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Shadow was the first multihull to capture a first place trophy at Rolex Big Boat Series. ©2012 Rolex/Daniel Forster
Rolex Big Boat Series Calls It a Wrap
September 10, 2012
The wind on the San Francisco Cityfront really picked up for the finish of the last race of the 2012 Rolex Big Boat Series on Sunday. Yet, it wasn't enough to produce the type of carnage we saw last year. After the completion of the one race, a Bay Tour, the sailors, officials and press gathered in the Golden Gate Room of host St. Francis Yacht Club for the 16:30 awards ceremony.
The multihull class had been given a 30-mile course in the Bay Tour, and BridgeRunner finished first. The IRC divisions were given a 23-mile course, and IRC A entry Vesper came in at 2:00, having won all all but one race. Then Peter Stoneberg's ProSail 40 Shadow charged toward the finish line, accelerating on a puff, only to swerve at the last minute and miss the pin. Spectators were confused until they spotted a lone stand-up paddle-boarder right at the pin, the A buoy – a bad place to be. Shadow sailed around the pin (and the paddle-boarder), dropped their spinnaker, then sailed back around and through the finish line.
"So guess who the paddle boarder was? Spithill. We couldn't believe it!" said Michael Tosse, crew on Shadow. "Out of all the people, you would think he would know where NOT to be – not a good idea to be in the way of a 40-ft cat going 25 knots right at him. We couldn't get the boat up any higher, because we didn't want to flip it, especially after that big puff and stuff that happened just seconds before." He contintued, "We had a great time! Shadow was going very fast all weekend, with perfect conditions for the boat, a very fun and fast boat to sail on. I normally race on Adrenaline, but we broke our rear cross beam the Friday before Jazz Cup, so the boat is down for a bit until we get some new beams made out of carbon."
Swazik got the gun in IRC B, Grace Dances in J/120s, and Godot in the J/105 fleet. In IRC C and HPR, Double Trouble sailed a wickedly fast race, covering the 21-mile course in a little over two and a half hours. Wayne Koide's Sydney 36 CR Encore finished first in IRC D, but corrected out to third in the division. Michael Schlens' SoCal-based Blade Runner was the first Express 37 to finish.
Besides the usual perpetual trophies and six sponsor timepieces, the IRC North American Championship was at stake, the champion to be chosen from among the four IRC classes.
The trophies awaited the crowd which would soon pack the room to capacity. ©2012 norcalsailing.com
Regatta Chair Kevin Reeds opened the proceedings noting that the
Vases for third and second and first place were handed out as take-home trophies to the following finishers.
Atamans: 3. Vamonos, 2. BridgeRunner, 1. Shadow.
J/120: 3. Grace Dances, 2. Chance, 1. Desdemona (Kevin Reeds commented that Desdemona won the party too, a notion the crew and their supporters reinforced with cheers and confetti poppers.)
The Commodore's Cup, added in 2004, goes to the largest fleet in the series,
The Atlantic Perpetual Trophy and a Rolex went to the Express 37 class:
The Keefe-Kilborn Memorial Trophy and a watch went to IRC D:
The Richard Rheem Perpetual and a Rolex went to IRC C:
The City of San Francisco Perpetual Trophy and a Rolex went to IRC B:
Kevin Reeds closed the ceremony with an important announcement (get out your pencils kids): "Next year another regatta will take over the Bay for a big chunk of the summer. Next year's Rolex Big Boat Series will be the last week of September. Put it on your calendar!"
See www.rolexbigboatseries.com for much more.