Please select your home edition
Edition
Fever-Tree 728x90

18ft Skiff International Regatta all set

by Rich Roberts on 25 Aug 2012
2012 18ft Skiff International Regatta Rich Roberts © http://www.UnderTheSunPhotos.com
Now that Olympic champions, America's Cup winners and other world class talents have scuffled with the high-tech trials of San Francisco Bay, it's time for some seasoned competitors to show their flair at the 2012 18ft Skiff International Regatta.

This week the feisty 18ft Skiffs return with Nespresso coffee products as the title sponsor of their 11th annual International Regatta running through Saturday, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club … which, by the way, has no direct involvement in the America's Cup other than a front-row location on the race course in an area where spectators can enjoy the show and the new sponsor's specialties.

Even the celebrated sailors from Ben Ainslie to Dean Barker to Russell Coutts, et al, who raced their AC45 trimarans in last week's opening event of the latest America's Cup World Series admitted they were on a steep learning curve.

Ainslie is now a quadruple gold medalist in the singlehanded Finn class, but he's learning a new game. He commented early on his daily blog, J.P.Morgan BAR, 'When the breeze is up, the pace is incredible. The whole way round the guys are working flat out just handling the boat. As the helmsman I’m the only one who really has any time to look around and make some decisions. It’s certainly not like sailing my Finn where I can flick in a few quick tacks to get into a better position.'

The 18s fill the gap between the AC45s that concluded Sunday and St. Francis YC's annual blockbuster Big Boat Regatta starting next week. Tentatively, the 18s' first race is scheduled Monday, but that may be used as a practice day. Otherwise, they'd be rushed to unload their boats from containers arriving from Oakland Monday morning, assemble them on the Crissy Field launching area just west of StFYC and hit the start line hoping all the nuts and bolts are tight.

Instead, they may choose to just practice Monday and race on Thursday's scheduled lay day. They'll do two races daily for a total of 10, including the traditional 7 1/2-mile Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race from the Golden Gate to the Oakland Bay late Friday afternoon.

A couple of the AC45 crews may hang around to learn something and, possibly, race in the Bridge to Bridge classic, which is open to kiteboarders, windsurfers and almost anything else that sails. After all, that's what the AC45s are: a crew trainer soon to be replaced by the AC72s that will compete for the Cup next year.

Howard Hamlin thinks that might be a good idea. The Long Beach, Calif. veteran racer of high-tech skiffs and such holds world championships not only in the 18s (the JJ Giltinan classic) but International 14s and 505s, as well. He avows that there is no more challenging venue than The Bay.

'Besides the [wind] pressure and the shifts, we have the current,' Hamlin said.

The Bay's prevailing westerly wind generally builds through the afternoon from the mid-teens into the 20s and even the 30s, bringing a head-on collision with an outgoing ebb tide of 3-4 knots---the ugly afternoon forecast for this week. Let your bow down too much and you plow into a wave and … ask Coutts about his AC45's cartwheel on a practice romp this summer.

Nathan Outteridge, the Australian who just won Olympic gold on a similar 49er skiff, is now on Team Korea's AC45. He told Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle, 'I'd never sailed a boat in [winds] over 18 knots until I got here. We did 29 knots on the boat the other day.'

Most of the 18s are equipped with two masts: tall ones for normal conditions, short ones for abnormal blows. Most leave the tall ones at home when they come to San Francisco.

With boat speeds in the 20s, flood tides also are lethal, as witnessed last week when several AC45s, on a flying carpet of water and wind, rolled and flipped down the course like tumbleweeds.

The variable tidal flows and currents on the sides of the course also make gauging laylines to the marks tricky upwind and downwind, so Hamlin says the best bet is just 'to get your boat handling down because there are going to be lots of tight situations.'

Otherwise, the AC45s have a couple of close connections to the 18s. AC World Series Regatta Director Iain Murray, a native of Australia, was a pioneer in the class, while Mike Martin, the director of umpiring and rules administration, crewed for Hamlin, a fellow Southern Californian, on the first four of Hamlin's six 18ft Skiff International victories, along with his JJ Giltinan titles that are recognized as the class's world championship.

