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2014 Pelican Class Estuary - Pelican Class prams on the estuary, San Francisco
The Annual San Francisco Trans-Bay Pelican Race has already become a popular classic. On June 11, 1966, the big event attracted Pelicans from. all over California and Washington, and forty-two Pelicans participated. The race to San Francisco from Sausalito and return now includes a windward leg to test the Pelican's tacking ability. She is smart to windward, too. Not a single Pelican capsized or met any trouble this year, although the afternoon breezes were fresh as ever.
Throughout the planning research for the Pelican, the designer kept firmly in mind the challenge of San Francisco Bay's strong winds and rough water. At the same time he was aiming at a design simple to handle—and fast. The Pelican is a little craft capable of safely crossing San Francisco Bay's main ship channel west of Alcatraz (the weather side) from Marin to San Francisco in the strong afternoon winds. On the face of it, none of this seems impressive, until the size and type of boat is known—a stalwart 12-foot centerboarder.

Photo : Erik Simonson
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