The St. Francis Yacht Club and the Stanford Varsity Sailing Team hosted the St. Francis Interconference Regatta on the weekend of April 8th and 9th, 2017 at the St. Francis Yacht Club. 18 schools and 21 boats from all over the Pacific coast joined in to sail. Western Washington University was there too, despite the 17 hour drive from their university to San Francisco. As this is a qualifying regatta for the Pacific Coast Championships, the level of competition was higher than usual. Throughout all of the races, the fleet kept together, leading to crowded mark roundings and neck-and-neck finishes.
The first day of sailing began with about 12-15 knots of wind, which steadily grew to the low 20’s. The course was set to the east of the Golden Gate Bridge, with a spectacular view of Alcatraz. However, along with the sights came large swells and a fast current. These factors led to multiple capsizes throughout the day. Six races for A and B division were finished on the first day. Afterwards, the competitors enjoyed the facilities of St. Francis Yacht Club. The sauna and chicken taquitos provided helped alleviate the weariness from sailing in heavy wind and righting up capsized boats all day.
On the second day, the wind did not fill in until 12:00 P.M., so the teams had a while to relax before races started. Luckily, the conditions on the second day were not as challenging as in the first day. The reduced amounts of wind, chop, and current were seen in the lack of capsizes. The last race of B fleet gave a reminder that sailing is all about properly evaluating and reacting to constantly changing circumstances. While for all of the previous races the right gate was favored going downwind, a windshift in the last race caused the left gate to be heavily favored. However, none of the boats in the lead noticed, and they continued towards the right gate while the boats behind chose to round the less crowded left gate and ended up ahead. While our boat rounded the windward mark in 16th, choosing to round the left gate bumped us up to a 6th place finish to end an exciting weekend of races. 9 races were sailed for each division in total. Overall, Tritons finished in 17th out of 21. Congratulations to Cal for taking home the win, and thanks to St. Francis Yacht Club for hosting the event!