13 July 2015 | San Francisco Bay
19 June 2015 | San Francisco Bay
06 June 2015 | Richmond California to Stockton California.
31 January 2015 | San Francisco Bay
24 September 2014 | Alameda California
30 August 2014 | Treasure Island to Benicia
30 July 2014 | Redwood City, Ca.
16 July 2014 | Redwood City, Ca.
15 July 2014 | Redwood City, Ca.
05 July 2014 | Treasure Island to Redwood City
04 June 2014 | Redwood City, Ca.
01 June 2014 | Stockton to Richmond
31 May 2014 | Richmond to Stockton
20 April 2014 | San Francisco Bay/Pacific Ocean
14 April 2014 | San Francisco Bay
11 March 2014 | St. Francis Yacht Club
10 January 2014 | Redwood City, Ca.
07 January 2014 | Everywhere
01 November 2013 | Sarasota Florida
19 May 2013 | San Francisco Bay
Inter club #4 2015
13 July 2015 | San Francisco Bay
Interclub 4 from Mojo.
We met up early at the boat yard to replace a broken halyard on Mojo. We slacked the rig and moved the mast forward. Dan got into the harness, while Chris and I ran the hoist line and safety backup line. We ran the feeder then attached the new halyard. Dan stayed up top the whole time then we rolled him down. We got the rig back in line and then it was off to the hoist to launch. We got into the water and began to motor up the Estuary. Hoisting the sails we were greeted with a freshening breeze and made our way to the start area.
After about 20 minutes we decided to put a reef in the main. It was about 3 minutes to go when we had everything ready. The gun went off and we were racing. Starting about 3rd in the class we started the way back up to the top. As we started the upwind leg we found a clutch had slipped and we needed to lower the dagger board. A quick hitch to unload the board and we were back in it. Several tacks had us in striking distance of the lead. The other F25C was out front and we knew we had to sail well to catch up. We crossed the F27 and called our line to the mark. We were now the second boat to the top mark.
The first downwind we chose to not fly the spin. The wind was up and with a rookie crew the skipper called for a reach down. We were doing well reaching down till 2/3 of the way down. The wind lightened up and kept shifting. We lost all our positions and we were the last tri to reach the downwind mark. We were a bit dejected but had a long race still to go and we made the turn upwind.
The second upwind we were getting the boat sailing well. Chris was driving, with Dan running the pit, while I was tacking the jib then becoming rail meat. We had good boat speed and we were making distance up the fleet. Picking lines through the monohulls and trying to get lines on the other trimarans. We were now back near the front of the pack. We caught a few nice lifts and rounded 4th at the top mark.
The second downwind we launched the spin and started to eat up some distance. We ran deep in the puffs and had to maneuver to around the ship. The boat was really sailing well and Chris and Dan were making it work. A couple jibes we had issues with over sheeting on my part but we still moved back to second at the mark. With Dan bagging the spin I released the tack and halyard. I moved over and brought the jib in to the upwind position. We rolled up and went after the one boat in front of us.
Well I guess it wasn’t meant to be, I left the tack clutch open and we had to try to fix it. Dan had to crawl out to the bow and we slowed so he wouldn’t be washed off. Dan luckily got the pole back in place with the tack. Again we dropped positions and were now looking at working through the pack. We saw the other F25C with the sail down and it looked as their day was over. We continued to push and rounded in 3rd.
The last downwind we set the kite and immediately saw there was an issue. The tack was wrapped in the sheet and we had to take a little time to straighten it out. We had a nice long run down and jibed. Now we saw the tack was fouled on the port run also. We turned back and manually held the tack while the fouled line was cleared. We caught some nice wind and made it to the bottom mark for the last time. We got a puff and were hot coming into the mark but the takedown went well. We were now the lead boat and we turned for the finish.
The upwind was one long tack. We were trying to put distance on the boats we had to give time to. We managed to get almost to the committee boat but saw we were going to have to tack. We tacked and crossed the line then set our watches. As first to finish we were all about how much time do we owe them? How many miles did we sail, how much time per mile do we owe? We turned down and sailed toward the opening of the Alameda channel. Watching the other boats finish we knew we had dropped to third.
