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All Wrapped Up At Point Pinole

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  • All Wrapped Up At Point Pinole

    Charging Towards The Sisters...

    image© Jacki Philpott

    The "No Trophy Solo Single Handed North Bay Regatta" held on Saturday by the good folk at SSS was sailed in rather pleasant
    yet breezy conditions, and utilized the following course:

    COURSE (A review of charts 18654 and 18649 is suggested.)
    From the START,
    • to Sisters leaving BOTH to starboard, note depths at these pair of rocks just east of Pt. San Pedro
    • then to Pinole Pt. daymark leaving it to starboard, FL 2.5s 15 ft. 5M “P”
    • then to Red Rock leaving it to port
    • then to FINISH line in Keller Cove

    The 19 mile course utilized the Sisters as one mark and Point Pinole as the most up river / down wind mark, and all was well for the most part
    until a slight mishap for Alan Hebert and this S2 sloop that fell victim of some sticky things on the day marker at "Point Pin Hole"

    I saw it happen... Starboard rounding of Pt.Pinole Mark (During the SSS North Bay Race)
    I took the rounding wide to not drive over the S2. He tacked to go on port just as an E27 came flying around the mark on starboard. The S2 ducked the E27 and then he headed up after completing the duck to look forward to say “awww f#%k” and then straight into the Mark.
    Luckily there was a bigger boat (I think a Cal 40) who was able to drop their sails immediately and render assistance.
    Not something you want to see happen or to have it happen to you.
    Ryan Nelson

    67 boats signed up for this "Solos Only" event and were dispatched into 9 divisions.... We will have more photos, and results when we have them.
    But here is a sampling of what you missed or did not, depending on your situation...

    Last edited by Photoboy; 04-25-2021, 09:35 PM.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    There should be a trophy for Mr Hebert for his sacrfice tk the wind gods!


    • #3
      In His Own Words...

      Alan Hebert, skipper of S2 7.9 Wildcat of Loch Awe weighed in this afternoon to the SSS forum and provided hi insight into the moments before during and after when the Point Pinole
      daymarker changed his afternoon, and reduced sail area by a considerable amount....

      In happier times, Alan is neck and neck with Robert Macdonald's Olson 29' Nina as they as they approached The Sisters and made his gybe quite nicely....

      So what happened? This is an edited synopsis of what I wrote to Jackie.

      1. I was trying to be conservative, and doused the spinnaker about a mile, maybe a mile and a half from Point Pinole. With the spinnaker up, the boat was just HAULING. But I was sailing alongside an Alberg 35....(I think)....and I wasn't really much faster than he was. Go figure? That made no sense to me, it sure felt fast! I figured that I'd probably made up a bunch of time on the guys in my class (I'm the slowest boat in my division, now) and I should just play it safe and douse. So I did, long, long before Point Pinole.

      Sure I had a bit of a wrestling match gybing around the Sisters, with one big round-up but it went remarkably well after that. Other than that everything was going great until the tiller went hard-over when I tacked at Point Pinole and turned me 180 degrees instead of 90. That's the one problem with this boat. I HAVE to control the tiller at all times, or it will instantly slam over to the leeward side. I gave myself at least 2 boat lengths clearance, maybe more, but with that issue, it wasn't enough.

      2. The other thing that might have's a haze right now....involves my "improved" safety harness tether. SHTP rules require that the tether be shorter than the distance from the aft end point of your jacklines, to the transom. My old tether was about 2 feet longer than that, and allowed me to get everywhere in the cockpit without unclipping. I made a new SHTP rules-compliant tether. The only problem with it is that if I'm forward of the traveler (to pull in the jib sheets), and I lose the tiller, and it slams over to the leeward side, the tether is too short for me to reach it. So I have to unclip, THEN reach over and grab the tiller. Sometimes I can "go around the front" of the mainsheet and get to it but that takes another two seconds. If the tether happens to wrap around a winch, that's another two seconds gone while I untangle it. All of that adds up to several seconds and I had no more than about 6-7-8 seconds from the tiller going over until impact.

      I can't remember now if that's what happened with the tether. What I DO know is that as I started making the turn about two boat lengths leeward of the mark, I sheeted in the main in preparation for going to windward. I sailed past the mark at least two boat lengths until I was clear. Then I started the tack. I let go of the tiller for just a second to grab the new leeward jib sheet. So when the tiller when WHAM hard-over, when I DID finally grab it again I was headed directly back at the daymarker. I couldn't bear off. The force of the main kept the bow up. There was no time to release the mainsheet....I just didn't have time to think of it.

      image © Jackie Phillpot

      AND.....the now-lazy jibsheet jammed in the deck-mounted block that it goes through, before heading to the winch. It wouldn't come around to the now-leeward side. So for all intents and purposes, I couldn't have rammed the tiller back over and turned up into the wind, either. The jib was jammed into position as if I was "aback".

