Left: 'Mojo' works the current relief along Tiburon's Kiel Cove past a flock of gulls. Right: Their sights set on Red Rock, Will and Zack keep 'Motorcycle Irene' moving in the North Bay.
s I motored through Raccoon Strait the two F25s were battling it out, getting swept sideways in the lulls but inching forward." said Bob Johnston. 'Immoral's anchoring drill at Yerba Buena Island.
"The entire Bay east of Angel Island was nearly glassed off. The two F25s would ultimately finish. I'm utterly baffled about how they pulled it off." "The race was true to its name, a test of patience, decision making and persistence," said Mark Zimmer, skipper of Khimaira, one of the two F-25C trimarans. "This was the first time doing this race that I went in with no real plan — it was going to be an audible on the lesser of all evils. Last year, we were among the few that went counterclockwise, and it paid. However, we almost didn't make it around TI before the tide change. Those behind us who missed the window did not finish the race. So, we knew that it would be a tough rounding with the huge ebb. We also didn't want to hit Blackaller without wind for risk of getting sucked out the Gate, and there was no way we could make it through Raccoon against the ebb and river runoff — so we thought. All of our options required wind. So, our plan was made minutes before our start: Get through the starting line with the current then go find the wind. "We motored upstream and shut our outboard down just before the 5-minute mark and pointed into the slight northeasterly as we drifted toward the line backward. We saw Mojo (the other F-25C) start just ahead of us as they immediately turned back into the current near the X mark on port tack. We turned toward the line and were heading right at them on starboard and squeezed in between them and the mark, then pointed north into what little wind we could feel. It looked like we were going to Red Rock first. Mojo followed LESLIE RICHTER / WWW.ROCKSKIPPER.COM
Because the Moore 24 was about to win the race. "We had a great day," said John Gray, the skipper of Immoral. "Amazing, beautiful, sunny. We rode the ebb almost the whole day. It was only at the very end that we found a little flood. We went straight to TI and were able to make a lot of progress over the ground all the way over to the Bay Bridge, and then as soon as it stopped, we thought, 'This doesn't look good,' and we dropped our anchor. We ate lunch, then raised our anchor for about an hour. We made it around that one corner, and it was pretty much inside the river from there. We got a push all the way to Red Rock, we got pushed through Raccoon, and we got pushed along the Cityfront. Racing with me was my very good friend Matt Van Rensselaer, a huge part of the day going well." Immoral finished at 5:25 p.m.
ERIK SIMONSON / WWW.PRESSURE-DROP.US
ONE BRIDGE GETS GREEDY
suit and got ahead of us in the fluky breeze. We noticed a lone monohull heading east with pressure near Point Stuart: That was our new wind. We made the call to go for it even though it meant going through Raccoon the wrong way. We kinda threw a fakey bear-away to try and get Mojo to think we were going to leave Angel Island to port, then waited until they weren't looking and quickly headed up, sheeted in, and took their transom before they could react. Finally, we had clean air, only to discover that the wind had all but dissipated by the time we got to Point Stuart. Mojo had caught back up to us, and we took turns leading in and out of the current. We knew that shooting over to Tiburon was the right thing to do, but putting three hulls perpendicular to what felt like a 7-knot current sure didn't feel right the first time we tried it, and we chickened out. Mark Eastham's F-31 Ma's Rover went for it and fell back, but we soon saw them blasting east along the shoreline; we knew we had to commit. "Once across, we started gaining on Ma's Rover and the big cat cruiser Deguello near the northeast end of Raccoon when we heard a 'beep beep beep.' The crew of Deguello were waving and shouting that they were aground — only then did the beeping noise register: It was Khimaira's depthsounder! 'Tack now!' My awesome crew, Mark Lewis, had had the wherewithal to turn on our depthsounder as we entered the Strait. That was close!" It took Khimaira three attempts and two to three hours to escape the grasp of Raccoon Strait. "It was finally go time with clean air and a freshening northerly, with a pretty good lead over those behind us — especially Mojo!" continued Zimmer. "However, Mojo started getting bigger as we approached Red Rock. What was about a mile lead soon fizzled to 5-6 boatlengths. We rounded, hoisted the kite, and enjoyed the best boatspeed of the day. Still Mojo was right there — March, 2018 •
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The March 2018 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.