Spring Dinghy Regatta 2014


The San Francisco Formula 18 fleet season opener was held at the St. Francis Yacht Club Spring Dinghy Regatta. Some boats arrived Friday and some rolled in Saturday morning. We were welcomed by the harbor master and told where to set up and store our boats. There was a coffee service held in the bar area if you needed a start up. We got the boats rigged and out on the designated dock to wait for the wind. We sat dressed out and waiting for the wind to fill from the West. People lounged on the boats or on the dock. We shared tuning tricks and just relaxed. At one point we were called seals as we congregated at the end of the pier. Just after 2 PM the wind shifted and began to fill. Gear went on and boats launched on our way to use the light west wind.



all images © Dafna Brown

Seven F18’s lined up for the first start. The wind was maybe 10 knots with a light chop on the water and we took off toward the city front. Cherie tacked off first and found some relief and a nice lift up the first leg. The next two boats went a little while later followed by the final boats to tack. There was 3 separate packs going upwind and at the top mark we were all close. Phil and Charles were the first two boats around and took the lead positions. Cherie was third to the mark and Ben was fourth then me followed by Alan and finally Frank.

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The downwind run saw the positions stay the same with a nice 12 knot breeze pushing the boats downwind. We made our way down to the gate and turned upwind to the next mark. We took the right side of the course and dropped a position. We were pushing the Capricorn down as hard as we could, to real back Evil Octopus back in. Half way down the run we had the position and with a little battle we rolled over them and had the spot. We held on to the finish and took 5th. Phil won, Charles took 2nd, Cherie in 3rd , Ben in 4th , Me in 5th, Alan in 6th, and Frank in 7th.


The second race started and the wind had lightened some but we took off in a nice single trap. Ben tried a Port start on the fleet but didn’t clear and caused some quick maneuvers to avoid serious glass work. We had to pick through holes and shifts to get up to the top mark. Again the fleet ended up in 3 groups. Charles then Phil at the top followed by Ben and Cherie, Then Alan Me and Frank at the back. The wind was dropping and first 4 boats made the mark, the last 3 had problems. We were sailing against a strong flood in lightening wind. My fourth try at the mark I hit it and had to go back around. This cost me a huge chunk of ground and I lost touch with the front of the fleet, and got passed by Alan on Evil Octopus.



We got around the mark and began to claw back some ground. We were right behind Evil Octopus as we made our way back down. With the wind going light it was really important to get the most out of the wind when it was there. We rounded the gate and followed Alan to the top mark. We didn’t see Frank and figured we were match racing for 5th place. After a couple tacks we made the top mark easier this time thanks to a slight lift and good wind at about 10 knots. Turning the mark we got the kite up and set out on a long Starboard downwind run. I called the gybe perfectly and we were able to hold the hull up and not be overpowered too much. We passed Evil Octopus just before the finish as they had to luff the kite. It was a close race and we put the kite down and began to go back to the St. Francis Yacht Club.


We put the boats in the slip for the night and dropped sails. We all got cleaned up and made our way to the main bar area for the dinner. There was complimentary beer and water served. Chicken and Beef Fajitas were the main course served with beans rice and all the trimmings. We said our good nights and went home.


Sunday we got to the club and there was another coffee and tea serving available. We got our boat turned around and ready to go. Everyone was a little more reluctant to dress out as the forecast did not look promising. After hours of waiting and talking and socializing race committee made the call to cancel. We put the boats away and went in for the meal and trophy presentation. Lasagna both meat and vegetable were served with garlic bread, and beer and wine were also available if you choose.
The awards were nice Zippo lighters with Spring Dinghy Regatta 2014 on them. With 10 classes and over 100 boats it was a well attended regatta and ran very well. Charles and Jim won the regatta with a 2 and a 1. Phillip and Erwan finished 2nd with a 1 and a 2. Ben and Ben finished 3rd with a 4 and a 3. Cherie and Greg Finished Fourth with a 3 and a 4. Daisy and I finished 5th with 2 5’s. Alan and Nick finished 6th with 2 6’s. Frank and Brian finished 7th with a 7 and a DNF. Dan and Alex didn’t make it and tied for 8th and 9th.

Thanks to the St. Francis Yacht Club for an awesome event. Thanks to Dafna Brown for the great photos. Thanks to all the competitors for a wonderful time on the water.



Results