Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rolex Big Boat Series 2015


About 3 days before Rolex Big Boat Series ( #RBBS15 ) started, I received a text message from a sailing friend asking if I could crew on an Express 37. I looked at my schedule and by the luck of the Irish (I'm not Irish, but I will take their luck) I had all four days off from work. The Express 37 has a dip pole jibe similar to Zamazaan (Farr 52) that I normally crew on, so why not! The Express 37 lost 3 of their normal crew and were in a pinch to find a bow person. I committed to work bow all 4 days.


Escapade, the Express 37 I was on, heading to the start line on Thursday. Photo by AmyH who was sailing on J105 for Big Boat.

Day one we had 2 great races, lots of wind and some neck and neck racing on the bay. The current was an issue for us as we went outside the Golden Gate Bridge on the second race of the day and as winds picked up to 17 knots.

Race Result for the Rolex Big Boat Series 2015

Great video produced by Over SF of the Rolex Big Boat series day 1 -- Thursday September 17th, 2015. At around 0:55 seconds, you will see our blue hull boat sailing up wind past the marina greens. My next gift to myself is a drones.

Rolex Big Boat Series 2015

Thursday nights party was hosted by Rolex and, once again, we were not disappointed by their munchies! Lovely buffet table of smoked salmon and other finger foods for us hungry sailors.

Rolex hosted the gala for the Farr 40 Worlds 2014 and that was a culinary delight. Well done, Rolex!

Rolex Big Boat Series 2015

The real reason I sail...the free food! Just kidding, but what a lovely selection of dessert. We devoured the petite lime cream cheese and fruit tarts and fresh baked cookies.

Friday, Aug. 18, 2015, the Express 37 fleet (7 boats) had a Treasure Island start. The wind finally changed direction and filled in nicely with eight knots of breeze. After a short delay, race #3 was on with warm, mild wind. Race #4 was a different story as the breeze increased to 18 knots and the current was at max flood. Once again, we had some challenges under the Golden Gate Bridge because of the ripping incoming current. In the above video at 1:01, see our boat with the blue hull battle, tack for tack, with two other Express 37s in a massive flood near the north tower of the GG Bridge. Yacht racing at its finest in the San Francisco Bay.

Rolex Big Boat Series 2015

Friday nights party was hosted by Mount Gay Rum with a slew of food trucks parked in the grassy area east of the St. Francis Yacht Club: Bacon Bacon, Kara's Cupcakes, and some yummy El Sur Empanadas. We stayed at the party until the Mount Gay Rum was gone, the sun had set and the winds had once again died down. Fun night at #RBBS15

Rolex Big Boat Series 2015

Happy team with all smiles!

Hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club, this is the 51st year of the regatta in the San Francisco Bay. One of my highlights from this years regatta was seeing perhaps one of the most famous big boats in the world, Kialoa III, a Sparkman and Stephens designed boat.

"From the mid- to late-1970s and ’80s, the yacht accumulated more sailing trophies and records than just about any other campaign, including an elapsed time record in a downwind Sydney Hobart Race that was held for 21 years. She was recently bought by a syndicate of enthusiasts who formed the K3 Foundation to restore her and revisit many of the races that made the boat so legendary in ocean racing circles. (Kialoa III competed in the St. Francis Big Boat Series in 1976 and ’78.)"

Rolex Big Boat Series 2015

As temps reached 81 degrees on the city front Saturday, the wind was not in our favor. Once again we were put on wind postponement until about 2PM. As predicted, we got our late-afternoon westerly blowing about 6 to 10 knots. We competed in a painfully slow race #4 with inconsistent, mild wind and challenging current. From what I heard later that night at the club, this is not normal weather for #RBBS. Typically, this time of year, breeze is in the high teens or greater.

Rolex Big Boat Series 2015

Day 4 of Rolex Big Boat was a wash. With high temps in the 80ies and no breeze, the race was called about 12PM and we all went to the St. Francis Yacht Club to watch the 49ers vs. Stealers. In the photo above, see the J111 Madmen sitting in glass like waters around 11am on Sunday.

Rolex Big Boat Series 2015

At the end of the day, our boat didn't do very well. As a matter of fact, we took last in our fleet. However, we had fun, we didn't break anything and we left the regatta with good stories and new friendships.

Rolex Big Boat Series 2015

It was a pleasure to see 3 of my friends yachts take first in their class and receive their hardware. These aren’t just any regatta trophies. These are Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner timepieces.

“Excellence is the rarest thing in the world,” said Bud’s owner/skipper Victor Wild, addressing hundreds of sailors from the stage at the Rolex Awards Ceremony. “We came here for that, and we found it."

Congrats to the Atlantic Perpetual Trophy awarded in the HPR class winner Peter Krueger, Double Trouble (no photo) and ORR C Wayne Koide, Encore (photo above).

Rolex Big Boat Series 2015

Congrats! Keefe Kilborne Trophy for the J/111 class Rob Theis, Aeolus.

Rolex Big Boat Series 2015

Check out all the photos here on my Flickr Account

Rolex Big Boat 2015

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