THREE BRIDGE FIASCO — it was race on! We tried going deep, we tried heating it up, but we could not shake them. It was as if we were tied to a leash! It wasn't until we started a series of jibes between Berkeley Pier and TI that we started to grow our lead again. "We wanted to be sure not to get trapped in a hole on the leeward side of TI, so we took a wide path. We saw Motorcycle Irene douse and head up, then I made the call to douse. I happened to look up into the sun toward the City and noticed the outline of a huge cargo ship silently heading right toward us. We were pinned and continued on a reach with the kite and waited for the ship to block our wind to douse — sounded good in theory anyway. By the time we got pointing north again, we had lost more distance than we had hoped — and there was Mojo again! "We held our own tacking along the City until the sun started setting, taking the wind with it. We knew Mojo is set up better for light air than Khimaira, and it showed with every tack. Finally, in an act of desperation, we unfurled our screacher and tacked out into what looked like slightly better pressure even though we knew the current wasn't favorable. It didn't pay off at all — we saw Mojo ghost round Blackaller well ahead. It was over. Mojo sailed a great race and never cut us any slack." "We intended to head for Yerba Buena first," said Chris Harvey, who has owned Mojo for five years. "However, as our start was approaching, it was apparent that boats trying to start west to east were not making way toward the line, so we decided to start east to west and buttonhook the X buoy. When we turned around X, we were unable to make way, so we decided to head to Red Rock first." Harvey and his crew, Dan Mone, prepared to anchor immediately after starting. However there was a light breeze coming from the northwest, so they sailed toward it and never did have to anchor. "Khimaira started just behind us, and what followed was effectively a 7-hour-long battle between the two of us. When Ma's Rover tried to set her chute and head toward Blunt, Page 74 •
• March, 2018
Chris Harvey (left) won the Multihull Doublehanded Trophy, and John Gray won the Monohull Doublehanded Trophy. No singlehanders ﬁnished.
we were distracted just long enough to get rolled by Khimaira. We regained our lead over Khimaira as we sailed up to the beach off Angel Island's West Garrison. "As we rounded Point Stuart, the glassy water and ripping ebb in Raccoon did not look promising. We were the first in, but as soon as we hit the ebb, we were flushed back out. Khimaira made an attempt, with the same result. After a couple of attempts, we both made it around the point and began working our way along the north shore of Angel. "The wind in Raccoon was extremely light as the three boats worked their way along the north shoreline, with Ma's finding the bottom on a couple of occasions. Khimaira was first to escape the grips of the light air and tenacious current in the Strait, putting several hundred yards on us in the refreshing 10-knot
northerly. On the beat to Red Rock, we were making big gains, and by the time we rounded, there were only a few precious boatlengths between us. "Khimaira went to her masthead kite against our standard fractional chute. The run down to the Berkeley Pier was classic match-racing stuff. During this leg we hit our top speed of the day, 13.8 knots. After the jibe to clear the pier, the wind started getting softer, and the boats were now being pushed along by a building flood. Khimaira's kite paid off in the lighter conditions. Heading under the bridge we could see Motorcycle Irene up ahead, giving the wind hole on the south side of Yerba Buena the respect it deserved, so we followed their line. Once clear, we doused the chute and headed uphill in the now-building flood. "What followed was an epic match race between two well-sailed F-25Cs short-tacking up the Cityfront. On each tack we were making noticeable gains in the waning westerly." The start-finish line is restricted, and the tris had to go around it. "As we approached X, Khimaira had to tack to avoid crossing the line, while we were able to clear it and head all the way to shore for current relief," continued Chris. "Once against the shore, we tacked onto port and were now pointed almost directly toward Blackaller, while
This group — some anchored, others not — has rounded Blackaller Buoy and searches for current relief close to the beach. Some instead found sand with their keels.
The March 2018 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.