ver the last few years the Rolex Big Boat Series has seemed pretty tame. The flood has been pretty dominant, and the breeze has been generally light, even nonexistent at times. But with the regatta moved a week earlier in the month this year, we were hopeful that it would be a little, well, spicier. Was it ever! The West Coast's premier big boat regatta brought more heat — figuratively speaking — than a roasted Scotch Bonnet September 8-11 at St.
Spread — 'Vesper' carves up the Bay en route to a resounding victory in IRC A; insets, from left — 'Mayhem' was 'Vesper's closest competition; 'Velos' proving that IOR boats still make for good photos!
Francis YC. Eighty-one well-prepared boats, in four IRC and four one-design divisions, put on a show that had everyone saying something to the effect of, "Now, this is a Big Boat Series." Before we even talk about the breeze, bear in mind that the ebb was in full effect for most of the series. Thursday brought what had to be one of the most photogenic days on the Bay so far this year,
with sunshine and breeze that started in the mid-teens and built into the mid-20s throughout the afternoon, with no fog. Figuring we had seen the best weather of the regatta, we were thrilled to get breeze in the low 20s the following day. Perhaps the Slot sensed it was the weekend, and more spectators might be watching from shore, or maybe it was just luck. Regardless, the area between the
SPREAD: DANIEL FORESTER/ROLEX
ROLEX BIG BOAT SERIES
The October 2011 eBook issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.