Maybe they'd like to crew for someone this week, just for fun. St Francis YC website

Protector - 660 x 82Giacomo Yacht SaleMariners Museum 660x82

Related Articles

Youth sailing on the march!
Tom Duggan’s recent post, Information has Value- But Only if you Give it Away, highlights critical component of success Tom Duggan’s recent US Sailing blog post, “Information has Value- But Only if you Give it Away”, highlights a critical component of success: information sharing. Collaboration and growth hinges upon getting information into the hands of those who can put it into action.
Posted today at 6:46 am
Finns set for match race duel in Kiel Week Medal Races
After winning the final race on afternoon, Salminen sits at the top of the leaderboard on equal points with his rival. The Medal Races on Sunday are set to take place in strong westerly winds, so those who enjoyed today will be looking forward to similar conditions to decide the medals in the Olympic classes.
Posted on 24 Jun
Para World Sailing Championships going down to the wire
Three races across all three Para World Sailing disciplines were conducted and the leaderboards going into Sunday In amongst Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) sailing festival, the sailors racing across the 2.4 Norlin OD, Men’s Hansa 303 and Women’s Hansa 303, all One Person Keelboats, were tested by a south westerly 13-16 knot breeze, somewhat less than the 20+ knots that pushed them to survival mode the day prior.
Posted on 24 Jun
Triple bullets for 470 stars in a windy westerly at Kiel Week
In Men’s 470, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan scored three bullets and have launched into a commanding lead over their fleet. In Men’s 470, multiple world and Olympic medallists Mat Belcher and Will Ryan scored three bullets and have launched into a commanding lead over their fleet. It was a stellar day too for the Polish team now in charge of Women’s 470 leaderboard. Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Irmina Gliszczynska won all three of their heats and have displaced Germany’s Frederike Loewe and Anna Markfort from the top spot.
Posted on 24 Jun
'Survival' sailing at the Para World Sailing Championships
Whatever wind was lacking on Thursday at the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships certainly wasn't on Friday Whatever wind was lacking on Thursday at the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships certainly wasn't on Friday, as the breeze turned up several notches, pushing sailors into 'survival” mode.
Posted on 24 Jun
A Few Rays – Moisturising, Anti-Aging Action …
Consistent moisturising sun protection has an anti-aging action Consistent moisturising sun protection has an anti-aging action Out on a boat, sailors are exposed to extreme conditions for their skin. There are UV rays from the sun, hopefully some wind if you are a sailor, and the drying effects from wet and dry cycles during the course of your day
Posted on 23 Jun
Optimist World Championship 2017 breaks record to welcome 280 sailors
The event has now confirmed participation of a total of 62 sailing nations with 280 sailors, a record-breaking landmark Thailand has been selected to host the Optimist World Championship 2017, and the event has now confirmed the participation of a total of 62 sailing nations with 280 sailors, a record-breaking landmark for this world stage event. Each country will send their most skilled Optimist sailors to race as national representatives to compete in the waters off Pattaya Beach.
Posted on 22 Jun
Wild weather makes for a topsy-turvy day at Kiel Week
The Germans won two of their three qualifying races today and sit two points in front of the Olympic silver medallists New Zealanders are also faring well in the Men’s 49er, with Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey holding the lead after six races in the 49er fleet. Australia’s David Gilmour and Joel Turner are on the same points as the leaders, while the Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallists, Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel, move up to third overall.
Posted on 22 Jun
Para World Sailing Championships – What a difference a day makes
Only the Open 2.4 Norlin OD, One Person Keelboat, managed to sail, and they completed one race in variable 5-16 knot The day had a bit of everything. There were grey skies, heavy showers and no breeze in the morning. Moving into the afternoon, a sudden sunny spell was coupled with a heavy breeze, gusting up to 25 knots. The breeze declined as the afternoon played out before dropping off completely and bringing another rain shower to put an end to the day.
Posted on 22 Jun
High stakes at 2017 U.S. Youth Sailing Championships
2017 US Youth Championships will bring together over 175 of America’s top youth sailors, on line in four of six classes. For the second time since 2013, the Corpus Christi Yacht Club will host the pinnacle event for youth sailing in the United States. The 2017 US Youth Championships will bring together over 175 of America’s top youth sailors, with qualification for the 2017 Youth Sailing World Championships on the line in four of the six classes.
Posted on 22 Jun