It was a good day on the water, even with all the mistakes and issues. Sorry it didn’t turn out better.
Lending Club II
19 June 2015 | San Francisco Bay
Realizing a dream.
Several years ago at a Regatta I got a poster of Groupama III. I remember looking at it in full go sailing across the ocean and being amazed at the power. I thought it was only a dream to sail on such a magnificent boat. Several years later that dream came true. Here is how it happened.
Lending Club II Guest Sail
Sometimes you have to beg borrow or steal to get a ride on a boat of your dreams. This time it only took a few e-mails and I found a spot. Currently the team is doing rides for the employees of Lending Club based in San Francisco. They are taking 15 employees a trip, four times a day, seven days a week. This is all while preparing for the 2015 Trans-Pac Race. Renaud Laplanche the CEO of Lending Club and team principal / co-skipper of Lending Club Sailing set this up as a reward and team building experience for his employees.
Lending Club II is a 105 foot long 75 foot wide ocean racing Trimaran designed to break records. Renaud co-Skipper and Ryan Breymaier co-Skipper met on the 2013 campaign for the Transpac. Renaud joined the team and with his own money Lending Club was put on the yacht . A friendship formed and a team was born. After falling just short of the record in 2013 both wanted another shot. Renaud stepped into a negation of one of the fastest sailing yachts in the world. Renaud was fortunate enough to be in position charter a season during the transition of ownership from Banque Populaire to IDEC. He offered to charter the boat for the 2015 season. He and Ryan assembled the team and Lending Club II was born.
The goals were to break three records in the season they have the boat. The First was the English Channel: Cowes to Dinard, 138-nautical mile passage was completed in 5 hours and 15 minutes at an average speed of 26.36 knots; shaving 8 minutes off the record that had stood since 2002. Next up was the Newport to Bermuda Record: 23 hours, 9 minutes, 52 seconds at an average speed of 27 knots. The next record attempt is the TransPac which is 2200 miles of open ocean between California and Hawaii.
I met up Friday morning with at the embarkation dock. I made sure to show up early in case there was an opening and I could get some extra time. I saw Photoboy there from Pressure Drop, Nicola and Tim were also there running the RIB as the shuttle. The Lending Club group left and I went to get a coffee while I waited for the next round. When the rib returned the next trip began to gather. Everyone was offered foulies and PFD’s, then given a safety briefing before boarding the RIB. We drove out and waited for the Tri to return from the previous trip. We boarded the Tri and moved to the back for the onboard safety briefing. We watched as the previous group left and then we turned up the bay.
There was one reef on the main and then the #2 jib was raised. We started a long tack up the bay at 45 deg off the wind. We were doing 20 knots in 15 knots of wind speed. Amazing performance and the wind coming over the boat was the only indication of our speed. I went down the ladder to inspect the “Living quarters”; it is here you see where this boat is built for speed. The interior is very minimal and only the basics are there, a small galley section next to 3 hanging racks, another set of hanging racks past the bulkhead, a small rack area in front of that. Electronics are hung on the port wall of the main cabin all set for easy access or replacements.
We continued upwind and had to tack, this showed the rigors these crews face. Ryan called the maneuver and the crew had to grind the main, jib, dagger boards in and out as needed. The 2 grinding pedestals can be shifted as needed to adjust anything on the boat. I was given a chance to grind on our second maneuver and it is a workout. We were careful to stay clear of ferry traffic while out in the bay, as a boat this big and fast eats up a lot of water. Ryan was allowing the guests to drive as long as we were clear of traffic, and navigation hazards. We had tacked twice and then we were sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge.
Ryan turned us down and then again handed off the helm to another eager guest. Over toward the San Francisco City Front we were now going in the high 20 to 30 knots. This made the Bay feel small and the boat just continued to smoothly power through the wind and water like it was nothing. We jibed again and turned over toward Sausalito, the wind was easy 15 knots and we were getting 30 knots of boat speed with the 2 sails up. Knowing we were going to jibe again I positioned myself next to the leeward wheel and when Ryan came across he offered me the wheel. We were still in the jibe and Ryan talked me through the finish and what angles to sail. I got the feel of the wheel with a little coaching and was off. We rolled up to 105 degrees for speed and then had to drop down to 120 to clear Alcatraz. Even without hoisting the downwind sail we were speeding down the bay. After the wind shadow was cleared we accelerated again into the mid thirty knot range. We topped out at 35.4 knots on my run down. The feeling from the helm is wonderful but as we got to the interchange area I handed the helm back to Ryan. We rolled the #2 jib away and Ryan turned us up into the wind and Tim and Nicola pulled the RIB along side. We waited for the next group to board, and then we climbed down to the RIB.
