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Rolex Big Boat Series Day 3: Back to Normal and On With the Game

After two unusually muggy days, San Francisco delivered sensible and more seasonably typical weather for day three of St. Francis Yacht Club’s annual Rolex Big Boat Series. In 10-12 knots and enough sunshine to burn away an early morning fog, 98 teams sailed in nine classes (IRC A through D, Melges 32, J/105, J/120, Express 37 and One Design 35), completing two races each and allowing the most gifted to establish positions that leave them in good shape for tomorrow’s single remaining “Bay Tour” race.

One of those teams is Dale Williams’ (San Francisco) Kernan 44 Wasabi, which has managed to win every race so far in IRC C. In fact, mathematically speaking, the team doesn’t have to sail tomorrow, but missing the Bay Tour--a 25-mile tradition that brings the fleet to just about every spectator vantage point along the shore--isn’t an option for Williams, who has been sailing the Rolex Big Boat Series for 20 years and has won two other times. About this year’s stellar performance, Williams joked, “Even a blind squirrel gets an acorn every once in a while.” He gave credit to his crew of 12, saying they made the real difference in consistently getting a good lead off the starting line and increasing it. “We gave a lot of time to these other boats, so it definitely wasn’t a walk in the park,” said Williams, noting that Wasabi itself, which he will replace next year with a 55’ new-build from the same designer (Tim Kernan), is fast all-around in both light and heavy wind and upwind as well as downwind.

For Gerard Sheridan (San Francisco), skipper of Tupelo Honey in IRC D, today was somewhat of a come-back day. Tied on points going into today with Frank Morrow’s (San Francisco) Hawkeye, his team posted a 1-2 in the seven-boat class after breaking a halyard yesterday and turning in a disappointing 3-4. “We were focused on downwind speed in particular; there are several boats here that are as fast, if not faster, than us downwind,” he said, noting that Thomas Brott’s (Cypress, Calif.) Electra is only two points behind and Hawkeye one behind that in third. “Tomorrow will be a lot of reaching legs, so there’s not a lot of overtaking opportunities.“

In IRC B, Daniel Woolery’s (Alamo, Calif.) Soozal still leads after today’s races, in which it finished 1-2. “Going into today we were tied with Flyer (Rob Sjostedt, Foothill Ranch, Calif.), so we had our work cut out for us,” said Woolery, who described being over early at the start with Flyer and having to work back to first. “We had a great first beat, which put us right back in the race.” With 13 points to Flyer’s 20, Woolery looks good to win, just as he did last year.

In IRC A, it will be “who beats whom” tomorrow, since Jim Mitchell’s (Zurich, Switzerland) RP 52 Vincitore is tied on points with Jorge Ripstein’s (Naucalpan, MEX) RP 52 Patches, which again won both races of the day. When asked if he’d put his match racing skills into play as tactician of Patches tomorrow, America’s Cup veteran Peter Holmberg (St. Thomas, USVI) said, “Why wouldn’t I?”

The new leader in Melges 32s is Italy’s Luca Lalli in B-lin, but his edge over Jeff Ecklund’s Star is by only one point. Lalli and Ecklund managed to push two-day leader Bliksem (Pieter Taselaar, Scarsdale, N.Y.) to third today with finish positions of 18-1 and 1-8, respectively. The battle between those three boats and two more were the closest today and will be tomorrow as well, according to Lalli, who was less than proud of his first race today. “I went the wrong way, and the race was over,” said Lalli. “With Star, Bliksem, Red and Full Throttle, it is impossible to do what I did and come back; the level is very high.” In the second race, Lalli described his start as “very good and dangerous,” since he was sandwiched between two groups that were called over early. Lalli, relatively new to the class, also mused: “My first year sailing in the USA and especially San Francisco is very amazing for me...with Alcatraz here and the fog up on the Golden Gate Bridge...it’s very cool.”

Other leaders from yesterday still leading today are: Donald Payan’s (Hillsborough, Calif.) Dayenu in J 120 class; Kame Richards’s (Alameda, Calif.) Golden Moon in Express 37; Bruce Stone’s Arbitrage (San Francisco) in J 105; and Jonathan Hunt’s (Oakland, Calif.) Dark and Stormy in One Design 35.

Ways to Follow

Family, friends and fans can follow the regatta through the event website
http://www.rolexbigboatseries.com. Live video, social media updates, streaming blogs, race results direct from the race course, and GPS-based boat tracking keep the action at the fingertips of those ashore during the day, while recap videos by T2p.tv (posted by 9 p.m. PST) put the on-water play-by-plays in perspective each evening.

