Jule joined me for brunch on ANTICIPATION at 11 am, and Greg and his son Michael from Placerville joined us at 12:30 pm for our afternoon outing of watching the Big Boats racing on the bay. The morning fog had burned off early and it was sunny but cool on the water.
We left port about 12:45 pm and headed out into the central bay with reefed main only, and soon spotted AKELA [3rd out of 9 boats in IRC A] heading for the cityfront on starboard tack and looking good as usual!
We headed downwind toward Blossom Rock buoy to watch some mark roundings and soon saw Double Trouble heading for the mark with jib up and, apparently, preparing to douse the kite.
Diablita, the Regatta winner in 1D35 clsas, was flying kite and jib as she headed for the mark.
Sweet Sensation [5th of 7 boats overall] was dousing her kite as she approahed the mark.
Double Trouble and another J105 are rounding the mark and heading north, not heading back upwind, apparently sailing toward another mark before heading upwind again. For some reason, Double Trouble is not listed in the final regatta results????
Here, ZSA ZSA [8 of 8 overall] and Great Sensation [2nd of 8 overall] are on a beam reach toward the next mark-- spmething we don't usually see.
TKO, the eventual regatta winner in her IRC C class, was heading upwind and looking great!
This gaff-rigged schooner was sailing around and watching the races as well.
This IRC boat, ABSOLUTE O2 [last of 8 boats in overall IRC C fleet] was sailing upwind and taking blasts of spray.
We soon spotted the distintive spinnaker of Phantom Mist [4th overall in IRC D] and headed for the buoy north of Blossom Rock that this fleet was headed towards.
The crew of Phantom Mist was raising the jib here in preparation for dousing the kite and rounding the mark....
... and here they are dousing the kite.
Hawkeye [8th out of 13 in IRC D] and the boat Olivier crews on, was dousing her kite as she aproached the mark. She might have finished higher in the overall standings but for a DNF caused by an injury to a crew member during a collision with ACABAR-- see below.
The lead boat here is just finishing shoving the spinnaker belowdecks while the following boat is still dousing as she approaches the mark. Cant tell what boats these are.
White Fang [12th out of 13 in IRC D] is looking great as she rounds the mark to head back upwind.
A Hunter sailboat was stupidly crossing the race course just inside the mark instead of intelligently staying off the course while boats were rounding.
Aleta [10th in IRC D] was looking good as she rounding the mark. Note from this and other photos that the Rolex stickers on the hulls of many of the boats were being destroyed by the boats plowing through waves while sailing upwind during the more brutal days of the regatta.
We eventually spotted Bodacious, 9th overall in the IRC D fleet, heading for the mark with jib already raised....
....dousing the kite as she approached the mark....
... and keeping the kite out of the water as she nears the mark.
The rich golden-colored kite of ACABAR [6th overall out of 13 in IRC D] was being doused as she approached the mark...
.. and was almost compltely doused as she started to round. Olivier sent me an email that reported this about ACABAR in the 2nd race on Saturday:
"Saturday was stained by a collision 2 minutes after the start with Acabar bearing down on us and not keeping clear as we were beating up the course (we were leeward with right of way), the collision itself was not too bad as the boats were side by side if it was not for a crew on our boat not lifting her legs as it happened and acting as a fender between two boats fully powered ... yikes !!!! of course she was injured and we had to retire right away. Fracture of the phibia [sic, tibia probably] but at the crew dinner that same evening she seemed in good spirit so I guess it was not as bad as it could have been."
ACABAR also took a DNF in that race.
Boats in the IRC fleets were headed upwind from way to the northeast, like WICKED here who finished 8th overall out of 9 boats in the IRC B fleet.
We could see the J120 fleet heading downwind so we stayed around this leeward mark instead of trying to get over to Blossom Rock where other fleets were spproaching that mark. Two boats not usually in the lead were in that postion as the fleet approached the mark with colorful kites flying but jibs already up to prepare for kite dousing.
Here, Grace Dances and another J120 are dousing their kites well in advance of reaching the mark.
The lead J120, Chance [winner of the overall regatta, besting out Mr Magoo by 1 point], is still flying her spinnaker as she approaches the mark, perhaps trying to increase her lead.
