when I saw the forecast for this year's Singlehanded Farallones — 8-12 knots and 4-ft swells, I couldn't resist," said Wells. This year and last year the wind had been howling. "The second-hand instrument package I'd bought still hadn't been tested, much less installed, and there was still no sign of my Autohelms, which appear to have been eaten by my basement," said Wells. But she signed up anyway. Sitting at the GGYC dock the morning of the race, she thought to herself, "This is such a bad idea. I should just go home." She hadn't been eating or sleeping well and was feeling under the weather." She told herself there was no harm in starting — the line was right there. She started a minute or so behind her competitor trimarans, Humdinger and Raven. She passed Humdinger on the way to the Gate. "Oh that's nice, I thought — someone will be on my heels and can call for help if things go terribly wrong." The forecast had called for 4-ft seas every 15 seconds, so mild that Wells barely noticed the waves. "After Point Bonita it started to get cold. I peeled off the jeans that I had lived in for the past three days and put on leggings, pajama pants and some foulies." A favorable shift in the wind to
on the southwest side that day. Waves were breaking in unusual places, and I stayed wide. I figured a safe depth was 12 times the sea state, which in 4-ft waves is around 60 feet." After rounding, Wells found herself on another reach. "I didn't need to do anything with my sails except trim them a little bit. This was very handy because the radar reflector was hoisted on my spinnaker halyard, which meant a long list of steps would be needed to raise anything other than what was already up — with the Autohelm careening us right and left of a straight course." So she just drove. She'd tethered the GPS to her PFD and looked down at it every couple of minutes. "My GPS track is remarkably straight. Right: What the islands I think I probably sailed the shortest course and was starting to feel pleased with myself for being out of sight of land, and, even in marginal physical condition, feeling unafraid." She tried not to run over the many
Singlehanded Farallones The first start of the 34-boat Singlehanded Farallones Race was at 8:35 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, off the race deck of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, and swimmers in a triathlon test event were still swimming through the start line on their way from Alcatraz to St. Francis YC. Then Vessel Traffic Service called the race committee to advise them of an inbound tanker that would cross under the Golden Gate Bridge at the time of the last start. "Singlehanded sailors can handle what is thrown at them, and we had no issues," said Rick Elkins, race chair of the Singlehanded Sailing Society. Whales also showed up at the start. "We watched them all day long until dark," said race-deck volunteer Kristin Soetebier. "I could see spouts on our side of the South Tower in the afternoon." At 3 p.m., the race committee had to move their operations to the parking lot outside the clubhouse due to a wedding in the clubhouse. "Brian Boschma loaned us his homemade Yagi antenna that I rigged to my Tundra with an old reaching strut to make an official SSS Committee Truck," said Elkins. "We were able to reenter GGYC around midnight,
ERIK SIMONSON / WWW.PRESSURE-DROP.US
The Singlehanded Farallones kicks off June's Racing Sheet. Then we learn of a surprise entry (and more) in the Race to Alaska, switch gears to the Konocti Cup, return to the shorthanders for a report on the in-the-Bay Round the Rocks Race, and look forward to the High Sierra Regatta this summer and Quantum Key West Race Week this winter. Last but not least, Box Scores features a batch of spring classics.
where we recorded the last two racers, Dura Mater at 00:13:43 and Geodesic III at 01:36:15." The humpbacks were still on station when the first finisher, Amy Wells on the F-27 Wingit, crossed under the bridge around 4 p.m. "Light air is my boat's specialty, so Page 90 •
• June, 2016
Left: Amy Wells' selﬁe with the turning mark. looked like on May 14.
the south allowed Wells to crack off and get some speed in a close reach to the island. "The lee shore of the Farallones was
The June 2016 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.