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2014 Express 27 Nationals hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club
With wind gusts into the mid 30s, a hefty 2.7 knot flood and a tight reach across the Bay from Harding Rock , past Alcatraz, and down to Blossom Rock, the crew of Motorcycle Irene decided to "Send It" anyways.

We rounded the Harding in 3rd and noticed the two boats in front were fighting each other and saw a passing lane and decided it was a great opportunity! Said Will Paxton M.I.s skipper "We lit it up sent it! Either it was going to work or it wasn't". Daniel Thielman and crew on the charteredShenanigans (Kuai for the regatta) was trailing Brendan Busch's Get Happy on the leg and both set kites a bit later, but by then, the damage was done...

As it turned out, Motorcyle Irene did manage to carry the whole way, gybed the kite at Blossom and rode it all the way to 8. A white knuckle romp even with just white sails und those conditions. In the aftermath, several othe boats attempted to carry their kites, some managed to, and for others, it was as if Aoleus himself declared "The F&%$ you will"

Despite the spinouts and calamities "Saturday's long distance race was well recieved" indicated PRO Robbie Dean "The crew's were all super stokked to have some variety in the program and the beat up the south side of Angel Island, and the reaches acrross the Bay giving them a good test of skills and plenty of bar banter afterwards!"

The 16 boat, 3 day regatta began and ended with some sausages on the Berkeley flats. 3 races on Friday, 1 saysage and a long distance on Saturday and 2 more Berkeley Flats Sausauges in medium winds on Sunday. The aformentioned Team Kuai, led by Daniel Theilman utilized the regatta as sort of a tune up for the upcoming Melges 20 Nationals, also hosted by the SFYC, finishing 2nd overall, Daniel provides his assesment of the fleet and the event:

Team Kuai chartered a boat for the Express 27 Nationals because we wanted to see how we stacked up against a strong local & active fleet. We had our sites set on trying to take on the fleet champ, Motorcycle Irene, but as soon as we were on the race course we realized that we had a few other very talented teams to contend with.

We had a team of very seasoned sailors, but several of us onboard were new to Express 27 sailing. By the 2nd day of the competition we were all sorted out and were throwing everything we had at the best teams.

I had gotten used to sailing boats with more technical rigs, so for me it was really great to sail a boat where it was pure sail trim, hard hiking and good maneuvering around the marks that moved you up in the fleet. By day 3 we were having a lot of fun grinding teams down on the upwind, but we never found that final gear that Motorcycle Irene was using to motor around the course.


Photo : Erik Simonson
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