The forecasted weather for Saturday was 12 knots at noon, building to the mid twenties. Friday was cold and wet. It took a gentle push from Sweet Grapes Skipper, and Tactician, Mark Green to get me to set an alarm clock to make it to CPYC in time to fight the flood and make it to the start line for Interclub Series Race 1. Boy would he live to regret that decision.
At 9:00 AM, Saturday morning, Coyote Point was still cold but the sun was out and not a cloud in the sky. By our departure time, 30 minutes later, the marina was starting to warm and the forecasted winds had yet to appear. A leisurely motor up bay against the flood got us to the start line an hour early. The start for Interclub racing is always at NAS-2 which is one of the buoys leading to the naval ships just south of the Oakland Estuary entrance. But at Noon, the original start time, the winds had failed to appear so the race was postponed by 30 minutes. A gun announced the end of the postponement followed by the “A” course flag being raised. The race committee used the traditional method of setting flags to announce the course and after a quick check of the course by our tactician, he prepared us for a downwind start. Imagine his, and our, surprise when the four boats in our group crossed the line for a traditional windward start while we were pointed in the other direction and on the wrong side of the starting line. After a moment of embarrassment and some quick maneuvering we got around the committee boat and got started in the right direction. ( Not to rag too hard on “Wrong Way” Green but he was not the only CPYC skipper who got the course bass-ackwards that day! ) So after giving our competitors a minute or so lead we were off.
The race to the first mark was tedious with everyone fighting a 1+ knot current in very light winds. After an hour and 30 minutes we were approaching the first mark, placing first over the water. We were 100 yards from the mark when the winds died completely. A brief gust of wind provided enough momentum to get us around the mark and we prepared to raise our spinnaker for a downwind run to the bridge. Literally, at that moment the wind shifted 180 degrees. We tacked the jib, freed it from the pole lift line, the spinnaker guys, spinnaker sheet ( are you starting to get the idea? ) and we were off. The foredeck crew actually cleared up the mess in under 30 seconds.
We were passed on the upwind leg by the Hobie 30 and several of the multihulls but managed to stay in front of most the fleet. The wind began to build and after two more legs we were hanging on for dear life being overpowered but too close to the finish to justify a sail change. We did get to see Vita Bella flying up behind us smoking the competition. We didn’t get to see much of the C-34 fleet except for a couple of close passes by Jet Lag in this up and back course.
Group 1. Spinnaker < 165 Sweet Grapes 2nd. on the water, 3rd corrected time of 5,
Group 2. Catalina 34 Jet Lag 1st of 12,
Group 3. Nonspinnaker <170 Vita Bella 1st of 5,
Zingara 3rd of 5.
Congratulations to Jack Verducci and Torin Knorr for 1st place finishes! We understand that Torin’s finish is being protested for the Nth time by a same member of the C-34 fleet that always give him a hassle. All we have to say is “get a life” dude!
Sweet Grapes corrected out 1 minute 36 seconds behind the number two finisher. Hmmm, remember that start ???…… I would like to thank Mr. Green, for allowing himself to be subjected to this public ridicule while still buying premium brew for his crew. What more can a sailor want?
Keep on sailing!
Jim Manishin, Regatta Chair