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Rolex Big Boat Series - Perfect Day 3

by Kirsten Ferguson on 29 Sep 2013
The J/120s racing downwind in day three at the Rolex Big Boat Series © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
On day three of the Rolex Big Boat Series, as 22 J/105s came running down San Francisco Bay with the Golden Gate Bridge rising from behind their colorful spinnakers, 38 Melges 24s sailed upwind toward them in a freshening 8-12 knot westerly that enabled both fleets to comfortably negotiate the current and wind for optimum speed.

It was the third glittering day of the four-day Rolex Big Boat Series, and 107 boats in 10 classes were ecstatic that talk of light winds throughout the afternoon was more rumor than fact.


'We haven’t had the really honking breeze this year, but I think the conditions have been nice, and we are still seeing wind speeds in the high teens, low 20s,' said Jim Swartz, whose TP52 Vesper is sailing in IRC A with only one other boat–Isao Mita’s Beecom, also a TP 52–because of the boat’s like sizes and equal ratings. So far, Vesper has won six of six races sailed.

'Both boats have their edges and assets, and I think the crew work has been good for both teams,' added Swartz. 'Our guys have been flawless and just haven’t made any mistakes. There is also a real premium on the starts, because it’s hard to come back, unless you get a tricky shift or someone makes a mistake. We’ve been fortunate enough to do well in most of the starts for this event.'


In the second race of each day, Vesper and Beecom start by themselves; however, in the first race, they start with five other boats in the IRC B class, which Sy Kleinman’s Schumacher 54 Swiftsure currently leads with six bullets in as many races.

'We hope to continue on the path that we’re on,' said St. Francis Staff Commodore Steve Taft, the helmsman onboard. 'The harder it blows, the faster this boat goes. Today was a little bit tough in the first race with the light air, but then it filled in a little later on and became a normal day.'


In the largest fleet here, 38 Melges 24 teams moved one day closer to their World Championships next week and will determine tomorrow who the official winner of these 'Pre-Worlds' will be. With eight points on its closest competitor, Franco Rossini’s Swiss entry Blu Moon, skippered by 2001 Melges 24 World Champion Flavio Favivi, remains at the top of the scoreboard for its third consecutive day.

Today was not so lucky for us,' said Favivi about Blu Moon’s finish positions of 4-5. 'There was lots of traffic, and the leads changed a lot. We are not as far ahead as we were yesterday, but tomorrow we’ll make a good race and hope to win.' Favivi added that the courses here are longer and 'more coastal' than those used in his class’s world championships, but assured, 'It makes better the feeling we have for the winds, waves and currents on San Francisco Bay.'

Rolex Yachtsman of the Year (2009) Bora Gulari, a Moth World Champion and Melges 24 U.S. National Champion who currently sits in fourth with his New England Ropes/West Marine Rigging, said there are six teams battling for the top-three positions, which would be equivalent to podium positions at a world championship. 'Yesterday, it looked like they (Blu Moon) had run away with it, but with a no-drop series, anything can happen.

'Our first race today we finished just outside the single digits (10th), and we had a third in the second race, so we’re getting better; we’re trying to peak at the right time,' said Gulari, who added that two-time Olympic medalist Jonathan McKee, who also is the 2010 Melges 24 world champion, is onboard calling tactics. 'We’re absolutely having a blast here. Doing windward/leewards all the time gets boring, so racing around the Bay…and mixing it up with the other classes...let’s just say, it’s very exciting to be a small boat in a big-boat regatta.'

In other action, Stephen Madeira’s Mister Magoo elbowed its way in between Barry Lewis’s Chance and John Wimer’s Desdemona on the scoreboard today, and the three teams are mathematically tied on points in the six-boat J/120 fleet.

New leaders emerged in three additional classes, as Peter Krueger’s Double Trouble traded places with Daniel Thielman’s Tai Kuai to take the top spot in HPR class; Scooter Simmons’s Blackhawk jumped from second to first in J/105 class to see yesterday’s leader, Phillip Laby’s Godot, slide to sixth; and Jerome Ternynck’s SmartRecruiters flip-flopped on the scoreboard with Urs Rothacher’s BridgeRunner in Multihull fleet. Kame Richards’ Golden Moon, Tad Lacey’s Mirthmaker and Jim Cascino’s Eos all maintained their leads in Express 37, IRC D and J/70 classes, respectively.

Eos was today named Boat of the Day. Six St. Francis Yacht Club Perpetual Trophies, which are coupled with the awarding of Rolex timepieces, have been designated to go this year to IRC A (St. Francis Perpetual Trophy), IRC B (City of San Francisco Trophy), HPR (Richard Rheem Perpetual Trophy ), J/120 (Keefe-Kilborn Perpetual Trophy ), J/105 (Atlantic Perpetual), and Melges 24 (Commodore’s Cup).

