Monday, January 31, 2011

Wild Times for Wild Rumpus

For the sailors in the crowd here's a sailin yarn...Our Santa Cruz -27 had been stripped of all deck hardware to address wet balsa coring in the deck in December. Mast step, winches, tracks, pulpits everything...We made plans to compete in the the 3 Bridge Fiasco on Jan 29th in San Francisco Bay. 369 boats ,single and doublehanded, 21 miles from Blackaller(near south Tower), Red Rock (near Richmond) and Treasure Island. Start and finish off St. Francis, round all three marks any order , either way around. On Thursday Jan27 AYC members Wlat Meagher, Colin Emsley, Don Pinter and Chris Roethle assembled @ 1000hrs to start bolting on hardware, by 1600 we loaded the mast and headed to SF. We arrived Friday @ 1100 hrs and stepped the mast @ St Francis. Steph flew in Friday night. We stayed in Union Square @ The Sir Francis Drake Hotel (90.00 via Hotwire) . Since it is a pursuit race we were able to watch the boats that started earlier choose their course. I estimate 300 boats along with us chose the "wrong" direction. We beat up the city front in light winds with boats actually sailing inside the breakwaters to avoid current. At Treasure Island things really got crazy as boats deployed anchors, rafted up, bounced off rocks and bridge abutments . The wind finally filled and we set spinnakers in a building westerly for a run to Red Rock. Boats met on the backside in combination spinnaker/headsail changes and beat in sloppy waves and 20kts up Raccoon Straits to Sausalito. By now it was getting dark and the the 1900 time limit was fast approaching. It was a tight reach across the Golden Gate with boats approaching in rain, fog and darkness into the bright lights of the Presedio to locate Blackaller Buoy. We rode a 3kt flood down the beach to finish with 4 minutes to spare. By now it was pouring so we dropped the spar,set the boat on the trailer, and retired to the hotel. Sunday morning we secured the boat and hove into Anacortes @ 2300 hrs. We set a new record 141st out of 369. Breaks my previous record of 102nd in 2008 Ditch Run..... Oh well that's sailin!

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