home page
race report
Express 27 start
Saturday's 16-boat Express 27 start at the Berkeley Midwinters. ©2016
Berkeley Midwinters

January 12, 2016

Saturday: The promised no rain and light wind from the north didn’t appear until around 1400. Instead, there was light rain and an agreeable 10-12 knots from the south at the start. And, since wind gods require much discussion among themselves before actually changing wind direction, there were quite a few holes for the racers to suffer through.

Sea Star
The crew of Bob Walden's Cal 39 Sea Star lined the leeward rail. ©2016

In fact, it took enough time for the new super-light northerly to settle in that we decided to shorten the original 8-mile course for those who hadn’t yet rounded mark “L” (aka, the most northerly inflated yellow buoy). Thus, the mark-set boat was dispatched to L to finish anyone but Division A. (Most of Division A were slowly on their way to the finish at this time.) This scheme worked with only a few glitches, and only two of the original 48 starters opted to retire.

After three of four races in this series, first places for the are still up for grabs in some of the divisions. Division A has a tie for first between the Henderson 30 Family Hour TNG (PHRF 48) and the Antrim 27 Arch Angel (PHRF 75). Only one point separates the leaders of both Division B and C. In Div. B the Wilderness 30 Special Edition (PHRF 96) leads the Olson 30 Hoot (PHRF 99). And in Div. C the J/24 Phantom leads the Olson 25 Shark on Bluegrass (PHRF 159). The first places of the remaining divisions are a little more assured.

Wild 1 and Fugu
Chris Case's Wilderness 30 Fugu and John Lymberg's Flying Tiger Wild 1 both race in the Doublehanded Division on Sunday. Wild 1 won the division this month. ©2016

Sunday: The race committee’s first challenge of the day was the lack of a functioning mark-set boat. After dilly-dallying trying unsuccessfully to get the darn thing started, the three blown-up buoys were stacked on the race committee boat and off we went to set the course and ourselves. We hopefully assumed the prognosticated Nor’easter would remain and set “W” on our way. As the appointed hour of the first gun neared and we still had ourselves, our start-finish line buoy and “L” to set, a call was made on the VHF to announce the problem along with the pending postponement. Will Paxton on the Motorcycle Irene immediately offered to set L. This offer was gratefully accepted. A sight I won’t soon forget is watching the Express 27 sail away, bright yellow buoy in tow, with main and spinnaker up. (How else would one know which direction was truly downwind?) And thus we were able to get the show on the road with only a 20-minute postponement. Thanks, Will!

The wind went quite light as the afternoon progressed and two of the 34 starters opted to retire. The elapsed times ranged from one and a quarter hours to more than three hours.

Overall results show some tight calls for division superiority. And it looks to me that if one wishes to win, just name your boat Ragtime! (Punctuation mark optional.)

Ragtime! douses
Bob Johnston, seen here dousing to windward, sails his J/92 Ragtime! in the Singlehanded Division on Sundays. Tryg Liljestrand's J/90 Ragtime, with no punctuation, races on Sundays fully crewed. ©2016

Full results are posted on the Midwinter page at

— Bobbi Tosse, Berkeley Yacht Club Race Chair

See our photo gallery from both days of the weekend here.

Bookmark and Share

< previous next >