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Gertrude, the race mascot, modeled the unofficial race gear. ©2012 norcalsailing.com
Red Bra Regatta
September 17, 2012
A couple of female sailors from South Beach Yacht Club were joking around after a Jazz Cup about using a red bra for a protest flag. Thus germinated the idea for Sunday's Red Bra Regatta, SBYC's new race for all-women crews. The first running, which was added to the busy Bay Area schedule rather late, attracted eight entries. With such a small sampling, the race committee planned to offer only a non-spinnaker division, but a couple of skippers stood their ground and got a separate division for spinnaker boats, which suited three of the entries.
The day started out awkwardly through no fault of anyone connected to the club or the regatta. Unfortunately, the Giant Race (a foot race terminating at AT&T Park) closed off the northbound lanes of the Embarcadero and the entrance to the South Beach Harbor parking lot. Skippers, crews, and volunteers anxiously attempted to get in but were held off by that other race's crowd control officers and SFPD. So the regatta PRO accommodated the situation by moving the first warning from noon until 1300 hours. Just as well, because the wind didn't start to fill until then anyway.
The race committee threw in a short postponement to get the weather mark properly situated, and the first of two races went off soon after. The spinnaker boats were given windward-leeward courses, but the non-spinnaker division got a couple of reaching legs for the second race. A strong ebb dominated strategy. The wind stayed mostly light but relatively consistent, except for the headers playing their usual tricks with the second race finish at the entrance to McCovey Cove.
Joan Byrne's Heart of Gold crew had an impromptu GOB (GPS overboard) drill, when the $500 instrument fell in the water. "It took us eight and a half minutes to pick it up," said Joan.
Theresa Brandner-Allen sailed her J/105 Walloping Swede to a first place finish in the spinnaker division. Libbie Sheldon's Catalina 36 Mk II While I Can and Marcia Bever's Catalina 30 Lochan Ora tied for first in non-spinnaker, each having one first and one second place finish. The tie-breaker went to Libbie. Candles were given to all skippers, and bottles of champagne to the winners. See www.southbeachyachtclub.org for complete results.