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Thread: Bring back the Estuary Race

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    222

    Default Bring back the Estuary Race

    I was reminded by the Round the Rocks trophy, that it used to be the East Bay/Estuary Race. I propose we bring it back, or perhaps just alternating years between RTR and Estuary. For the Estuary race we could do same start in Berkeley either Yellow Bluff or Pt. Bonita, with a finish at the OYC or Encinal dock. Encinal
    does have a nice guest dock where we could host an after race keg?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    92

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    I miss the Estuary race, too. My recollection is that it was removed from the calendar after some issues between the sss fleet and shipping traffic a few years back. A real pity...

  3. #3
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnS View Post
    I miss the Estuary race, too. My recollection is that it was removed from the calendar after some issues between the sss fleet and shipping traffic a few years back. A real pity...
    I remember the last one, and yes there was an issue with an incoming container. But we cross traffic lanes on all of our races, it is something we need to be aware of an deal with regardless. I think like in many other cases, there was some over reaction. I think its time to try again.

  4. #4
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    Nov 2008
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    I love races that end 10 minutes from my slip, as opposed to 2+ hours....

  5. #5
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    Oct 2007
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    158

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    How about replacing the CYC instead of RTR?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Santa Rosa
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    The original idea behind the "East Bay Estuary" Race was to provide a race closer to boats who lived over that way. The Oakland YC has always supported the SSS, so it was selected as the Finish. Going downwind in the Estuary is usually mellow, unless there's a container ship turning and completely blocking it, as happened more than once - leaving part of the fleet sailing circles for 10 minutes until that task is accomplished.

    Some of will recall the fateful East Bay - Estuary Race on which quite a few boats interfered with an incoming container ship. Instead of going into the Estuary, as was expected, the ship was headed for the old Oakland Army Terminals on the outside, and had to take a left turn. Quite a few SSS boats had stayed left, thinking it was going into the Estuary, so were caught in its path. We invited the pilot to the Awards Party and he graciously attended, even bringing Bar Pilot Coffee Mugs and pens to distribute. But he did point out that he had to reverse his engine, which meant shutting it down and then restarting it in reverse and then doing it all over to get moving forward again - container ships don't have sport car transmissions - nor brakes. After this, and since the number of boats in the race had grown significantly, it was decided to avoid using the Estuary as part of the race. Over the years there had been container ships in the Estuary turning or just sharing the space with a 100 SSS boats.

    After this decision the "East Bay" race bounced around with different courses until it ended up looking like it does. Actually for many boats the RYC isn't a bad destination. The club is welcoming and has room to tie up. Boats headed back to Berkeley or the Estuary can usually reach along fairly comfortable. Although the Oakland YC was always happy to have SSS folks stick around, finding a place to tie up was a problem.

    For those of us who live in Marin or along the City Front, both destinations are difficult. It's a loooong way back from the OYC to Sausalito, usually against a westerly wind in the slot. It's not so far from the RYC, to Sausalito, but almost always against a west wind. There are, however, many more SSS boats who live in the East Bay than "out West," so their return to the berth is more comfortable.

    The Corinthian Race was started when Peter was involved with the CYC (he was eventually Commodore there). It's had a somewhat rocky history, and was even suspended for a few years. The CYC makes money renting out their ballroom, so there is usually a conflict with using their race deck and a ban on using guns. Although there is a guest dock, it's limited. Over the years the welcome mat has been both in and out following the race. It is, however, a great race for those of us in Marin to Start and Finish! (Why not be a little "dog in the manger-ish?"

    My suggestion is to leave both races as they are. Live with the limitations at the CYC and enjoy the good times at the RYC.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    I totally would have won RTR if I didn't have to go around a tanker leaving the Richmond Terminal!

    Chris King
    Puffin
    Alden 44

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Santa Rosa
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    Chris, I give you that. I got across just as the tanker was aimed at the channel and beginning to move. Another 3 or 4 minutes and I would have joined you. But I still think a short delay as a Chevron tanker gets underway, which is pretty rare, is better than 15 minutes while a container ship completely fills the Estuary as it back and fills with the aid of several tow boats to make a 180 uey. There's almost always several container ships coming or going in the Estuary each day.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Ahhh...one of my fondest 2nd half openers was on Ed Durbin's Mistral. We were fortunate to be at the head of the fleet as the ship turned. It was a breathtaking couple of minutes as we glided to the wall of the turning basin and the container ship glided back, back, forward into its uey. All the forces of current, breeze and momentum were at play. And nerve. Bless his heart, Ed had nerve.

    For those who care, services honoring Ed Durbin are scheduled from 1-3 June 6 at Richmond Yacht Club. (Ed raced in the Catalina 27 fleet, the San Francisco 30 Fleets.)

  10. #10
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    Sep 2007
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    Second Half Opener does a similar course. I'm sure we can get Encinal to host the finish. They have plenty of room for boats to dock in for the afternoon or night before heading home.

    I do admit there are some selfish reasons about this request but 4 hrs of total delivery for every race is pretty annoying. It would be nice to at least finish a race in the Estuary for the boats that live there. It's also nice and warm. I don't know how predictable the shipping schedules are but perhaps the course/start could be tweaked if some shipping is anticipated.

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