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Thread: Surprise!

  1. #71
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    Surprise!'s Three Bridge Fiasco report for Rich Baker, copied here:

    After studying the wind forecast and currents, several of us singlehanders planned to go CCW (partly to avoid traffic). But on my way to the course and right up until my approach to the start, I kept looking over towards TI/YBI and it looked very light. I also observed the majority of the Moore 24's and Express 27's (where many of the best sailors are) going to Blackaller first, so that's what I did. Of course my friends who went CCW probably beat me - I know at least one that did, by a half-hour.

    I got a good start and had a nice close reach down to Blackaller, finding a decent gap to get around the mark. Then I made my second mistake. Lots of boats risked the remaining ebb and sailed towards the north tower. Many had been swept out the Gate last year. But it must have been flooding well at the north end.

    I took a more conservative route and headed towards Angel Island. Going south of the island looked like light air so I planned to tack across to the entrance to Raccoon Strait - the pressure looked good up the west side of Angel Island. This worked out well but I got caught in a huge hole near Pt. Stuart. I'd beat the boats who sailed the farther distance but then I had to watch most of them pass by while I was stuck in the wind hole. Once I got moving again I had a decent sail through the Strait and up to Red Rock.

    The NE wind was strange up there. Boats to the east were on starboard tack in good breeze, sailing high enough to round from the east side. The boats to the west were on port tack in lighter breeze. Trying to cross over to the east was disastrous - there was a transition zone in the middle (probably from the island's wind shadow) that trapped many boats, including me. So I lost a few more boats before getting across into the better breeze and getting around. Then many of us got trapped again trying to get away from the island. It was also still ebbing up there, which wasn't in the forecast. We've seen this in other years due to runoff.

    I hoisted right away and enjoyed a tight spinnaker reach all the way down and around YBI. The puffs put the boat on the edge and I actually dialed up once near SH Shoal light. The boat was pressed pretty hard just then, with the main a bit over-sheeted. I wanted to see where the edge was, and there was just enough breeze to find out.

    Rounding YBI was tricky. Many boats took a wide lane to avoid its wind shadow but there was a narrow band of breeze up closer to the island. I saw a couple boats with spinnys still up, moving right on through. I followed them and passed a bunch of boats.

    Then the spinny came down and we all fought the flood as we tacked back up towards Pier 39. There were lots of boats doing this and frequent crossing issues. As a singlehander I chose to duck several times when I could have pressed my rights - it just wasn't worth all the angst, possible crash tacks, extra grinding etc. This is where the Three Bridge is getting old for me: Far too many double-handers who are better able to play that game.

    Once around Pier 39 it was a fast close reach to the finish with the jib on a rail lead. I finished just after 1500.

    NorCal PHRF rated my boat at 114, the same as a Cal 40. There were four of them in the race and since we started at the same time, I was curious to see how we would match up. The wind was moderate enough that a couple Cal 40's were able to fly genoas. Azure started right behind me and rolled me immediately with that extra power. The Cal 40's with non-overlapping jibs were a fairly even match upwind. I didn't get a comparison downwind - I didn't see (or wasn't close to) any with spinnakers.

    Conclusion: We were racing sailboats on a sunny day, with breeze, in January! What's not to like? I never put on a jacket. I finished the race and there were still quite a few boats behind me. The new (to me) boat sailed well. I'd call it a 100% success!
    .
    Last edited by BobJ; 01-27-2019 at 11:59 AM.

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    I'd call it a 100% success!
    .
    As well you should, Bob. Nice report.
    Lee
    s/v Morning Star
    Valiant 32

  3. #73
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    Sep 2007
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    I got my first look at Surprise at the 3BF...that is sure a pretty boat, Bob.

    Did I see another A-38 out there, but without a mizzen?
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  4. #74
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    Yes, that's the daysailer version of the AE38, which they started building about eight years later. Carl Schumacher was gone by then and the builder's team redesigned the boat. It's the same hull but lower freeboard, more ballast and a much taller carbon rig with square-topped main. That emerald green one belongs to Cinde Lou Delmas (also from RYC) and she was sailing it on Saturday. Scott Easom has borrowed it for the race in past years. Fun fact: Everything is powered on it, including the traveler!

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    Fun fact: Everything is powered on it, including the traveler!
    No doubt....except for the alternator, apparently. I got the skinny from Scott on Wednesday when I was over at Quantum. A fire almost put a damper on Cinde's first solo race. Heard she had a great time despite this.

  6. #76
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    Those electric winches pull some righteous amps. Surprise! has one for the main halyard - when I step on the button they have a brown-out in Pt. Richmond.

    (Well okay, AC vs. DC and all that...)

  7. #77
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    A handful of Lasers and an I-14 went out today for some heavy weather practice. All appeared to be well in control until they disappeared around the end of the jetty.

    Meanwhile I was in the clutches of another project.

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    Last edited by BobJ; 02-04-2019 at 12:42 AM.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    Those electric winches pull some righteous amps. Surprise! has one for the main halyard - when I step on the button they have a brown-out in Pt. Richmond.

    (Well okay, AC vs. DC and all that...)
    You have a magic button?!?! I am so jealous

  9. #79
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  10. #80
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    I like my new boat, but today I was missing my old one. Everything worked on the old one.

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