Open 5.70 Season Opener…



The Northern California Open 5.70 fleet got their High Point Season OPEN SEASON started this weekend at the Big Daddy Regatta hosted by Richmond Yacht Club. Since the last one design event on the Bay at the end of last year the fleet has continued to grow and there are now 10 boats based in and around San Francisco.

Saturdays buoy race attracted 9 starters, including USA 277 who made the journey up from Southern California. The moderate 10-15 knot breeze made the racing extremely close on a challenging course that included plenty of wind shifts and current.




There is a lot of diversity in the Open 5.70 fleet when it comes to skippers and crew. There are seasoned bay sailors, new owners, big boat sailors, all women teams, sailors young and old! Three seemed to be the magic number this weekend in terms of crew - keeping the boat flatter upwind seemed to pay more than being light downwind.

The day wasn't without it's mishaps - it seems like the Open 5.70 has a magnetic attraction to weather marks. A number of boats cut it too close and ended up repositioning the marks - some more than others. Just check out the replay of the third race Replay and watch USA 208 as they become the new weather mark and everyone has to sail around them! Incidentally USA 208 did the RC a favor and brought the anchor all the way back to the dock for them (see attached picture)!






Alameda based USA 288, "The Maker", skippered by Tom Baffico sailed well securing 1st place overall for the day with a 2nd place finish and 2 bullets. Barry Demak, the Northern California Open 5.70 rep, finished 2nd followed by Nik Vale from Southern California in 3rd. Online replays of the Open 5.70 races are available on Kattack (http://www.kattack.com/).

Sundays race was a pursuit race around Alcatraz and Angel Island - the big decision was which way to go; clockwise or counter-clock wise. It was clear there was a difference of opinion as the fleet of 106 boats split pretty much 50/50 heading off in opposite directions. It was the clockwise fleet that proved to be faster. Starting in an ebb with the breeze from the south it was an upwind beat to Alcatraz but the current was favorable. Across to Angel Island was a spinnaker run which became a reach as boats were pushed towards the Gate by the current. Racoon straights was weird as usual but with a fading ebb and a filling breeze from the South West it was mostly a spinnaker run. Boats that dodged the holes came out in front. For Tom on USA 288, who was out in front, it was a relatively fast spinnaker sail all the way to a very impressive finish - 2nd overall For the rest of us the rain put a dampener on things and the breeze backed off making it a very slow & wet finish. USA 277 & USA 300 had been back and forth all race and it came down to mere seconds at the end with Jeff Smith on USA 300 coming out on top.

See all the results on Richmond Yacht Club's website:

Saturdays Results

Sundays Results.

A replay of the race is also available online at Kattack Replay

The next big one design regatta is the Open 5.70 Spring Dash hosted by Encinal Yacht Club. For a full calendar of 2011 events visit the Class Association Website Click Here and for crewing opportunities at this event and others contact the Northern California Fleet Captain - Marc Finot, norcal@open570usa.com.