We watched Lending Club II sail away and made our way back to the dock. We got back on the dock and everyone was all smiles. I was ecstatic to have had a chance to drive the beautiful machine that is Lending Club II. I again thanked the shore crew Nicola and Tim then walked away enjoying everything the day had to offer. Thank you to Renaud Laplanche, Ryan and Nicola Breymaier, Tim for shuttling us and the rest of the crew for a wonderful sailing experience. We wish the team the best and hope to see the TransPac record added to the long list of accomplishments for the team and the boat.
2015 Delta Ditch Run
06 June 2015 | Richmond California to Stockton California.
2015 Delta Ditch Run
This year was the 25th anniversary of the Delta Ditch Run. I entered with Jacob Sailer on F18 Capricorn for this 67 mile run from Richmond Yacht Club to Stockton Sailing Club. Friday I picked up the boat and delivered it to RYC. We rigged on the lawn and then moved down to the dock. I then took the trailer to Stockton and we were ready for the weekend. Jacob rode down with us and we got to the RYC in plenty of time to rig and make last minute adjustments. With the sails up we rolled into the water and pushed off to make our way to the start. Daisy packed up the beach wheels and hull pads in the truck to meet us in Stockton.
We sailed out to the start area and knew we were in for a wild day. The wind and waves were both up and we looked to depower and made plans for our start. As we watched the last of the monohull divisions start the amount of knockdowns and round up was amazing. We took the gun and were off mid pack. Watching the big cats shoot down and the foiler jump away we chose to keep the spin down and 2 sail reach for control.
We sailed out around the brothers and then gibed onto Starboard and set the spin. We were pounding into waves and would drop speed. We kept the spin up till we gibed and as we were driven down we put it away. We were now sailing deeper on 2 sails with less speed. This cost us some position however made it easier to keep the boat upright. We were picking through each fleet that started in front of us and making time. San Pablo bay found us up on the nose more times than I was comfortable with. The boat never pitch poled even when driven in hard. We stayed on 2 sails for a while and would see boats pass us then they would flip. Toward the end of the bay the wind laid down a bit and we got the spin up for a little while.
We made it under the first set of bridges and down into Suisun Bay. The wind and chop was up once again and the spin came down. We were back to VMG low and slow sailing at about 12 knots. We saw Ben on the Blue Nacra was having problems and we got back in front of them. We made it to the end of Suisun Bay and had some flat water and the kite came back out. Our speeds were up at about 16 knots and we were making great time.
As we entered the channel we got into the wrong area. We took the kite down but were in a shallow area. The wind was up and with the waves we saw how shallow it was getting. With the boat as depowered as we could get we chose a deeper spot to get back into the channel. I missed the deep water when a gust hit us. The boards were up but just enough down to dig into the sand bar. We nosed down and stopped. The boat rolled onto its side and Jacob and I began to right it. We lost about 5 minutes and we were sailing again. I lost half of the tiller and something didn't feel right with the steering and I rechecked. The Starboard rudder was not all the way down. I pushed it back and locked it. We began sailing again and the rudder popped again. I noticed there was a piece missing from the locking mechanism so I got the rudder down with Jacob's help and tightened the friction nut. This only lasted a little while and it was popped again. It was taking 2 people to steer and we worked out a plan to tie down in the first smooth section of water we found. We got some relief in the curves in the channel just before you enter the Antioch Bridge area. Jacob got the rudder tied down and we were off to the races again. We made good time through Antioch and saw 2 other F18's over near a safety boat. The wind and waves were on again as we approached the mark 19 corner. I had climbed up to a F31 and decided to back off and not pass him. We used his wind shadow to turn the corner and were following him closely till we hit a tugboat wake. Four or five big waves killed our speed and we dropped back off. The wind and waves were still up in the front of the river. The reach down off 19 was brutal and we were doing everything we could to keep the boat upright. We passed another big tri and kept following Trident. Several bends down the river we got some much needed relief.
