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— THE EVOLUTION OF 'ANTIQUE' Dragonfly, an early-'60s design that was typical of the boats entered in the inaugural Plastic Classic back in 1985. "The sight of that young family happily sailing their little boat captured the essence of what this event was conceived to be," said Super.

ALL PHOTOS LATITIUDE / ANDY

"H

eeeeeey!!! Can you please answer a question?!" called an obviously exasperated skipper as we idled near the starting line in our photo boat. "I'm totally confused! I don't know where the starting line is; I hear all sorts of horns blasting, but I don't know what time I'm supposed to start. I'm sailing blind here!!!" "Relax," we advised. "No worries — the starts have been delayed. The line is right in front

Spread: Designed in the early '60s, the Cal 40 'Shaman' competed this year, amid many classic designs of the same era. Once the breeze filled in, it was a glorious day of light-hearted racing. Inset, left: the 'Lazy Lightning' crew rides the rail. Inset, upper right: 'Desperado's crew was determined to get a jump on the other Express 27s.

of you between that orange buoy and the anchored motorboat." The fact that the Plastic Classic draws some very inexperienced racers is obvious to any observer. But that's part of its enduring appeal. Running the course here is a great way to cut your teeth on racing, as there's always someone making more embarassing blunders than yours. And, unlike most other race venues, the Bay View Race Committee goes to great lengths to nurture the neophytes — including occasionally shouting tips to the dazed and confused: "You'd better get going! Your class started five minutes ago!" In addition to the usual contingent of once-a-year racers, there were also some very well-sailed boats this year in both the spinnaker and non-spin divisions. After a delayed start due to light winds and an abnormally strong ebb — which left several engineless boats struggling to reach the starting area — the 11-mile course took the fleet on a typical circuit of the South Bay. Once the breeze filled in at 8 to 10 knots, it held throughout the afternoon, with brilliant sunshine inspiring some to strip down and work on their tans. While we saw no true photo finishes, there was plenty of tight, boat-for-boat racing, especially

in the spinnaker division. The one traditional feature that was conspicuously absent this year was the female 'flasher' at the notorious T-mark. What's this world coming to? Has political correctness even encroached on the staunchly irreverent Bay View Boat Club? Never! (They're already looking for volunteers for next year's event.) "Who says I'm singlehanding?" It wouldn't be the Plastic Classic without a bit of frivolity. But the T-mark was conspicuously unstaffed.

Profile for Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Latitude 38 August 2006  

The August 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 August 2006  

The August 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.