ike a timid puppy visiting Ocean Beach for the first time, we're gingerly dipping our toes into the boisterous waters of the San Francisco Bay Area's 2017 fleet championships. Like that hesitant pup, we don't want to get in over our heads the first time out. So, while the fall racing season is still winding down, we'll start with a handful of one-designs whose classes wrapped up early enough for us to — safely — make it to press with our November issue. We'll let the momentum build like an approaching set of tasty waves with the December and January issues. November's dip in the waves takes us on visits to fleets large and small — both in terms of boat size and fleet membership — and designs old and new, starting with the newest. Pac52 — BadPak Tom Holthus, SDYC Six Pac52s burst upon the California sailing scene with panache, vigor and alacrity in 2017. Four of them competed in all five scheduled regattas, which ranged geographically from San Diego's Yachting Cup in May, to the One Design Offshore Championship in Newport Beach and Long Beach Race Week in June, to San Francisco for the Rolex Big Boat Series and the Pac52 Cup in September. When racing concluded on October 1, Tom Holthus's bright blue BadPak topped the leaderboard. "Consistency in the team was huge — we pretty much had the same crew for all five regattas with just minor tweaks along the way," said Holthus, who sailed with 15 to 16 crew aboard. "With the same team we found that communication and expectations were improved after each race." BadPak's tactician was Bruce Nelson; pit and boat manager was Matt Smith; bow, Brent Ruhne; mid-bow, Cody Schlub; headsail trimmers, John Hayes and Jon Gardner; mainsail, Matt Reynolds; runners, Brad Rodi; grinders, Dylan Staniec, Romeo Villarreal and Tom Parry; navigator, Artie Means; "and my son Kelly was a nipper. We would bring in one or two guys to help us on the local knowledge," added Holthus. On San Francisco Bay, Norman Davant, was that guy. "I was involved with the original startup of the class, having been the project manager for Invisible Hand through the build and launch," Davant explained. He said that the tactics are "nothing any different than one-design tactics, they just happen to be 52-ft one-design boats." "We still have a long way to go," admitPage 82 •
• November, 2017
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SEASON CHAMPIONS —
ted Holthus. "Beau Beau Geste and Gladiator came in late in the series and showed that they are highly competitive. We will need to get the boat moving faster and crew work done without mistakes. I also think the Hand, Rio and Fox will be working hard in the off-season to improve. Now is not the time to be complacent. It will take a lot of hard work to repeat." The boat was delivered from New Zealand and arrived in San Diego on April 1. Holthus's prior boat was a Reichel/ Pugh STP65. "It was a fun boat to sail, but I am certainly enjoying this boat. Mick Cookson built a fast boat; we are just trying to sail BadPak to the max." Holthus has enjoyed working with the group of owners during the inaugural year of the class. "Everyone wants to keep the playing field level and not create an arms war so it gets too expensive to keep up. We think more owners will jump into the class for next year, as the boat is very exciting to race." "The class has turned out to be everything we had hoped it would be," said Norman Davant, "the best big-boat racing we have seen on the West Coast
'BadPak' charges back into S.F. Bay from Point Diablo in the Pac52 Cup on October 1.
in a long time." See www.pac52class.org.
1) BadPak, 85 points; 2) Invisible Hand, Frank Slootman, Tahoe YC, 94 points; 3) Beau Geste, Karl Kwok, Royal Hong Kong YC, 120. (6 boats)
J/120 — Chance Barry Lewis, StFYC This was the 16th year of one-design racing for J/120 Fleet 5. In 2017, the fleet championship consisted of 22 races with just three throwouts in J/Fest,
The November 2017 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.