Now in the river things began to mellow and we finally got the spin up again. We went on nice long Starboard runs then a little short Port run back across the river. We finally had a good feeling about finishing but didn't want to say anything out loud. Now as the wind went lighter and the water went flat the big F31 Trident pulled some distance on us. We picked up some debris on both rudders and could clear the port but didn't want to risk untying the Starboard one. We soon saw the Stockton Sailing club come into view. We talked again about who was in front of us and who was behind. We thought we were in third but after we finished Mark and Valerie told us we were first.
We sailed to the Sailing Club dock and sailed in and spun up gently to the dock. Daisy was there waiting for us and had our wheels and chocks ready. We took the sails down and rolled Capricorn up to the trailer. We got changed and made a bathroom break and saw there were only bigger cats there. Shadow (Formula 40) won corrected, Smart Recruiters (Extreme 40) took line honors, Gladstone/Pieoligy (Nacra 20FCS), Nacra 20 had all finished in front of us, as well as Trident the F31. The Marstrom 32 Miller Racing was there but had a problem and scored DNF. As we finished up the boat Mikey and Fey finished second F18, followed by Ben on the Blue Nacra. Brett and Christine finished soon afterward.
We sailed for 7 hours and covered 80 miles. Average speed was 11 with a top speed of 20.8. We ran aground causing a flip once and broke a tiller and rudder lock down. 153 boats started 121 finished and we were first in class (F18), third in division (G Multihull), and sixth to finish overall. This was a very physically and mentally demanding race. I need to thank Jacob Sailer for all the hard work for the day. I also need to thank Daisy Eng for all the help with logistic and opening our home to the crew for the night. This is truly one of the highlights of my sailing career.
2015 three Bridge Fiasco
31 January 2015 | San Francisco Bay
2015 Three Bridge Fiasco
Capricorn USA agreed to help out Smart Recruiters and run the chase boat for the Three Bridge Fiasco 2015. With help from Nick Grebe at Evil Octopus F18 we committed to take the day to run the chase. I met up with Nick at his house and we rode down to St Francis Yacht Club to get ready for the day. We met Jerome and Erwan for the days plan. We got the Extreme 40 Smart Recruiters ready then went and had a cup of coffee while we discussed strategy for the day. The general consensus was to go for Red Rock before the wind died out.
We all went down to the boats and got ready to leave. As we raised the sails we noticed the wind was going down. We towed out and raised the main while we waited for the start. As the time ticked down till our start we positioned in what we thought was the best area and Nick and I cut the tow ropes and assumed the role as chase crew. There was still time till the cut off but we opened some distance and started to take pictures and speculate what was the best route.
The start gun went off and we saw Smart Recruiters cross the line and unfurl the spin on the way to Red Rock. There was enough pressure for the boat to accelerate across the bay and down to Angel Island at the entrance for Raccoon Straight. The wind was dying off and the speeds were dropping quickly. On the chase boat we were at a drift and we saw the X40 was reading to gibe. Nick and I speculated if they were going to go for the East side of Angel or on to Treasure Island. About this time we saw Shadow coming down the bay after rounding Blackaller. We wondered if they would go for TI or Red Rock as we started down to TI. The pressure was building and we made the approach to TI we looked behind to see Shadow going for the North Bay and Red Rock.
We were now with Rocket 88 and Team Pegasus as we approached TI All three boats fought the tide and looked for more wind as the bridge shadow grabbed at the boats. Several gibes later the boats broke the wind hole and made their way to the Eastern Span of the bridge. Rocket 88 was out in the lead and Smart Recruiters came under second and Team Pegasus was third in the grouping. All three boats now two sail sailing to try to get to Red Rock. Leaving Treasure Island there were hulls in the air and the distance between the boats began to close. As the boats closed in on the Berkeley Richmond area the wind dropped. Spins were re hoisted and the speeds were still under 5 knots. Adrenaline passed us going the other way and having already passed the Rock was looking good for a finish. In the light wind hulls were back down in the water and crews began to really work for the ground they covered. Several gibes looking for wind near the shore and riding in near the fueling pier exclusion area wanting to get every extra knot available.
