Beautiful warm sunny weather, with steady 12 to 15 knot breezes, provided sensational conditions on the Berkeley Circle for the 22 boat J/105 fleet, the largest participants in the San Francisco YC’s popular June Invitational. We sailed five races and as usual there were no throw-outs.
Saturday’s racing showed steady winds with very few notable shifts. The first race had a south side bias due to late flood/slack current effects and a building Southwest pressure. Phil Laby and the team on Godot had a good start towards the pin end of the line and headed left towards the port lay-line. At the first weather mark, Godot crossed behind Steve Kent’s Perseverance but with favorable downwind positioning rounded ahead at the leeward mark, never to look back and taking the win in the first race.
Ryan Simmons’ Blackhawk won races #2 and 3, securing the lead for the day with 5 points. Godot trailed on the leaderboard with 8 points, partly due to a very late OCS call in the second race. Despite restarting a full minute late (as indicated by the GPS tracker), they managing to claw back to a fifth place finish. In the last race on Saturday, a fun battle ensued for the lead between Blackhawk and Godot, with Godot coming in second behind a well-sailed Blackhawk, foreshadowing a showdown between them the following day. Sitting in third for the day was Adam Spiegel’s Jam Session, who were involved in a collision which resulted in an injury to Adam. Fortunately, Adam and Jam Session were able to continue sailing, and were awarded redress, finishing the day with 12 points.
Sunday had similar conditions to Saturday, though the wind started a little later and came up a little bit stronger. The first start of the day had 6-8 boats on the pin end of the line being called OCS, including Blackhawk and Arbitrage. Godot set up more conservatively mid-line and led the race most of the way for the win. Blackhawk, making a fantastic comeback, managed a fourth, leaving Godot and Blackhawk tied with 10 points going in to the final race of the event, winner takes all.
Godot favored the committee end of the line for the first time all day and capitalized on a second row start by Blackhawk. Arbitrage started even closer to the committee, and immediately tacked to port, followed by Blackhawk. Five boat lengths to weather, Godot tacked for a loose cover on Blackhawk. The three boats raced tightly around the course maintaining that order throughout the race, as Arbitrage led wire-to-wire, with Godot and Blackhawk close behind.
No one waits for Godot this season! The final results revealed Godot at 11 points for the win, Blackhawk second with 12, Jam Session third with 20, followed by Wonder with 25, and Arbitrage with 28.