UC San Diego Sailing - St. Francis Invite Regatta
For the final weekend of spring break, 4 sailors traveled up to beautiful San Francisco Bay for the St. Francis Invite regatta, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club. Thanks to the generosity of St. Francis Yacht Club, the team was able to charter a beautiful FJ, and therefore did not have to tow during the 10 hour drive. From Friday until Sunday, our team resided at the family home of UC San Diego sailor Nicholas Dorn.
On the water, Dorn and Alex Bittner sailed the varsity A boat while Daniel Vick, Ellie McGuire-Wien and Nic Brunk competed in the varsity B division. On Saturday, racing was postponed due to light winds out of the East. The AP Flag went down and sailing commenced at 11:30 in a nice 8-10 knot westerly. 22 teams from Hawaii to Tulane hit the start line, ready to race. Race 1A went off without a hitch, but race 2A confused many sailors, with the top ten boats sailing the incorrect course and earning DNFs. As B division hit the water an hour later, the classic San Francisco current kicked up, and a 4 knot flood prevented many boats from rounding the top mark. Many competitors were forced to make upwards of 10 tacks within 5 boat lengths of the mark just to get around it. Many of the more skilled sailors at the front were able to lap boats who were unable to make the mark. In the end, 2 boats were asked to retire and were scored as they stood on the course. The race committee reset the windward mark for race 2B, and proceeded to start 4 more races in each division in building breeze. 17 knots of wind challenged sailors on the last rotation. At the end of the racing, the pizza social and sauna were much appreciated by our sailors and capped off a fun and hectic day on the bay.
Sunday morning opened with another postponement until 11:30 am. However, the race committee decided to end postponement earlier than necessary, sending A division out for a rotation in a 6 knot breeze out of the northeast, an unusual direction for San Francisco. The breeze died during race 2, forcing the race committee to shorten the course, confusing many sailors, and allowing UC San Diego’s A boat to move up in the standings. However that race was later thrown out, as race committee postponed yet again until the westerly filled in. A division went out, sailing a replacement for race 8A and tacking on one more race to put the race total at 9. B division was sent out for 3 races to finish the day, completing races in a beautiful 12 knot westerly. After racing, UC San Diego’s sailors derigged quickly and efficiently, hitting the road for the long trek home around 4:30 pm.
In reflection, it was a great weekend for our team to work on the intricacies of heavy wind sailing, as well as to practice shifting modes throughout the massive changes in wind speed and current. Rarely do we have the opportunity to sail in a venue with such a wide range of wind speeds and currents. Despite the challenging conditions, UC San Diego managed to qualify for the PCCSC Coed Championships in Long Beach on April 27-28. We are looking forward to training hard over these next few weeks in order to put our best results up at the conference championships.
Thank you to the St. Francis Yacht Club for hosting an awesome regatta and providing us with a beautiful charter boat. We are looking forward to returning next year!