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Crews prepared their boats during this morning's raft-up at St. Francis YC. ©2012 norcalsailing.com
Welcome to Rolex Big Boat Series
September 6, 2012
The 48th Rolex Big Boat Series gets underway today at St. Francis YC, with racing on the Cityfront and on a 'North Course' north of Treasure Island. This year for the first time, high performance catamarans have been invited. It was uncertain that enough would sign up to make for a good-sized division, so one trimaran was allowed in as well, Stephen Marcoe's Gougeon/Gardiner 34 Cakewalk. Six cats signed up, so that division has seven boats.
“I love catamarans," said StFYC Commodore Peter Stoneberg. "You just can’t beat the thrill and adrenaline of racing them on San Francisco Bay, and this year’s Rolex Big Boat Series will be the first premier class regatta that includes a catamaran division.” He'll be racing his own ProSail 40 Shadow. Today, the cats run up and down the Cityfront, a treat for spectators.
Another new division, which contains some old favorites, is the High Performance Exhibition Class, aka "Fast Forties", aka IRC C. Three J/125s, the ID35 Alpha Puppy, the Santa Cruz 37 Tiburon, and the Farr 400 Rock & Roll make up the division. We remember not too long ago when enough ID35s showed up to make their own one design class.
IRC is using RBBS as their North American Championship. Among the fleet is a newcomer to the Bay, the Southern Cross 52 Meanie, ex-Vela Veloce from the East Coast, racing in the six-boat IRC A. Thomas Akin of Sausalito is the new owner, and Jeff Thorpe of Quantum Sails is onboard.
Also in IRC A, Dan Coleman of Tiburon is sailing his RP 44 Tai Kuai, which he acquired over the winter. John Clauser's ID 48 Bodacious+ and Sy Kleinman's 54-ft Schumacher Swiftsure II are local regulars. Visiting boats of note include Rio, Manouch Moshayedi's TP 52 from SoCal, and sistership Vesper, belonging to StFYC member Jim Swartz of Utah. We'll have more on other divisions in future posts.
It's a beautiful morning here, with clearing fog leaving a mostly sunny sky. The Bay chop is behaving itself; the tide is slack going to a flood. A moderate westerly is blowing, and all indications are for excellent racing conditions.
We'll stick around and bring you more from the San Francisco Cityfront. In the meantime, see www.rolexbigboatseries.com.