoberg and crew on the Notorious ECB Rufless would take 1st mono to finish honors and
    Div Light plus 1 as well!




    Nelly Belle, 's Custom One Design 24' looks a lot like the precursor to the Moore 24' Grendel
    Nell spent "25 terrible years in the hot sun of Canyon Lakes, Texas" before being saved by Alan Wirtanen and Melanie Kett and restored.
    She was one of 4 boats built in the early 70's in Santa Cruz.

    Three boats in the 1975 edition of the 245-mile Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara race came from the same plug — Nelly Belle, Loose and Pi. Two boats came home. On June 27, 1975, off Point Sur, Pi capsized and sank in a gale with 40- to 50-knot winds. The three-man crew took to the liferaft and spent the night adrift and awash in the breaking seas. Suffering from exposure, Steve Fennell, 33, of Capitola, and his brother Walter, 22, of Bethel Island, perished. After 24 hours, a Chevron oil tanker rescued the third member of the crew, Niels Kisling, 16. Fennell had built Pi himself.
    lectronic latitude






    Craig Page's C&C / SR33 Kuda Wuda Would take 1st in Division 1 Heavy




    Outbound traffic lays down a monstrous wake in a tight channel




    Just back from South Africa, Simon Winer jumps aboard Gruntled with partner Bart Hackworth and
    engage in a 68 nm battle with Melinda Erkelen's and Keith Stanke on Family Circus fore Moore 24 division supremacy,
    nipping them in the end by 1m 12 s







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    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    A 25 Boat One Design 69 Mile Drag Race



    Simon Winer and Bart Hackworth on Gruntled in foreground and Keith Stahnke and Melinda Erkelen's on Family Circus engaging in an 8 hour match race
    during the 2021 Delta Ditch Run on Saturday



    "They tell us that Gruntled won overall but how should we know, we were just focused on # 11, Flying Circus – for 68 miles and ohhh, about 8 hours."

    The fact that we were just about the last fleet to start must have helped us a ton as we had building breeze the whole way. This last start is commonly reserved for the big boats and it was great to upset the pursuit style races for a change as the earliest starters waited for us in San Pablo Bay


    Though the new rules allowed for us to roar up to the line with our chute up, Bart decide it was too hard to judge crossing the line perfectly at the gun, so BANG, we hoisted on starboard as the furthest east boat, and we were off and running (hehee) on a gentle flood with the other 25 Moores.

    San Pablo was a 5-knot affair with many lurking potholes of no wind that were gaping and trying to swallow us up, but we were stronger than that yesterday. Puffy low clouds formed over the coastal range and, to me, this meant the breeze was filling. And fill she did. The Straits and then past the Explosive Zone were a 9-knot deal which is nice but not really enough to get the heart rate up. Then, we had an explosion of our own. Having led the fleet to this point, our keel had an explosion with a sleeping mud lump. Luckily, this was mid-gybe and the boat flopped to the get-off-the-bank side and we were off again - but 200 yards behind Melinda Erkelens and Keith Stahnke on the Circus. To catch em, let alone pass em again, was an impossibility that I just left in my head, all the while verbally agreeing to “Just PASS EM!” as Bart screamed.


    Green # 19 is a bit of a faker as its predecessor is 17A, not 17 so we were setup a bit early for the douse and reach, but a deliberate and unrushed turn was the way we were to pass em – for the first time. As is so often the case, building wind kinda sneaks up. It could have been the jalapeno and lime chips or the thought of a freezing cold beer in the furnace that we had entered but the wind had snuck up on us all the same and we were now roaring along. Whatever the reason, it was honking, the borrowed/stolen jibtop was pulling hard and our boat speed was just about 12 so we were happyish. The ish because nobody likes following a Circus. We were still behind and had a jump on the other Moores so this race was ours to lose and we were winning at that.

    Time to bear away and hoist and, like one of those kazoo-type party favors that unroll to become suddenly rigid and noisy when you blow into them, we were off and they … weren’t. A slow unraveling of the bird’s nest that was their spinnaker was just what we needed - and we were BACK.

    Ship is the origin of the familiar and much used word shi&. We know this because we screamed “Ship!”, just like they did on English naval vessels when a pirate ship was sighted. We screamed it because an outbound freighter was coming and we had to quickly make a plan. When ahead, the trope is always don’t split with the Circus, but we could not pull this off and the Circus were able to work to other side and right back into the lead. Well SHIP! And %^$#@**! That was not the plan.

    My silent thoughts resolved that there could not be a better boat to lose to and I was spreading out the pillows so as to get comfortable with the reality that we were second and were surely going to finish that way.

    A lucky second ship encounter and the Circus let us hug the left shore while they went right and we slid past them to win our fabulous fleet by just one minute and eleven seconds.

    The highlight is, of course, that we are back out racing and gathering new stories that will draw a smile when we finally grow up and sit on the nice rocker on the porch - like most people our age.

    Special thanks to Stockton Sailing Club, our RYC Yacht Club and the inspired people who built these wonderful boats some 45 years ago!

    PS best sighting: Bloom County going warp speed with their green Asso kite pulling them out of Pittsburg as if their tail was on fire.

    PPS: The txt this AM from Melinda Erkelens’ husband, Billy (who was unable to sail the Ditch due to other sailing commitments in Spain) was just three great words: “Nice work jerk!”

    Simon Winer
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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