Day 4

It ended well. Today, we were greeted with more typical San Francisco Bay conditions. Windy, cold, foggy and big current. Both races today were decided by a big move on the first run. In the first race of the day, Howie Shiebler and his crew Will Stout hung it out into the middle of the bay and got that last of the flood to win the race. We finished fourth in that one and with Freddy Loof finishing third we went into the last race tied with Shiebler and 2 points ahead of Loof/Eckstrom.

All the starts on the city front racing, it was important for current reasons, to start at the left end of the line. In three out of the four starts we won the left end of the line, once we were over early and restarted but still won that race after quickly gybing around the pin.

We had a good start in the last race just to leeward of Shiebler/Stout. We could not pinch them off so we drag raced out to the left side. We had to tack first and duck Shiebler and this put him in control of the race and the regatta. However, he got caught up in some traffic and we sprung free of him to round the first mark right on his heels. He gybed out to the middle, a move which won him the first race, and we continued straight along the city front. It was a regatta-winning move for us this time as Shiebler and all those who gybed immediately lost several hundred yards when we converged down at the leeward mark off Alcatraz. 1992 World Champions Carl Buchan and Hugo Schriener led at the leeward mark and won the race. For us, once we rounded the leeward mark it is a matter of not making any big mistakes for the rest of the race.

We finished second and won the regatta with 12 points. Both Loof and Shiebler sailed their worst races of the regatta and that meant that Loof/Eckstrom beat Sheibler/Stout by one point, 20 to 21. Mark Reynolds and Magnus Lijedahl moved up to 4th over all with a 6,4 for the day and Eric Doyle and Rodrigo Meireles finished fifth.

It is always nice to win on your home waters and your home club. I have to say that I was proud of our clubs’ management and in particular regatta chairman Chris Shinning and our professional race director John Craig. They used great judgement in getting six good races in in conditions that are not very straightforward. And when postponing ashore for lack of wind or fog (this morning), they made an effort to personally walk around the docks and communicate what they were thinking to the competitors. I think this made the regatta fun and friendly for the all.

For Phil and I it is another nice achievement on our path to the Olympics next summer. There is still plenty of room for improvement so no slowing down for us. Well, maybe we’ll take tomorrow morning off from the gym.

Day 3

Back in front! We had a great day with a 4, 1 and are now back in the lead of the Star North American Championship. Two more races will be sailed tomorrow on the San Francisco City Front course.

The wind was late in arriving again today but we got race number 3 off around 13:30 in 14 knots of wind. The current was ebbing so this kept the racecourse as open as it can be on the City front. We had a great start at the pin again but the guys just up the line, the boats had a bit more pressure and a bit more right shifted wind. We got around the top mark 4th but lost a bit to the boats who gybed out early. Eric Doyle and his crew Rodrigo Meireles made a big move there. There was more pressure out and even though the shore was favored from a current standpoint, Eric moved into the lead there and held it for the rest of the race. We rounded the second windward mark 3rd but lost Freddy Loof on the run to the finish so we finished fourth. Doug Schofield and his brother Robert sailed a great race to finish second. Shiebler/Stout and Reynolds/Lijedahl, our main competitors from yesterday were behind us so we were moving up. At that point, Eric Doyle was winning the regatta.

The second race started in much the same conditions, 14 knots of wind but the current was starting to slacken from the max ebb situation we had in the first race. We started right at the pin again but were called over early. We rounded the pin quickly and headed off on port in a clear lane. We worked the shifts nicely and round the top mark about 10th. Down the run we were one of the first to gybe out. Again, this was “bad” from a current standpoint but good from a wind pressure standpoint. In the end, the wind pressure was more valuable than the current and we gained. We rounded the leeward mark 3rd. Up the second windward leg we passed one boat and down the final run we passed the leader. We actually got very lucky here. A ferry boat went by and we surfed it’s wake. We went from being in second by 100 meters to being in first. From there we just hung on and got the bullet.

