Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault in Arbitrage won the J/105 Valentine’s Rally, followed by Justin Oberbauer on Strangelove, Adam Spiegel on Jam Session, Bill Woodruff on Russian Roulette, and Tom Struttmann and Joerg Esdorn on Arrived!.
Bruce Stone on Arbitrage shared his thoughts on the victory:
With the typically modest mid-winter breeze out of the northeast and our starting area in front of Golden Gate YC, the R/C announced a course to the East with port roundings. We reran our spin gear to account for that. However, just ten minutes before the warning, we had a shift to the WSW. The R/C made a last-minute call of the new course to Blackaller (just before the Golden Gate Bridge), sending the other crews and us scrambling to rerun our spin gear for the starboard rounding that would take everyone out into the flood tide.
Given the adverse current, teams were challenged right from the start. To exploit the relief along the shore required ping-ponging off the breakwater in front of the St. Francis, normally quite easy with a full crew but a workout for double-handers!
Arbitrage had a great start, and after making some gains toward the shore we decided to stretch out on port tack for the better wind just 100 yards out – a typical arbitrage of wind and tide (hence the name of Bruce’s boat).
Arbitrage won that battle and rounded clear ahead, setting the kite and reaching out to the favorable flood in the light breeze. A long downwind to channel mark 4, passing Alcatraz to port, created passing opportunities for the trailing boats. Some went low toward Treasure Island, staying in the dying flood, while Arbitrage and Jam Session looked for better wind toward the north and took a gamble in cutting behind Alcatraz. That approach backfired as they were both swept up in the reverse eddy of the famous cone.
After apparently losing its lead, Arbitrage jibed back into fresh air and extricated themselves from the ebb in a clean spinnaker reach to the downwind mark, converging with the other boats that had stayed away from Alcatraz. We executed a Mexican drop just past the mark with the jib preset for the upwind leg and were able to round tightly and head right toward the finish at Golden Gate YC.
Other teams dropped too early and struggled to round the mark in the light winds and early ebb tide. Everyone headed toward the city front as the flood had ended and ebb was established there, but once again pressure trumped tide, and it was better to stay in the deeper water. Tom Struttmann and Joerg Esdorn on Arrived! went too far, ran out of wind, and retired.
Next up for the J/105 double-handers is the Single-handed Sailing Society’s Corinthian Regatta on February 27, with 150 boats competing, 7 of which are J/105s – see www.jibeset.net – and then the Pi Regatta on 3/14. See you there!
RESULTS POSTED HERE!!!