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Thread: The Race Deck

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2022

    Default The Race Deck

    The start line choices I have made were on the basis of reasons I still find compelling. While I do not intend to publish them here to the planet, I'll gladly stand up for a few minutes in Half Moon Bay to discuss in a more intimate venue.

    Eight days ago Skip was kind enough to mention some "opinons" about the race decks I have used, namely StFYC vs GGYC. I could not really see a big difference 750 feet makes in a long ocean race, or even in the 1.3 NM trek to the south tower. (EG, the current relief in Marina Green is a bit further away and the H beam a little closer; vs having more distance to calibrate current after leaving marina green, and being 750' closer to the bridge in a flood, etc.)

    Belatedly I realized that some people might like to come out and watch the race starts from the race deck. The SSS held in-person meetings for many years, and the closest thing left to those for many races has been coming to the start.

    Important: for the upcoming Half Moon Bay Race, I expect a great social gathering at the finish in Half Moon Bay, complete with food and beverage for purchase from the Half Moon Bay YC. Plus shirt pickup.

    I've asked a few long time SSS'ers if I should host a starting social event at Crissy Field. They discouraged that, especially as the Half Moon Bay race already has a social function at the other end.

    So let me adopt my other plan:

    I can get ~4 people into whatever site we use by dubbing them official race committee volunteers. You'll be given a actual job for the starts, but I can guarantee a starting line view. If the on-the-line view matters. Sign up here by September 1, please.

    Lastly, from Skip's thread it seems people were concerned about how welcoming StFYC is to the SSS Race Committee, based on their own experiences in the past. That's really thoughful, and I appreciate your worry on my behalf. In practice the new-this-year Race Director has been very friendly to me, and by extension the SSS teams I have had on the race deck. Perhaps some of it is because I've personally volunteered for StFYC races, and that may have generated goodwill for not just me, but the SSS as well. And thank you for drawing my attention to the 2 degree difference in how cracked off you need to be at the start, or how high you must sail at the finish. I'll bear that in mind if there is a heavy ebb predicted.

    Richard, 2023 SSS Race Co-Chair
    Last edited by fauxboat; 08-21-2023 at 10:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Santa Rosa


    I've run races on SF Bay since the 1980s -- more than 300. So let me jump in here. I'd be careful about loose discussion having to do with what yacht club is friendly or not. A particular yacht club's attitude toward other racing authorities using their facilities changes over time. There have been times when the GGYC didn't allow the SSS to use it's race deck. The races were run from the seawall. There have been times when the StFYC has been reluctant to allow other clubs use their deck. There have been times when a club with food service has given chits and other times it's denied any service. What happened years ago doesn't necessarily frame this year's experience. Race councils, race directors, guest race committees change.

    These clubs, especially the StFYC, have busy race schedules of their own. Fitting in an outside yacht club's race is a courtesy.

    But the bottom line fact is those are the 2 clubs with facilities for launching ocean races. A one-way race like HMB is often easier to fit in since the out-of-town race committee is in and out and the boats go away. A full-day on the race deck and then a long finishing time is more difficult. At any host club the visiting race committee is just that -- visiting. My experience at both the GGYC and StFYC over the years has varied from feeling like just another member to pretty hostile. But if I went my club to be able to continue using their race deck in the future I roll with the punches. And I'm talking about a time when I was the Chairman of the Yacht Racing Association of Northern California with guest privileges at both cubs.

    Okay, there's a wedding:no gun and we'll stay out of the main room. Okay, there's club-sponsored race starting 15 minutes after my race: we'll clean up and vacate in plenty of time. Can't use the food service: order pizza from Chestnut St. Today's race is important, but so are the races next year. As race director of the day I can't let my personal feelings screw things up for those who will follow me. And if I hold grudges years later i poison the present.

    Speaking of next year, YRA is collecting race dates for the 2024 schedule. I hope the racing authorities that sponsor ocean races can get together and plan better this year. As you know the morning of Saturday, September 9 is a busy one for ocean racing. The SSS is sending boats to HMB, the OYRA is sending boats out and back on a "Race Committee Choice" race (probably a repeat of the Lightship Race & using the StFYC deck at 09:40), and now the Berkeley YC is holding race out around Bonita #2. There have been conflicts between the SSS and OYRA all season. That means I've had to make a painful choice to not participate in several SSS races. Pleae take those of us who love ocean racing into consideration when selecting dates. -- Patrick Broderick, former SSS Commodore & YRA Chairman

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Well spoken, Wylieguy! It's been sometime since we raced Finns weekday evenings off the GGYC seawall, using a car horn and headlights for start signals.

    I don't have a dog in this hunt except the St,FYC commodore is a good friend and lives in Santa Cruz. Another best friend since college is not allowed in the Club because of taking a minority view on Club politics. I will remind that men wearing a cap or hat in the St,FYC clubhouse may be excused from the premises.
    Last edited by sleddog; 08-22-2023 at 09:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Wylieguy View Post
    There have been conflicts between the SSS and OYRA all season. That means I've had to make a painful choice to not participate in several SSS races. Pleae take those of us who love ocean racing into consideration when selecting dates. -- Patrick Broderick, former SSS Commodore & YRA Chairman
    Thank you, Pat, for bringing this up! In the past it seemed like a natural choice to sign up for both OYRA and SSS, but this year participating in both series was pretty much mutually exclusive. Cheers Jan

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