She was dousing after rounding and the second boat was only a couple of boat-lengths behind at the most.
Grace Dances [4th overall] had spinnaker doused and stowed belowdecks before approaching the mark....
... and looking good as she rounded and headed upwind again...
... her crew mostly on the rail and the boat looking well balanced. Michael later told me on the phone that they ultimately had a photo finish while charging downwind toward the finish line in front of the yacht club with four boats finishing within 3 seconds of each other, with Grace Dances in 3rd place by a fraction of a boat length. Must have been exciting to watch!
Two other J120s were trailing by a number of boat lengths and still approaching the mark...
.. and Desdemona [6th overall] was looking good as she rounded the mark with boats of another fleet approaching.
Here Golden Moon, 3rd overall in the Express 37 fleet, is dousing and shrimping while rounding the mark with the 1D35 fleet-- not sure to which fleet she belongs.
The Express 37 fleet was next to arrive: here 'Eclipse' and BLADE RUNNER are charging toward the mark wiht BLADE RUNNER already having raised her jib and 'elipse' preparing to do so. BLADE RUNNER ended up 7th overall out of 10 boats.
'Eclipse' [4th overall out of 10] is dousing her kite here, but her jib is still not up-- what gives with that, I wonder?
Her kite is shrimping a bit as she approaches the mark.
This Express boat Spindrift [6th in final standings out of 10 boats] is doing a late kite douse right at the mark....
... and is still dousing while charging upwind with 'elipse' ahead of her still having her jib on deck-- perhaps having some halyard trouble????
ZSA ZSA, our neighbor boat who finished last among 7 boats, was rounding the mark with the Express fleet, well behind her own 1D35 fleet.
LIFT IT [actually a boat named 'Summer and Smoke that finished 2nd overall in the Beneteau fleet] had her kite already down as she approached the mark with crew looking relaxed....
.....and she looked good as she rounded the mark with one crew member scrambling to get to the high side beore she headed upwind.
Ay Caliente, part of the Beneteau 36.7 one-design fleet and taking 4th place out of 6 boats, was dousing her kite as she approached the mark...
... and also looked good as she rounded the mark.
Mistral had more than half her kite to douse still as she rounded the mark.
..with Bafflehead close behind and in very close quarters here.
Finally, we spotted the J105 fleet headed for ths same mark and here the leader, DONKEY JACK, has jib up and beginning to do a kite douse....
the crew getting the kite on deck before she approaches the mark. She finished 4th in the final standings due to a disqualification in this last race. Wonder what happened? She would have been the winner of the regatta but for this disqualification, after winning the J105 nationals a couple of weeks ago.
AQUAVIT [2nd overall at end of regatta] was also dousing her kite while approaching the mark....
... as was JAM SESSION [6th place in final standings], these boats being several boat lengths apart and well-ahead of the pack.
ONE TRICK PONY [13th in final standings], on the other hand, was in some traffic as she doused her spinnaker.
The leaders were already around the mark and heading upwind as a group of the boats in the fleet headed for the mark behind their colorful kites.
A bunch of boats were all within a couple of boat-lengths as they approached the mark and readied to douse their kites....
... but they didn't have a big traffic jam at the mark as they sometimes do.
Here, one J105 has rounded the mark and is heaidng upwind, while BLACKHAWK [3rd in final standings] is approaching the mark on starboard tack and is pretty close.
BLACKHAWK has to do a gybe douse as she rounds the mark...
... and still has a lot of dousing work to do as she rounds...
... and seems to be shrimping a bit as she works to finish the douse while charging upwind.
This trailing boat with the distinctive kite design was close to the mark and still not dousing, so must have also done a gybe douse.
We watched all the J105s round the mark and then we headed upwind toward Sausalito with a bit of jib pulled out to get in some real sailing for Greg and Michael, sailing past little Harding before coming about and heading back toward home port, pulling out the jib to full for downwind power against the ebb current. We did some surfing in nice wind waves on Alcatraz shoal and had to eventually douse the jib and main in the shadow of pier 33 since the cruise ship tied up at pier 35 hadn't left yet.
It was a great outing, and nice to have crewmates to share in the pleasure of watching the great racing action.