Never was a boat delivery more popular than the Wednesday before this year’s Rolex Big Boat Series, hosted, as always, by the St. Francis Yacht Club. With the climax of the AC34 in progress, Fleet One boats gathered along the City Front to watch the foilers and get pumped-up for their own 4-day regatta and wrap-up of the 2013 championship season.
Unusually for San Francisco Bay and for the BBS, day 1 started with a postponement as competitors waited for breeze to build. The J105s bobbed around on the Circle Course for an hour or so, before racing commenced. Scooter Simmons’ Blackhawk dominated the day with a bullet and a second, finishing 4 points clear of Risk and 6 ahead of Arbitrage. Friday’s conditions were a replay of the first day with light and variable breeze in the first race, and good pressure in the second. Godot made the best of it and moved into first place overall with two seconds as Blackhawk suffered a 13th. A weather three-pete on Saturday returned the leader board to Thursday’s status quo after Godot posted a 15th and a 10th.
The BBS format is for three days of windward-leeward racing, and an eagerly anticipated Bay Tour on the Sunday to round out the regatta. Once again a weather-hold delayed the start while breeze built for the J105s, joined by the J120’s, Express 37s and Melges 24s at the Alcatraz starting area. Racing finally commenced around 12:30pm and the fleet headed West to the weather mark into 8 kts of breeze. Half way down the first downwind leg J105 racers started to notice the J120s getting bigger rather than smaller as the two fleets compressed into a wind hole at the leeward mark. A mess ensued as boats struggled to make any way against a 0.5kt current in very light breeze. Re-live the fun courtesy of Adam Spiegel on Jam Session here. Notwithstanding the randomness of the breeze, the top boats remained top and the event wrapped-up with Blackhawk still in first, Arbitrage in second, Risk third, Mojo in fourth and Godot in fifth.