In general, the conditions proved to be very challenging for tacticians in each fleet. From the starting line, the top teams were looking for the wandering river of spring run-off ebb that snuck through the weak flood tide. Heading out to late ebb away from the shore was sometimes the ticket to the fast lane, and later in the tide cycle, footing to the city front brought some relief, though some boats won both sides and arrived together at the top mark. Yes. Betwixt and between the tacticians fought. Never the twain shall ever meet, except in massive packs of boats at the weather mark!!
Nowhere was this more true than in the famous J/105 Fleet # 1 on SF Bay. Scoring a consistent 4-4-4-5-3 for 20 points, Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault’s TEAM ARBITRAGE won by two points over Jeff Littfin’s MOJO and Ryan Simmons’ BLACKHAWK, with Mojo winning on the tie-breaker, followed by Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION and Theresa Brandner’s WALLOPING SWEDE just one point further back with 23 points.
Said Stone, “This was an amazingly close regatta– five boats separated by three points! In fact, including Rolf Kaiser & Shannon Ryan’s DONKEY JACK with 25 points, each of the top six boats were in contention to take the victory based on the last race. This was also the first time on the podium for Theresa Brandner and we were thrilled to see her progress. The SF Bay fleet had 20 entrants on the starting line for each of the midwinter events, with several new owners, and over 20 entrants in the Spring One Design and in this J/Fest, so that bodes well for the vibrancy of the class.”
In the next biggest fleet, the seven-boat J/70 class, it was a nip-and-tuck battle all weekend-long between Peter Cameron’s PRIME NUMBER and Tom Kassberg’s PICKLED HERRING. After winning the first race, Cameron’s crew added two 4ths to quickly erase their early edge on the fleet. In fact, after the first day of racing, it was Geoff McDonald’s 1FA that was leading with a 4-1-3 for 8 pts. Behind them by only one point was a three-way tie for second place at 9 pts each; PRIME’s 1-4-4, PICKLED’s 5-2-2 and Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER with 3-5-1! In short, these top five boats all shared the top five placings in every single race! That’s close racing! On the final day, Cameron and Kassberg traded 1-2 placings, with the tiebreaker on 12 pts each going to the PRIME NUMBER gang. Third was Kostanecki’s JENNIFER to round out the podium. The balance of the top five included the Foox family (Justin, Shar, Ben) racing FLOTEK to a 2-3-5-4-3 record for 17 pts to take 4th place and in 5th was McDonald’s 1FA with 20 pts.
For the J/111 class, the duo of Roland Vandermeer & Peter Wagner on BIG BLAST proved to tough to overcome after they posted three bullets on the first day of racing. No matter how hard Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS crew tried, they were not going to slow them down. In the end, these two boats dueled at the front of the fleet for class honors, with BIG BLAST winning with a tally of 1-1-1-3-1 for 7 pts an SWIFT NESS posting a 2-3-3-1-2 record for 11 pts (a pyrrhic victory for them winning the last day with a 1-2!). Third was determined on a tiebreaker! Taking that battle was Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG over Gorkem Ozcelebi’s DOUBLE DIGIT.
Typically, the J/120s saw “the runaway” and then a tough fight for the balance of silverware. This time, it was Barry Lewis’ CHANCE that closed the regatta with three 1sts and two 2nds to win by a large margin. Second was Steve Madeira’s MR MAGOO with 10 pts. As can also happen, there would be enough “chutes & ladders” results in the fleet that there would be a tie someplace! This time, it was for the bronze! David Halliwill’s PEREGRINE and Timo Bruck’s TWIST finished on 18 pts each, with the “winged one” taking the nod over “the twisted”.
Finally, the J/24s had a monumental fight for the top of the podium. Tied after the first day of sailing three races were Val Lulevich’s SHUT UP & DRIVE and Jasper Van Vliet’s EVIL OCTOPUS at 5 pts each. After a virtual match race on the last day, Val’s SHUT UP & DRIVE crew took a 2-2 to finish with 9 pts and take the title. Losing that battle was Jaspers’ EVIL-doer’s, taking a 4-1 to settle for the silver. Third was Darren’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR with 13 pts. For more J/Fest San Francisco sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.