St Francis YC’s Swiftsure Cup on August 20-21, sailed west of Alcatraz on SF Bay, attracted a large crowd of 19 J/105s who viewed it as a great warm-up for the upcoming Rolex Big Boat Series which takes the fleet into similar waters. With a strong 4 knot max flood and west-southwest winds between 10 and 22 knots, the course favored a long starboard sprint to the city front. The conditions put a premium on a good start and a beeline approach to the slower moving water, similar to the Sausalito J/105 Invitational Regatta just four weeks prior, so everyone was piling up at the pin end and a few general recalls were the norm.
Winning overall was Phillip Laby’s GODOT with an amazingly consistent 4-1-2-3-1 record for 11 pts. Ryan Simmons helmed BLACKHAWK around the race track in good order to take the silver posting 5-5-1-2-3 for 16 pts. Third was Bruce Stone on ARBITRAGE with a 3-3-5-1-10 for 22 pts, recovering from an over-early in the last race to pass 9 boats and preserve the podium slot by one point over Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION who had a 2-4-7-4-6 for 23 pts. Fifth was Tom Kennelly’s WONDER, also suffering from an over-early in the second race, and posting 6-10-4-5-2, for 27 pts.
Laby attributes Godot’s success to the crew’s clean execution of a successful game plan. “Going into the event we decided that clear lanes off the start would be especially important. With the long starboard approach to the city front there would be little opportunity to recover. The leaders of each race separated quickly and we were successful in finding a good enough lane each race to stay near the front, which led to our consistency.”
With this win, team Godot heads into Big Boat Series leading the season standings.