The boats neared Red Rock and we noticed Shadow was still trying to make the mark. Five Fast cats were now trying to overcome the rushing tide and get around Red Rock. Rocket 88 and Smart Recruiters went way deep to get extra in the bank to make it. Boys and Girls Club, with Shadow went close to the Rock and Pegasus was still behind struggling in the light wind. Rocket 88 rounded first followed by Smart Recruiters, Shadow, then Boys and Girls Club followed by Pegasus. Smart recruiters was making good time with main and jib however we heard on the radio Adrenaline call for a finish, congrats they sailed a great race and well deserved the win.
We were chasing down Rocket 88 and hoping there was time to pass them before Blackaller. Three tacks had us going into the Raccoon Straight still trailing Rocket however they went too close to Angel and got flushed out the back side of the island. We were now in position to finish second in class as we heard another boat call for the finish in the monohull division. Another call came in as we were behind the island so now it was a class and pride finish. As we came out from behind Angel Island we began across the bay and speeds came up. With the windward hull in the air the speeds were in the high teens and Smart Recruiters was on a good line to Blackaller. As they approached the mark the wind went from depowering the boat to looking for wind. We managed to round but were stalled out and drifting back out to ward the gate. Finally a small puff of wind hit and the spin filled and off to the middle of the bay with more pressure. A gibe out in the bay and then it was power on to try to make the mark for the finish. Just after 4 we finished and then we dropped sails and tied up to tow back to the St. Francis Yacht Club.
Sails were put in bags, dagger boards were washed and bagged and we went in to watch a few boats finish while enjoying a beer. We debriefed the day then Nick and I had to bail for home. Thanks to Jerome and Erwan for having us chase them for the day.
24 September 2014 | Alameda California
Early last week the San Francisco F18 Fleet was invited to Artemis Sailing USA for the Bart's Bash celebration. We got a group together and registered. We set up our fundraising page and the group decided on the logistics for the weekend.
Saturday morning Daisy and I drove down to Redwood City and dropped the mast and got the boat ready to trailer. We drove up to Alameda and after a little investigating we found the right gate and rigging area. Soon there were a couple Artemis guys around and we got to take some time to check out the toys at the compound. The brand new Flying Phantom, Flying A Cats, Moths and a few other boats.
We finished rigging and tied down the boat. We had to move the trailer to the other side of the tent and we were ready for the morning. We spent some more time checking out the Phantoms as the new one rolled out of the shop. We were meeting someone for dinner so we took off. After dinner we came back to show our friends the boats. We then went home to get some sleep.
Sunday morning we got some breakfast and drove in to get ready. The parking area was much busier with a bouncy house for the kids, food truck area, and many boats rigging. We got the sails up and dressed as we waited for the skippers meeting. The plan for racing was explained and how the event was to be run along with the schedule for after racing. We got in line and waited to launch.
We pushed off and got out in the lagoon sailed for a little bit. Soon it was time to go to the start line and we were off. We were a bit behind as I got the start sequence wrong. The wind was light and shifty to start. We would be flat and then get a puff and raise the hull and be off. We got up to the windward mark just outside the quay wall. We turned down set the kite and were soon back down at the bottom of course. We did another lap and we were feeling pretty good. Getting back one of the boats I lost on the start. You had to be careful with so many different speed boats in different legs but all was good. The race was called at the 3rd lap and people began to come into the dock.
The Artemis staff were helping bring boats up the ramp and making sure everyone was OK after the racing. We got our boat up and began de rigging. There was barbecue and sandwiches at the food truck and the bar was open at the tent. Gin, Vodka, Rum, Beer, Wine, Water, and sodas were provided. We continued the de rigging and rolled back to the trailer.
Soon there was the Childs repurposed sailboat race. Recycled materials were used to make several boats and were raced dock to dock and medals were passed out to all participants. With the boat down and the festivities done for the day we said our goodbye's and set off for Redwood City.
Thank You to the team at Artemis Racing, Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation for organizing the event, and all our fellow competitors for making this happen.