Now the standings are: Cayard/Trinter 12, Loof/Ekstrom 17, Shiebler/Stout 20, Hutchinson/Scott 23, Marazzi/De Maria (SUI) 25, Doyle/Meireles 26, and Reynolds/Lijedahl 30. After the first race tomorrow, each boat will get to drop it’s worst score. All our competitors have a worse race than we do so they will all gain on us. Considering the throughout now, we have a three point lead on Shiebler and Loof who are tied.

So it will be a tough finish tomorrow

Day 2

Tough day for sailing on San Francisco Bay. The wind did not cooperate for until abou 1400 today and then is was on the light side. However, this coupled with a realively weak current made for the most “open course” racing that you can have on SF Bay. Normally, racing on San Francisco Bay, expecially along the city front, is a one way street. He who wins the start and gets control of the race rarely looses as the others have to follow his track.

This was not the case today. With the starting line just west of Alcatraz and the windward mark just north of Presidio Shoals, the shoreline was not a factor. The wind shifted back and forth and the pressure was also incosistent. So it was a heads out of the boat race. We had a great start at the leward end but that wasn’t good enough to get us the lead up the first beat. We rounded the first mark about 4th and passed one boat on the run. Unfortunately, we set up to go toward the shore and there was much more pressure out in the middle of the bay. Sheibler and Hutchinson made the most of that. There were a few more shifts up the beat that we did no make th emost of but we still rounded the windward mark 5th. Eric Doyle had a big move at the end of the second windward leg to round fourth. Down the last run, we payed too much atention to the current and not enough to the pressure and lost MArk Reynolds and finished 6th. Howard Sheibler won the race so he has a handly lead in the regatta with a 1,2. Terry Hutchinson finished second, Freddy Loof third.

We only got one race in.

So over all, Sheibler is winning, Cayard, Reynolds are tied for 2nd, Hutchinson is fourth Loof 5th. Tomorrow 2 races are scheduled for Berkeley Circle.

Day 1

We started out the Star North American Championship with a bang…a gun acutally. We won the first race which was held on the Berkeley Circle Race course in 12-16 knots of wind. 40 Stars were on the line for the only race of the day which got under way about 14:45.

We will race six races over the four days; Saturday-Tuesday. One today on Berkeley Circle, two Sunday on the City Front Race course (good for Spectating), two Monday on Berkeley Circle and that last one on the City front on Tuesday.

The wind was fairly steady in direction with some small oscilations and velocity differeces that had to be played in order to gain some advantage. Leading at the first Mark was Geroge Zsabo with Howie Sheibler in a close second. We were third, Marazzi of Switzerland fourth and Reynolds/Liljedahl were fifth. The wind lighted considerably on the first run but not much changed in the positions. Reynolds made a nice move by getting onto port right away to begin the second windward leg and took over the lead. We battled with Shiebler and finally Reynolds at the top of the second beat and took the lead at the second windward mark. We held it from there to the finish although there was some gains and losses. Sheibler was second, Reynolds third, MacCausland fourth, Marazzi (SUI) fifth, Hutchinson 6th, Eric Doyle 7th, and Freddy Loof from (SWE) 8th.

Tomorrow we race two races on the city front course where the current will be a bigger factor. First start is a 11:00. Tonight was the father daughter dance at St. Francis Yacht Club. Nice to see Mark Reynolds and Doug Smith in Tuxedo’s! Their girls looked pretty good too.

ISAF Worlds

The best way to classify the ISAF World Championships is to say that it is a festival of sailing. 11 regattas going on at the same venue at the same time, 2000 sailors, 6 racecourses, it is a great display of our sport. For the purpose of exposing the sport through media, this is a great idea. Also, for the Star sailors, it is fun to mix with the other sailors; most of whom we never see because our regattas are usually stand-alone events. The “big mix” is more common in Europe at places like SPA Week, Kiel Week and Yeres Week where many classes are racing. Being altogether also give a more Olympic flavor to the regatta.

Further there are some economies of scale. International Juries, Race committees and administrations are pooled for the use of all classes. Cadiz is one of the few venues on the world that could host such a large group. The Marina at Porto Sherry is quite large and there is plenty of room for mooring the keelboats. On the other side of the venue there is a ramp that has to be 500 meters long and all the dinghy