Sailed since 1964, the St. Francis Yacht Club Big Boat Series added Rolex Watch U.S.A. as a title sponsor in 2005. Six specially engraved Rolex timepieces are traditionally awarded to winners of the St. Francis Yacht Club’s Perpetual Trophies: the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy; the City of San Francisco Trophy; the Richard Rheem Trophy; the Keefe-Kilborn Memorial Trophy; the Atlantic Trophy; and the Commodore’s Cup.

For the NOR and more information, go to event website.

2013 Rolex Big Boat Series
Place, Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points

HPR (HPR - 8 Boats)
1. Double Trouble, J 125, Peter Krueger, Reno, NV, USA - 4, 3, 1, 1, 4, 2, ; 15
2. Tai Kuai, RP 44, Daniel Thielman, Tiburon, CA, USA - 1, 1, 5, 2, 7, 1, ; 17
3. Rock & Roll, Farr 400, Bernard Girod, Santa Barbara, CA, USA - 2, 4, 4, 5, 1, 6, ; 22

IRC A (IRC - 2 Boats)
1. Vesper, TP 52, Jim Swartz, Park City, Utah, USA - 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 6
2. Beecom, TP 52, Isao Mita, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan - 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, ; 12

IRC B (IRC - 5 Boats)
1. Swiftsure, Schumacher 54, Sy Kleinman, Saratoga, Calif., USA - 1, 1, 1, 1, 4, 1, ; 9
2. BustinLoose, Sydney 38, Jeff Pulford, Salinas, Calif., USA - 3, 4, 2, 2, 1, 3, ; 15
3. Twisted, Farr 40, M. Tony Pohl, Alamo, Calif., USA - 2, 2, 3, 3, 2, 5/SCP, ; 17

IRC D (IRC - 6 Boats)
1. Mirthmaker, A 35, Tad Lacey, Belvedere, Calif., USA - 1, 2, 1, 3, 3, 4, ; 14
2. Encore, Sydney 36 CR, Wayne Koide, San Anselmo, Calif., USA - 5, 5, 2, 1, 1, 2, ; 16
3. Peregrine, J 120, David Halliwill, New York, N.Y., USA - 2, 1, 6, 4, 5, 1, ; 19

J 70 (One Design - 7 Boats)
1. Eos, J 70 22.75, Jim Cascino , Lafayette, CA, USA - 2, 1, 1, 8/RAF, 1, 1, 3, ; 17
2. Little Hand, J 70 22.75, frank slootman , Pleasanton, CA, USA - 1, 2, 5, 2, 3, 3, 1, ; 17
3. Jennifer, J 70 22.75, Chris Kostanecki , Ross, CA, USA - 6, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 4, ; 24

J 105 (One Design - 22 Boats)
1. Blackhawk, J 105, Scooter Simmons , Belvedere, Calif., USA - 1, 2, 1, 13, 3, 1, ; 21
2. Arbitrage, J 105, Bruce Stone, San Francisco, Calif., USA - 5, 4, 10, 1, 1, 6, ; 27
3. Risk, J 105, Jason Woodley / Scott Whitney , Greenbrae, Calif., USA - 6, 1, 8, 4, 7, 2, ; 28

J 120 (One Design - 6 Boats)
1. Chance, J 120, Barry Lewis, Atherton, Calif., USA - 1, 2, 1, 2, 4, 5, ; 15
2. Mister Magoo, J 120, Stephen Madeira, Menlo Park, Calif., USA - 4, 3, 4, 1, 1, 2, ; 15
3. Desdemona, J 120, John Wimer, Half Moon Bay, Calif., USA - 3, 1, 2, 4, 2, 4, ; 16

Melges 24 (One Design - 35 Boats)
1. Blu Moon, Melges 24, Franco Rossini, Rovio, Svizzera, SUI - 4, 1, 1, 2, 4, 5, ; 17
2. Rosebud, Melges 24, Scott Holmgren, Edmond, Okla., USA - 6, 5, 8, 1, 3, 2, ; 25
3. FULL THROTTLE, Melges 24, Brian Porter, Fontana, Wisc., USA - 3, 2, 5, 12, 13, 1, ; 36

Express 37 (One Design - 6 Boats)
1. Golden Moon, Express 37, Kame Richards, Alameda, Calif., USA - 2, 1, 4, 1, 1, 3, ; 12
2. Expeditious, Express 37, Bartz Schneider, Crystal Bay, Nev., USA - 1, 4/SCP, 2, 3, 3, 1, ; 14
3. Elan, Express 37, Jack Peurach, San Francisco, Calif., USA - 4, 3, 1, 2, 4, 4, ; 18

Multihull (ToT - 7 Boats)
1. SmartRecruiters, Extreme 40, Jerome Ternynck , San Francisco, Calif., USA - 3, 3, 1, 2, 1, 2, ; 12
2. BridgeRunner, SL33, Urs Rothacher , Oakland, Calif., USA - 1, 2, 2, 3, 2, 3, ; 13
3. Orion, MOD 70, Tom Siebel , Redwood City, Calif., USA - 6, 1, 4, 1, 4, 1, ; 17

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