Great Pumpkin Regatta

 

Hosted by Richmond Yacht Club

 

October 25-26, 2008

 

SeaBear Wins in outstanding Bay conditions!!

 

While the San Francisco Bay can throw temperatures in the 60’s and winds in the high 20’s all summer long, fall brings warmer temperatures and gentler breezes.  That is just what we had this year’s Pumpkin Regatta, well at least on Saturday.

 

Heading out of Richmond Yacht Club on Saturday morning (after some Gin Fizzes), we did not know what to expect.  The forecast was calling for light breeze, 1 knot ebb tide, and temperatures in the 70’s – Fall in the Bay.  The breeze did better than forecasted 12 on the racecourse.  Winds were out of the North, following the ebb tide, making for little chop.  Perfect S20 racing conditions.

 

Four Santana 20’s made it out to the line and as usual Fleet 12 made for some tight racing with everyone getting in the mix.  Hog Wild came down from Medford for the Bay sailing and epic RYC partying.

 

It came down to the start, hitting shifts and not being pushed into the windward mark.

 

 

Race 1 – Sea Bear handily won the start and made their way around the course.  The real battle was a few boat lengths back between Eve and Hog Wild.  We traded positions at each mark rounding with Hog Wild overtaking us after rounding the final leeward mark.  No ground could be made up, but all the S20’s finished within a two minute time span.

 

Race 2 presented tighter racing.  Senta won the start and beat the fleet to upwind -- but not without plenty of tight crossings and covers.  At the leeward mark, Senta went left and hit a huge lift shift to bring them well in front of the fleet at the windward mark.  They held on to the downwind finish.

 

In Race 3, Sea Bear showed their Bay experience and demonstrated how it was done.  They took the start and did not stop.  The only thing that could have helped the rest of us was a whale (and we were hoping).  Sea Bear showed exceptional speed to take the race.

 

Sail#

Boat

Skipper

R1

R2

R3

T

497

Sea Bear

Jason Crowson

1

2

1

4

567

Senta

Anne Newton

2

1

2

5

706

Eve

Adam Mazurkiewicz

4

3

3

10

668

Hogwild

Bryan Simpson

3

4

4

11

 

Sunday’s pursuit race was a completely different game. The course was around Alcatraz and Angel’s Island --- your choice of direction!  Forecasts earlier in the week had predicted light conditions.  By Sunday morning, the forecast was for breezy conditions – up to 20 knots later in day.  Sunday morning there was fog on the bay and gentle breezes on the way out to the course.  Was the forecast for real?

 

Just before the first warning, the breeze started to fill out of the West.  By the time our start time came up, the wind was up to 10-12; perfect for sailing out to Alcatraz.  We started at the race committee boat end of the start line and sailed fast and high, riding the ebb tide out to Alcatraz.  It became very apparent the fog was not going to clear to give us a good visual of the Alcatraz (or anything) before we got near.  So we took a short tack to stay in the main channel and used the tide to help take us out further.

 

We tacked back and we were in the fog – still no sighting of the island.  Now the winds were really building - easily gusting into the 20’s.  We thought about a sail change but we had to be almost there – we decided to hold on until we rounded.  The tack turned out not to be necessary.  When we sighted Alcatraz, we were over standing the island so we footed way off.  As we rounded Alcatraz, the chop got big.  Big for the S20.

 

While way overpowered, we bore off and had a screaming reach while surfing the waves --WHOAA!! -- all the way to Raccoon Straits!  This is when we realized our extra tack did not pay; Hog Wild had what seemed like a quarter mile lead!!  As we approached Raccoon Straits we set the chute and were planning to hang on…but the winds were substantially lower and the ebb tide was very strong.  We made our way to the north side of the channel and followed the shoreline to get relief from the current.

 

 

And did it work out!!  The huge lead Hog Wild put on us for our lame tack earlier on was eaten right up - plus some.  We worked hard in the lightening breeze and maneuvered to keep clear air from all the big boats (there were 164 boats in this race) and finished in time to get in line for some of the first beers!

 

Place

Sail #

Boat

Skipper

Club

111

706

Eve

Adam Mazurkiewicz

Stockton Sailing Club

137

668

Hogwild

Bryan Simpson

Rogue Yacht Club

 

Report by Adam and Brooke Mazurkiewicz “Eve” #706 with some editing by the Webmaster