SAN FRANCISCO YACHT CLUB — Over sixty sailors travelled from all over the state of California to compete in this weekend’s second installment of the 2015 Harken Challenge Series. Del Rey Yacht Club sent four sailors to compete in the event. Sidney Gathrid was the lone DRYC competitor in Championship Fleet, while the Green Fleet contingent consisted of Iris Erwin, Arlo Erwin, and Oliver Keeves. Head Coach Mike Hanson was present on the Green Fleet course to give his support.
On the first day of the event, sailors were greeted with beautiful seventy degree weather and wind ranging 0-10 knots from the West. The Championship Fleet headed out just after 10:00AM for a rugged six mile tow across San Francisco Bay. The race course was just off the Berkley Circle, and with a 12:11PM low tide, the current was flooding for the majority of the day. Two races were completed in light conditions, with the second race seeing only half the fleet finish before the time constraint. Racing was cancelled after the second race due to lack of wind.
Green Fleet was sailed in Belvedere Cove, just in front of SFYC. Four races were completed in light and variable conditions. The swirling winds of the cove proved challenging for most sailors, and consistency became the formula for success. In the end, the three main takeaways from day one on the Green Fleet course were setting up properly for the start, not pinching too much on the upwind, and staying clear of those familiar Green Fleet mark rounding pileups.
After racing, sailors were greeted with a barbeque and social hour provided by the San Francisco Yacht Club.
The second day of the event started out the same as the first, with seventy degree weather and minimal marine layer. The expectation for the day was for more wind, which the weather gods provided. The Championship course saw 10-15 knots from the West with a 2:00PM low tide, which caused an ebb-tide racecourse for the majority of the day. Sailors had to cope with large wind shifts, and a changing current pattern. In the end, the sailors who could adapt to the changing conditions had the most success.
On the Green Fleet course, a short delay around noon paid off as the wind filled in from the South West. Five races were sailed in total. The first four were in fairly consistent breeze, while the last race saw the wind shut off. Once again, racing basics became a premium, with an emphasis placed on weight placement upwind and being sure to stay on the lifted tack.
Overall, it was a great experience for all the sailors involved, and we hope to see more of the DRYC Optimist Race Team back up in the Bay Area for the fourth and final installment of the 2015 Harken Challenge Series on June 20th and 21st at The St. Francis Yacht Club.
Results here: http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=10058