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A Gnarly SF Bay Classic

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  • A Gnarly SF Bay Classic

    When a Rolex yachtsman of the year, Mike Martin, describes the course as ‘terrifying’, locals, including Benjamin Anderson, that sail the bay all the time say they’ve never seen it that rough or chaotic. Chip Wasson even suggested that the windward mark, the red nun, west of the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, "had waves the size of vans crashing into each other from all directions." Meanwhile, former National Windsurfing Champion, Steve Bodner resorted to a European punk dance movements to get around the Nun, you get the the general gist that the legendary San Francisco Bay Classic/Ultra Nectar Challenge, which was completed this past Saturday, was, as it's name suggests, quite a challenge.

    Less than half the fleet finished (including only 2 windsurfers (including multi national champion Xavier Ferlet , who won his division), despite the origin of this race coming from windsurfing (ya, it was that crazy ).

    The wind ranged from 0-40mph. Some swam for 45 mins in the uncharacteristically light conditions near blunt point (or due to picking an ultra high performance foil that was too small to survive the lulls Henry Vare). The course is close to 50 miles long and the fastest racer (Neil Marcellini (who ‘destroyed’ the fleet, per Mike Martin ) reached speeds of over 50 mph and finished the course in an hour and change.

    Pictured is Jacob Rosenberg , earning his bragging rights for this race by rounding the windward mark in first (that’s the red nun, just west of the Golden Gate Bridge). He’d have to round this mark again, before heading down to Berkeley and back, along one of the most complicated courses in the world (which has befuddled many a world champion, including the legendary 24x world champion Robby Naish decades before, who was leading one classic before he realized he sailed to the wrong mark, and then began a game of catch up (he ended up 2nd that year, to Phil McGrain.

    Jacob crushed it by placing 4th in the SF Classic (the race down to Berkeley) and charged to a 2nd in the UN Challenge (the race back to the host club, the STFYC).

    Verbs and pic courtesy Bryan McDonald
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