18’s on the Bay

 

Members of the AYSF are currently competing in the Nespresso International 18 Skiff Regatta being hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club located on the San Francisco City Front. The regatta began Monday for us, thanks in large part to our team mate Mikey for working off and on the entire previous month to get the boat ready. Unfortunately we had very little time to train before hand as most of the team was tied up working with the ACRM for last week’s America’s Cup World Series held in the same venue.

So things were a bit foggy as we sailed on Monday evening for our 5pm start. The breeze was fairly moderate in the 17-20 knot range. We did a couple warm up laps ahead of everyone else that were still launching and we found our groove before finally sailing over to the start line to begin our pre race jockeying. We started well with a port approach leading most of the fleet back into shore on starboard when the port half of the jib sheet track ripped of the bow. It was a bit of a shocker as we were pretty pleased with how were were doing at the time and just wanted to keep racing. So with some ingenuity and stubbornness we were able to lash the jib car roughly to centerline and continued on with the race. We actually began catching boats and were feeling pretty good with solid down wind speed when we had a port/starboard incident going through the mid course gates downwind. In an effort to avoid damage and injury to both boats we did a crash gybe and capsize which sent all of us flying off the boat. By the time we got the kite doused and the boat upright we realized that the top boats were now to far ahead of us to make continuing on seem pointless, as well as the fact that we were taking on quite a bit of water through the newly formed holes on the foredeck. We were able to get in and get a new track glued, bolted and lashed into place before racing began all over again today. Tuesday’s first start was scheduled for 1 pm but due to some sponsor sticker logistical issues we were posponed on shore for 45 min which gave everyone enough time to launch and get off the beach. What ended up happening though was that the breeze built considerably during that 45 min we were sitting on shore and by the time we got out there we were seeing puffs in the mid 20s.

After a few really crazy pitchpoles which sent the entire crew flying around the headstay, we were able to bear-off for the startline. Again we had another great start, this time on port at the pin end. We were crossing most of the fleet when our entire jib clew separated from the sail. This was rather annoying as we have had two days now of jib issues which have caused us to miss out on racing. So after capsizing to try and some how fix it only to realize there was no hope for an on the water repair, we sailed into the beach under main alone which is probably one of the gnarliest things I’ve ever done. The good news was that most of the fleet didn’t finish that race due to breakages or just not being able to get around the course. So on to tomorrow where we are hoping to keep the boat solid and working and finally make some results we would be proud of. Three races tomorrow and our team photographer Eric from Pressure-Drop will be up in a helicopter getting some great footage. Thanks to our sponsors, Samson Ropes, WestCoast Sailing and Team McLube. We couldn’t have made this happen without them! So keep following along with us as our week goes on. We will work on keeping things updated with cool pictures and video from our partners and Marine Media Alliance.

 

 

 

Cheers, Ian

 

AYSF Team Manager

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