Archive for October, 2008

Great Pumpkin Pursuit

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Raced the Great Pumpkin with Phillip, Nicole, Garth, and a few others aboard the j/105 Racer X. The Sunday Pursuit race, which goes  either way around Alcatraz and Angel island.  

  • Finish: Thirtieth out of one hundred sixty four (164) finishers, 195 registered
  • Wind Angel Island @ Fort Blunt: 20 knots, 25-30 knot gusts (National Weather Service)
  • Max Ebb at Alcatraz 14:45 hrs, 2.4 knots.

Phillip must have really needed crew, because he told me I could take any position I wanted if I came out. Of course, I picked tactics, figuring that all I needed for that job was a stogie, a Mt. Gay hat, and the ability to bellow “RIGHTS!” at every boat within hailing distance.

Since the wind picked up to the usual washing machine near Alcatraz, I was calling “tactics” from the bow, with boots full of water, switching the akite hoist to starboard.

Racer X Great Pumpkin

Racer X Great Pumpkin

photo credit: George Gurrola

Ultimiately, the most important tactics were:

  1. Go clockwise, choosing favorable wind (at the beginning of the race) over adverse current (coming through Racoon Straits at the end of the race).
  2. Stay way out of the Angel Island wind shadow coming out of Racoon, but not so far North that you miss the fill-in on the way back to Richmond.

Among the competitors were Far, Far (the Cal 40 that crushed our fleet in the Transpac) and Silkeye, one of those Wylie 30’s that always seem to stroll around the course (like the dbl-handed Farrallones) without spilling the skipper’s drink.