Regarded by sailors as one of the world’s premier sailboat racing events, Rolex Big Boat Series is part of the Rolex Yachting Portfolio that includes over 20 world-class sailing events that take place around the world including the Rolex Miami OCR, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex, and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

About St. Francis Yacht Club

Founded in 1927, St. Francis Yacht Club, within view of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a year-round host of over 40 regattas on San Francisco Bay. The club is renowned for its expertise in running world and national championships.

Event website:
http://www.rolexbigboatseries.com
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/bigboatseries
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saint-Francis-Yacht-Club-Racing/
RSS: http://www.regattanews.com/RSS_new.asp
Mobile phone for scores: http://www.yachtscoring.com/mobile  

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Rolex Big Boat Series 2010
Day 3 (after six races)

Melges 32 (One Design - 27 Boats)
1. B-lin sailing, Melges 32, Luca Lalli, Milano, ITA - 5, 3, 4, 3, 18, 1, ; 34
2. STAR, Melges 32, Jeff Ecklund, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA - 13, 2, 7, 4, 1, 8, ; 35
3. Bliksem, Melges 32, Pieter Taselaar, Scarsdale, NY, USA - 2, 1, 8, 2, 19, 7, ; 39

J 120 (One Design - 8 Boats)
1. Dayenu, J 120, Donald Payan, Hillsborough, CA, USA - 3, 1, 5, 1, 2, 1, ; 13
2. Desdemona, J 120, John S. Wimer, Half Moon Bay, CA, USA - 1, 5, 2, 4, 3, 2, ; 17
3. Mr. Magoo, J 120, Stephen Madeira, Menlo Park, CA, USA - 7, 2, 1, 3, 1, 4, ; 18

Express 37 (One Design - 8 Boats)
1. Golden Moon, Express 37, Kame Richards / Bill Bridge, Alameda, CA, USA - 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 1, ; 10
2. Eclipse, Express 37, Mark Dowdy, San Francisco, CA, USA - 1, 4, 3, 3, 1, 3, ; 15
3. Elan, Express 37, Bill Riess, Oakland, CA, USA - 4, 2, 6, 1, 2, 2, ; 17

J 105 (One Design - 24 Boats)
1. Arbitrage, J 105, Bruce J. Stone, San Francisco, CA, USA - 1, 4, 2, 3, 5, 7, ; 22
2. Blackhawk, J 105, Scooter Simmons, Belvedere, CA, USA - 5, 1, 4, 11, 1, 10, ; 32
3. Mojo, J 105, Jeff Littfin / John Case, San Mateo, CA, USA - 4, 2, 7, 4, 12, 5, ; 34

IRC A (IRC - 5 Boats)
1. Patches, TP 52, Jorge Ripstein, Naucalpan, MEX - 2, 6/DSQ, 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 12
2. Vincitore, RP 52, James Mitchell, Zurich, Switzerland - 1, 1, 3, 2, 2, 3, ; 12
3. Flash, TP 52, Mick Shelns / Mark Jones, Diablo, CA, USA - 3, 2, 2, 4/SCP, 5, 2, ; 18

IRC B (IRC - 7 Boats)
1. Soozal, King 40, Daniel Woolery, Alamo, CA, USA - 4, 1, 2, 3/SCP, 1, 2, ; 13
2. Flyer, Reichel-Pugh 47, Rob Sjostedt, Foothill Ranch, CA, USA - 2, 4, 1, 3, 6, 4, ; 20
3. TNT, Custom Tripp 43, Brad Copper, Pt. Richmond, CA, USA - 6, 6, 3, 1, 2, 3, ; 21

IRC C (IRC - 6 Boats)
1. Wasabi, Kernan 44, Dale Williams, San Francisco, CA, USA - 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 6
2. Double Trouble, J 125, Andy Costello / Peter Kreuger, Pt. Richmond, CA, USA - 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 2, ; 14
3. August Ice, J 1251, Richard Ferris, Tahoe City, CA, USA - 3.5, 3, 3, 2, 2, 3, ; 16.5

 IRC D (IRC - 7 Boats)
1. Tupelo Honey, Elan 40, Gerard Sheridan, San Francisco, CA, USA - 1, 4, 3, 4, 1, 2, ; 15
2. Electra, J 109, Thomas Brott, Cypress, CA, USA - 4, 8/DNF, 1, 1, 2, 1, ; 17
3. Hawkeye, IMX-38, Frank Morrow, San Francisco, CA, USA - 3, 1, 2, 6, 3, 3, ; 18

One Design 35 (One Design - 6 Boats)
1. Dark and Stormy, 1D35, Jonathan Hunt, oakland, CA, USA - 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 7
2. Ebb Tide, 1D35, Masakazu Toyama, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, JPN - 2, 1, 5, 4, 2, 5, ; 19
3. Zsa Zsa, 1D35, Stanley Glaros, San Francisco, CA, USA - 5, 3, 3, 5, 3, 2, ; 21

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