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2016 Ditch Run

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  • Photoboy
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    Joey Pasquali, Nico Landauer, and Stefan Vilojen attempt to kite board the 67 mi Delta Ditch Run sailboat race course on high performance hydrofoil boards and ram air kites. Light wind and a false start plagued the team, yet with a small wind window Joey Pasquali was the successful rider able to navigate the wind, narrow waterways and weeds snagging on his hydrofoil to run the course in an unofficial two hours and thirty minutes.

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  • Panama Red
    replied
    If it had some medicinal value, I'm sure there would be lots of volunteers!

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  • Carl Spackler
    replied
    Somebody needs to hire a gardener to tend to the weeds in the ditch.

    It's out of control.

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  • Prince of Whales
    replied
    Fast is fun!

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  • Photoboy
    replied
    A Record Run For The Ditch



    For a trio of foiling kiters, Joey Pasquali, Nico Landauer and Stefanus Viljoen, Saturday June 4th was one for the books. The original idea was to hook up with the start of the Ditch Run boats and blast upriver and establish a new record for the 67nm inland assault. Utilizing a borrowed chase boat, Mark Ivey's 25' RIB with 250 horses strapped to the back seemed like a perfect plan. Till it wasn't.


    The wind failed to comply at the start area and the crew returned to their launch area at Marina Bay in Richmond ready to toss in the towel. But then the wind started to pick up and the quest was renewed. Back to the Richmond San Raphael Bridge they went, and with Bérénice Charrez driving, and Brent Davidson along to document the event, the trio launched again at 5:00 PM. Joey lead the procession across San Pablo Bay in a nasty ebb that took its toll on the other two foilers that resulted in crashes and rescues. Between the recoveries and powering the rib through the San Pablo Bay slop, Joey ended up hovering at the Carquinez Bridge for some 20 minutes before reuniting.










    It was down to one kite and the clock was ticking. With his 15 meter ram air kite aloft, Joey blasted across the Carquinez strait and toward the next big obstacle, the narrow gap of the Benicia Railroad Bridge. The gaps between the support trusses can be intimidating on a sailboat flying a spinnaker, but threading the needle with a kite on a foil board is a whole different animal. " I got really lucky with the wind 90 degrees to the bridge and was able to get pulled straight through" Joey says.








    A fast blast across Suisun Bay and things started heating up, literally. " It was getting real warm and I was still in my wetsuit, so I had to float the kite for a about 5 minutes while I drank a bunch of water" Joey notes.



    Rehydrated, Joey speed off again, with smooth water and his board jamming in the 30 knot range, the miles went by in a blur. He caught up the back of the fleet just past New York Cut somewhere near 5:45 or 6:00, and kept picking off boats left and right. The only noise to be heard being the chase boat in the distance running full throttle trying to keep up! "The only bummer was the reeds and weeds that I kept picking up" Joey mentions" Had to stall out 5-6 times and clear them off" After the S-Turn at Marker 19, it was a hot reach to the finish, Joey could be seen rushing down the course like a slalom waterskier, blasting to the finish at about 7:30 PM, a 2.5 hour, 67nm record run for foiling kites.

    " My legs were definitely feeling the Bern", Joey laughs...










    Plans are already in place for 2017 to get a crew of kite foilers to the Ditch Run, " I think the ratio for chase boat needs to be 2 kites to each support boat, the separation happens to fast and we need to keep the gap as close as possible" Joey notes.

    Though unofficial, the 2.5 hour run has set the bar high, very high indeed. Stay tuned for the video documentary on the run from http://brentdavidson.me/

    Thanks Brent Davidson for the photos!

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  • Prince of Whales
    replied
    Family Hour wins the most time consumed at the hoist award.

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  • Bitchin Bow Dude
    replied
    SO wished I had a sleeping bag when we finally got our shit put away.

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  • Cassidy
    replied
    There's nothing like the camaraderie one engages in at midnight while waiting for the hoist to clear!

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  • Photoboy
    replied
    2016 Ditch Run: Outrunning The Wind




    The 2016 edition of the 67nm march up the Delta will be remembered for numerous things. From the last minute notice from authorities at Port Chicago, that training exercises would be running into the weekend and venturing into verboten space could result in bad things for crew, boats or both. Also memorable will be the weather. Not for howling winds and record runs, but for a surprising low that moved over the area, providing fickle winds here and a surprising north wind through the Carquinez Strait, but yielded ghosting conditions across San Pablo Bay and Suisun Bays yet provided a pleasant cloud cover for much of the course, dropping temps by 10-15 degrees before exiting late afternoon.













    With a cold marine layer amassing along the coast and 3 digit temps forecasted inland, the probability of the marine surge eminent, but timing of same in question, 138 boats ranging from small beach cats to 40' plus boats departed the northern reaches of San Francisco Bay on Saturday morning headed east. A strong flood, and cool sub 10 knot wind would lead the parade up and to the Carquinez Bridge where winds compressed and ran straight down the strait. The 1st of the racing fleet emerged just after noon, led by Philippe Kahn's full foiling Nacra 20' Pegasus in full flight across the strait. Shortly thereafter the much larger D-Cat, Bill Erkelens Adrenaline followed by a pack of beach cats and the 1st monohull, Michael Pohl's Farr 40 Twisted. And the the flood gates opened, the big trimarans and sportboats followed closely by a gaggle of Express 27's and Moore 24's. The march down the strait was without much drama, the northerly 12-15 knots lacked the usual major shifts and gusted enjoyed during a more normal southwesterly.



    The fleet exited the strait and into Suisun Bay, and did their volunteer check in with the "Authority" monitoring 72, and slowly worked their way towards Port Chicago. With lots of restarts along the way, the boats in back sometimes got the better of the leaders, and the Suisun park up for the Moores, Bart Hackworth's got the golden nugget. Avoiding what appeared to be a semi submerged land mass, Bart and crew Simon Winer took an evasive maneuver and drove away from the pack to the south. Within minutes a windshift from the south began to build and the lads found themselves in fat city. " Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good" Simon recalled "We had it handed to us on a golden platter, but with the Moore's, you take what you can get!"



    Up ahead, Adrenaline and Pegasus had engaged in a gybing duel, working their way through New York Cut and past the Antioch Bridge before things got light and Pegasus lost her foiling ability, and the foils became drag and not lift. "It was great for a couple miles anyways" Bill SR commented. His D-Cat recently tuned and excels in the lighter conditions, had left the other big cats back up the track. But then Adrenaline outran the wind just past mark 19, and commenced on a 4-5 ghost drift all the way to Tinsley before the building westerly caught up with them and they could finally reach to the finish. "7 and 1/2 hours, that's a LONG TIME on the D-Cat", said Bill "We are used to 3 1/2 to 4 hours, so we were real happy to get to the Club and get a bite to eat and enjoy a cold one on the grass!"











    Further back on the river, the mass of boats found wind again just past the Antioch Bridge as the predicted westerly began to fill just after the 17:00 dinner bell. Good pressure until the S Turn lead to another short term restart and then a mass reaching party for the fleet as sun descended in the west, sunset gave way to twilight and eventually the only lights were the finish lights and running lights.


    Another Ditch Run in the books, along one this year, moore memories made , with tired yet satisfied crews already thinking about what the next chapter will unveil!

    Full Results

    Full Gallery

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  • Photoboy
    replied


    Gallery is UP!!!

    (Not sure what took longer, editing the 2016 Ditch Run or sailing the 2016 Ditch run)

    Working on report now...

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  • Photoboy
    replied


    Some selects from areas that actually had some breeze!


























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  • Photoboy
    replied
    In A Nutshell



    1st to finish, Bill Erkelens D Cat Adrenaline is actually 2-3 knots towards the finish, riding the strong flood
    during Saturday's Ditch Run. Seen here, off Twitchell Island, Adrenaline had just done outrun the wind, yet the breeze caught up
    a bit later, and the big cat finished at 18:42:02, and elapsed time of 07:42:02.

    Full report and pic to follow....

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  • Photoboy
    replied
    Results are POSTED

    A light air affair for sure. Took some pics in the 2 windiest locales... will upload soon...

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  • Frank James
    replied
    First muti was Adrenillan at 641.

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  • Frank James
    replied
    First mono, the Farr 40 Twisted finished around 730. That's all I know.

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