Bart's Bash, the global sailing race organized by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation which took place on 21st September, has set the new Guinness World Record for the Largest Sailing Race (24 hours).
2014 Jazz Cup
30 August 2014 | Treasure Island to Benicia
2014 Jazz Cup
I was asked to crew aboard Mojo an F-25C for the 2014 Jazz Cup. We met up at 8:00 am Saturday morning to launch the boat; Chris, Bob and I got the boat ready and moved it to the crane. We got it dropped into the water, unfolded the ama’s, and made preparations to leave.
We motored out the channel from Alameda and as soon as we had some wind we raised the sails. Clearing the end of Alameda we had a nice little westerly to carry us up to Treasure Island. While Chris drove Bob was instructing me on how to launch and recover the kite on the F-25C. We also covered jibing and tacking positions and responsibilities since I was new to the crew and boat. We checked in over the radio and waited to get our start. With an hour before starting we had plenty of time to strategize our first legs and where we wanted to be.
As our pre-start opened we were in the wrong spot. We got close to the line but could have been in much better position. The left looked to have better pressure so it was off on starboard tack. We held the tack as long as we could but had to tack off near Treasure Island. A quick leg on port then we tacked back to starboard. We managed to get past Ma’s Rover on this leg. This line we held till we were at the lay line and then we looked for a clear lane to tack off and make sure we had the mark and clear air. We made the tack and sailed above a couple monos to the mark and rounded just as the X-40 Smart Recruiters sailed past us.
We set the kite and started to make our way to the Richmond Bridge. We were making good time and picking our way through the mono fleet. We did get stuck in the shadow of an Olson 30 that slowed us down for a minute. We got clear and were making good time as the wind began to go light near the bridge. We jibed 5 times to get in better position for the bridge. There was a large hole in the wind south of Red Rock everyone was trying to avoid. This tightened up the fleet again and reset the race. We managed to get by the bridge and jibed again. We looked to sail deep into the bay for some more wind. With a good line to the brothers we jibed and set on the long leg across San Pablo Bay.
The wind had filled back in and was clocking so we were making good time. The wind was going too far forward so we had to drop the kite. At 20 knots stuffing the kite in the bag on the leeward tramp is a handful. I was getting the full fire hose treatment as Bob set the jib and Chris drove. I lost a corner of the sail and Chris gave me a short break as Bob lent a hand to get the kite tamed. With the kite in the bag we went back to the reach and clicking off miles. We were leading but getting run down by Ma’s Rover who had the screecher up.
We held the line and finally had enough wind behind us to raise the kite. Now back on a spin run we were holding position over Ma’s Rover however we knew we needed time to cover them at the finish. We jibed just before the pier and ran to the wall then jibed again. We jibed twice more and got under the bridge. Immediately we jibed back into the north shore and looked for the shore lift. We went as deep as we could and then jibed back out. We caught a really nice lift and as we went we opened up more ground on the fleet.
Benicia was in sight and we knew there were at least 2 jibes before the leeward mark. We chose to follow the wind lines and avoid the glass on the outside. We did 2 short jibes and had our line to the mark. At the mark we dropped the kite and reached over to the “offset” with no issues. We hardened up for a short upwind leg going back out into the channel. A quick tack and we laid the line to finish nearest the pier. We crossed the line and got the gun then quickly started our stop watch and were looking to time the closest finishers, tacked out to a safe position and started the motor.
We dropped the jib and got it secured then dropped and secured the main. We set up to enter the channel but a small trimaran came buzzing in calling for room. A quick circle and we followed him into the channel. A safe dock location was found for the boat and we started to prepare for the overnight. When we were getting squeezed in rafting up we chose to move to an outside dock.
We popped a cold drink and celebrated the first to finish Trimaran win and were waiting for the results to come. We knew we had a couple of the boats but some of the F24’s were going to be close. At the awards that night we found out we took the Division U win and 11th overall.
There was music and dancing at the club after racing. There was also a great dinner with ribs, coleslaw, potato salad, rolls, beans and several cakes. With drinks at the bar going everyone seemed to be in good spirits. I left for the night and went home to sleep before the delivery back in the morning. Thanks to Mojo F-25C, Bob and Chris for an excellent day of racing.
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