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35th edition of the B.A.M.A. hosted Doublehanded Farallones race - Brendan Meyer / Erik Menzel UNO
With an 0800 1st gun at the GGYC the Race Committee saw goose eggs on the wind-o-meter and went into postponement. Despite what some of the models predicted, the breeze was a no show for the most part, hoping for better conditions made sense. The ebb had maxed at 0730 and if the RC was to get the 35th running going, it was imperative to get the boats out before the tide reversed. At 0845 the Multis got their gun and it was a light air luff-a-thon to get out to favorable current, and at least get swept out the gate if you could not sail out. By about 0920 the 1st Tri's passed under the Bridge, ghosting along would be a generous description. 15 minutes or so passed before the largest monohull hull, California Condor would eek out in similar conditions.

About 1000 a slight southwesterly began to fill, aiding boats in the bay more than those who had exited earlier. What we saw then was a condensing of the fleets, and the light sportboats and ULDB's taking advantage of the conditions. According to Richard Vonehrenkrook, skipper of Can' O Whoopass, things actually looked good from Bonita with 10-12 knots showing, but by the time they reached the lightbucket, it was down to 5-6 knots, and died shortly thereafter. The boats which were able to get in range of the Islands benefited the most.

Sergei Podshivalov sailing his J-105 Javelin in the DH Farallones for the 1st time, was one such benefactor, and as a result sailed to a corrected time victory in PHRF 4

Mark Eastham and Stephan Lesaffre were the 1st to get to the islands, creeping around the stinky rocks close to 1430 and were in nice position when the wind finally did fill back in and were the only boat to finish in the daylight, crossing the finish line at 18:52:40. The less fortunate, yet still determined boats had to deal with sailing in the shipping channel in the dark as well and the evaporating flood.

This was Mark Eastham's 2nd Double Handed Farallones race, sailing Ma's Rover which was named to honor his mother who passed away a few years past. She was a big Irish Rover's fan and her last name, Meagher and is pronounced "Ma". The F-31 is Marks 1st multihull, previously he owned a Melges 24 Mary Don't Surf which Mark bought after he move to California in 1989, just in time for the Loma Prieta Earthquake.

"We came out on the north side of the channel and then set the screecher in 2-3 knots, Said Mark " We got passed by Raven in the Strait but when we got to Bonita the wind picked up and so did the swell. We were fetchin the islands nicely on port tack until the breeze backed off and we got passed by Condor. We spent a good 1.5 to 2 hours sloshing around in confused seas until the breeze filled back in. Condor went right and we stayed left and got lifted right to the island. We passed Condor just before the island, which had some huge breakers slamming into it. Very intimidating especially in light of the Low Speed Chase incident. Once we passed over the north side we set the chute and immediately started surfing. We carried the kite about 4-5 from the island then reset the screecher and carried it nicely to Point Bonita, where we reset the kite and worked our way inside the Gate on the last bit of flood."

"It was a really fun race for me," Mark continues " and I really tip my hat to the guys at BAMA for doing and outstanding job putting this race on and their dedication to the event, working with the Coasties, the DSC program at the skippers meeting and the communications with the folks stationed in the hills at the coast. I was able to raise them with the mast top vhf from the Farallones, which is very comforting. It was great to have confidence that we all had close contact with the DSC if we needed it. Top shelf, grade A in my book!"

Full results HERE

Photo : Erik Simonson
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