      Put it all together and the 2-3 boatlengths safety margin I'd given myself around the daymarker wasn't enough. On top of that, there were two boats right behind me. If I HAD managed to bear off to miss the channel marker, I might have hit them....I can't swear to that, but they were very close. One was an Express 27 (white) I don't know what the other boat was.


      All boats are compromises. There is no "perfect boat" and the S2 7.9 is a really good boat. However, the issue with the rudder/tiller having zilch stability is not just my boat, I've heard from other owners that it's found on all the Graham and Schlageter S-2's...the 7.9 and the 9.1. It's a transom-mounted rudder. I actually made a new rudder with LESS balance in it, than the One Design rudder in an attempt to get some more stability into the system, and I got a little bit, but not much. In this case, the "One Bad Thing" about this boat, and my mistake in not taking that into account and giving myself enough room in a pressure situation just cost me my mast.

      To Ian Matthew on Siento el Viento, for making sure I was OK.
      To Jackie Philpott, on Dura Mater, for staying on station "just in case"
      To Paul Schroder on Constance for staying with me and trying to tow me to Richmond.
      And also thanks to Rebecca Hinden on Bombora!


      The Coasties were very professional, did a great job, and were pleasant the whole time. Kudos to the crew!
      The Coasties took me to Vallejo, which was a wild ride, with about 4-5 feet of the top of the mast dragging in the water behind the boat, but after a lot of screaming, loosening rigging, and slicing through kevlar sailcloth, I'm fine. ...just some little scratches on my hands, totally no big deal. The only damage to me personally is my pocketbook and dignity.

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


      • #4
        Yeah, that's what happened. In my own words. DAMN. And it all went so well...

        ....until it didn't. I was actually in a position to correct out to NOT LAST in my fleet!

        The two boats that stood by for a LONG time were Paul Shroder on Constance, the dark-blue hulled Tartan 34 that's right ahead of me in your photos, here, and Jackie Philpott on Dura Mater, the Angel of the SSS. Salty Hotel and Bombora from the Express 27 fleet dropped their headsails and stuck around but what can you do? Ian Matthew on Siento el Viento made voice contact to make sure I was OK.

        It was blowing about 18 +/- at the mark, and it was nasty getting off of the daymark. If it had been a lower point of the tidal cycle I might not have been able to reach high enough on the mainsail to cut away some of the parts that were keeping me bound to the ladder on the day mark. Note, a spyderco knife will make short work of a kevlar mainsail.

        Not a happy day, but I sure look good in the photos right around the Sisters!


        • #5
          That which does not kill us, costs lots of money to fix!


          • #6
            Sorry you went through this, Alan. Glad no one was hurt, and the boat will live to sail and race again.


            • #7
              I wonder if the no fault clause on the insurance covers all the bits and pieces?

              Good to hear that you are safe, and people were around to assist!


              • #8
                North Bay Solo Madness

                Last weekend's SSS's Singlehanded No Trophy North Bay Race was a pure single handed only event that attracted 67 entrants
                and good pressure for a 20.5 nm romp from the Southampton area up to the Sisters then to the kite eating daymark at Point Pinole and leaving Red Rock to port before finishing
                at the Richmond YC's Race Deck. As far as we know, this is the 1st time The Sister's or the Point Pinole Day Marker have been used for any races, with mixed opinions on the
                day marker.... A threat of rain was forecast by the weather wonks and less wind than actually greeted the sailors. With no pressure about making room for another
                shiny knick-knack, that solo sailors could embrace the pure joy of bragging rights and memories instead of bling....

                Here are a few frames from the day with clever captions to explain who, what, why and why not....

                John Kalucki's J-109 Lindo on his way to not collecting a trophy for his victory in Division 4!

                Synthia Petroka puts on a single handed gybe with here Hawkfarm 28' Eyrie at the Sisters
                and the W in Div 5

                Chuck Hooper's Contessa 33' Warwhoop on his way to also collecting no trophy for victory in Division

                Rebecca Hinden sails Bombora to the top of podium in the E-27 division

                Jonathan Livingston was division 7's winner on his well traveled Wylie 39' Punk Dolphin

                Jeff Mulvihill's Olson 30'Werewolf howled to division 08

                David Rasmussen's Salty Cat out front of a trio of Wylie 30's and on his way to a near 6 minute
                advantage over the next boat in Division 3

                Truls Mkklebust's F37 Raven lead the entire fleet the entire race and posted a corrected time of 2:36:37
                His 2:28:25 Elapsed time for the 20.5 nm course might stick around for a while.

                Raven making tracks!

                Lindo's John Kaluka


                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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