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Corinthian Mid Winters: Dodging The Debris In A Latte Colored Bay

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  • Corinthian Mid Winters: Dodging The Debris In A Latte Colored Bay

    The 1st leg of Saturday's race in PHRF1

    With lots and lots of recent rain and a huge surge from Oroville Dam sending 100, 000 cubic feet per second in the Feather River, combined with overflowing tributaries along the way, muddy sediment and enormous swaths of dislodged vegetation, has filled San Francisco Bay in recent days. Along with the large rafts of reeds (tules) which flooded coves and marinas north of the Bay Bridge, lurked planks, logs, branches, buckets, and most anything that would float. While the Army Corp of Engineers two Debris Removal Vessels, the Raccoon and Dillard have been working overtime to pluck out the larger pieces, striking a large semi submerged obstacle was foremost and center on every skipper and wary eyed crew plying the waters west of Angel Island this weekend.

    It seemed the majority of the reed rafts managed to float and hover near the start line off Knox as 100 plus vessel worked the murkey waters, attempting to avoid the thick patches and the speed consuming reeds looking to hitch a ride on vulnerable appendages, or worse, that sickening thud, that one encounters when undercarriage meets heavy things.

    The weather?

    All things considered, great timing between systems before the weekend and scheduled for late Sunday. Saturday witnessed partly cloudy conditions and a nice clearing wind from the NW-NNW in the 15-20 range with stronger puffs. And some lulls. But some sun and decent pressure certainly brought smiles to all concerned. For the 1st fleets, RC sent the crews on the 9.3nm course 16, which meant working ones way through numerous rafts of reeds up to the dolphin channel marker #2 at the mouth of the Richardson Bay Channel.

    1st to fetch the mark was Zachary Anderson's Shock 40', now called Velvet Hammer ( nee Secret Squirrel). They popped their kite with keel canted to starboard and blazed across Yellow Bluff and towards Blackaller with an impressive lead over the pursuing Farr 52', Greg Mullins's Zamazaan and The Tosse Cluser Syndicate's 1D 48' Bodacious+ in hot pursuit.

    By the time the majority of PHRF 2 would round #2 and set the their kites, Velvet Hammer had already doused and was beating towards Harding. It worth mentioning that building flood was held stagnant by the outflow of freshwater still working its way out, effectively creating billiard table flat conditions disrupted only by the passing ferries.

    The parade continued, with Bob Novy's Custom Frers 40' Jeanette leading PHRF 2, Mark Kennedy'd Flying Tiger 10'Meter Cento Miglia ahead of the Sportsboat peloton. Off to the east, Velvet Hammer had made Harding and reset kite and headed off to R-4 east of Blunt. Next up the 5 boat fleet of J-105s with Don Wienke steering Lulu with Roxanne in hot pursuit. The Express 37's brought 6 boats to the party, and this day would see Bob Harford and crew on Stewball giving Kame Richards Moonshadow all they could handle. Having to make an executive decision we hung around off Yellow Bluff for one fleet, the 12 boat pack of PHRF 3 with Cinde Lou Delmas's unmistakable billiard table green Alerion Express 38' Another Girl setting the pace closely followed by Bob Bloom's J-35 Jarlen and James Goldberg's J-109 Junkyard Dog at a full gallup.

    Resetting between Angel Island and Alcatraz enabled catching up with some of the boats from PHRF1, yet in the distance, the distinct black hull of Velvet Hammer approached R4, her closest rival, Zamazaan, and impossible distance behind. (Zamazaan would later claw back and beat VH on corrected time and less collected debris) The NW's had subsided quite a bit in this locale, and the scheduled flood was still ebbing. Brown but with only hints of reed rafts, the fleet was free to concentrate more on sail trim than avoiding obstacles. A pleasant afternoon place to be, with friends and family enjoying the muddy waters of the bay.

    At that point, fearing even greater breeze die off and a laundry list of chores needing attention in daylight with no wind, we departed back to our home berth. But 1/2 way across the bay, increased wind velocity was apparent, and it seems the back of the fleet benefited greatly from the reset, compressing the fleet and making the tactics and finishes in Raccoon Strait even more compelling....

    We did not attend Sunday's Southerly blow/rain fest but to see what you may have missed or relive some of the glory, check out Laurence Baskin's video from on board the
    Express 37 Bullet:

    Selects Gallery

    Saturday's Results

    Sundays Results

    Series Results
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Awesome video Larry and team Bullet! The end of the boom and that starboard side of the boat probably needed a good rinse anyway

    The link to the Bullet video doesn't seem to show up on my computer, had to do some searching (aka internet stalking). If anyone else is having the same problem here it is:


    • #3
      James Goldbergs video from Sunday aboard the Junkyard Dog

      Record breaking heavy rains this year in Northern California turn the San Francisco Bay waters into a sea of chocolate milk, floating debris and strong currents. Sunday's race (starts at 4:43) had sustained winds in the mid 20's, rain, and a temporary steering problem on the boat.
      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery