Final 2018 OYRA and OYRA Wrap Up

Dear Sailing Friends,

Saturday’s OYRA “Wildcard #2” race completed this year’s ocean racing season, and it’s been a good year out in the Gulf of the Farallones.

Dan and I started Saturday’s race in fairly nice wind against a 2.6 knot Flood.  Four other doublehanded boats completed our division for this final race.  We “hit the beach” on the way down to the South Tower, tacking in and out.  There was a swimming event along the immediate shoreline with several police boats and numerous committee boats with flashing blue and red lights, large red flags, and sirens to keep us from tacking into far until we were past Anita Rock.  Walkers and barking dogs greeted us as we tacked close to the shore until we passed Blackaller Buoy where we jumped off for the South Tower.

The Flood pushed us back so we passed under the bridge about mid-span about 24 minutes after our start; not a bad time with such a strong flood.  After the bridge we tacked in and out of the coves along the Marin Headlands, staying as close as it was safe to the rocks avoiding the flood.  We tacked into Bonita Cove and found some counter current to help us out.  The track shows us further from shore than we actually were.  We exited Lands End on the north side and tacked north toward the Bonita Buoy.

The mid-teen wind we’d had at the start and part way out toward Lands End dropped into the single digits and we tacked several times looking for better wind.  About a mile into the ocean the wind began to come back, but directly from SF Deepwater Entrance Buoy #2, our turning mark.  We commenced a series of long tacks toward the buoy, about 6 miles out.  The ocean was almost calm, with a slight swell and very slight wind wave action.  We struggled in the light air, sailing slower and lower than our competition.  It wasn’t looking too good for “NANCY”.

Entrance Buoy Red #2, our turning mark is at the outer end of the dredged deep water channel, about 9 nm from the start, so we passed buoy #s 7,8, 5,6, 3,4 on our way to the west end of the channel.   We noted that large ship traffic was very light, with only one ship entering the Bay as we exited, but didn’t know what waited later in the day!  We turned the mark and now faced a 2.7 knot Ebb on our way back in.  Our choices were head northeast toward the Marin Headlands and plan tag with those same rocks that we passed on our way out or head east toward the Cliff House and Mile Rock  on the south side of the Golden Gate.

Dan looking fondly at Buoy #2 and the flat water – so close, yet so far!

“Hand 20” rounding #2 ahead of us

Given the low wind and boat speed, we opted for the shorter course along the south side of the Golden Gate.  It was slow going, but gradually the white Mile Rock light became distinct and grew larger.  We sailed this leg in company with “Tiki Blue,” a larger, faster competitor, trading places until they gradually drew away with their large blue spinnaker filling.  We entered Lands End close to Seal Rocks off the Cliff House, then sailed between Mile Rock and the shore.

We found a nice counter current and more wind as we closed in on the South Tower of the GG Bridge again.  After turning Buoy #2 we observed an orange SF Pilot boat speeding out and then noticed another orange SF Pilot boat  heading in from the Pilot Station.  We also observed 5 large container ships silhouetted along the horizon coming up from the south.  In addition several container and tanker ships began parading out from the Bay.  It became a busy time on the shipping channels, where large ships have the right-of-way over sailboats and we heard several ships’ long horn blasts and at least one “five blast danger” signal.  We were safely, we thought, out of the way along the shallow south side.

The wind’s speed increased the closer we got to the GG Bridge until is was in the mid 20 knot range.  Our boat speed increased with the wind.  With the ebb pushing us back, we passed under the bridge about mid-span, right in the center of the shipping channel with a container ship coming up fast behind us.  Too much wind for a conventional jibe, so we “chicken jibed” our way out of its path and headed for the St Francis Yacht Club finish line.

“Tiki Blue” caught up and passed us with half a mile to go, but they owed us “time” on the handicap, so even if they finished ahead we’d still win when the results were calculated.  We had long lost track of the other boats in our division.  Along the Presidio the wind began to drop and after we crossed the finish line about a minute behind “Tiki Blue” we executed a conventional jibe and headed for Sausalito.  It took us about 5 hours and 54 minutes – almost 6 hours to sail the 19 mile course.   It was slow going.  But our sail was not over.

As we reached across SF Bay toward Sausalito the anemometer began to climb.   We saw 30 knots of wind, with short, choppy waves kicked up by the ebbing current.  Several tour boats crossed our path, with one coming so close its wake buried our bow and white water broke and ran all the way back to the cockpit.  And then we encountered our final outbound ship which necessitated a 180º tack and time spent sailing back toward SF until it passed.  We finally reached Richardson Bay where the Sausalito Peninsula blocked most of the wind.  The hardest sailing was that  2 miles across the Bay on the way home!

Turns out we corrected in 2nd Place for the race.  We beat “Tiki Blue” (by 10 minutes on the handicap) were beaten by the Express 27 “Yeti, ” with two competitors reporting a Did Not Finish.  We understand one of those boats generated the large ship “5 blasts” we heard, which is an automatic disqualification from the race.  We were happy with the results.  “NANCY” scored in 2nd Place overall among the 10 boats that raced the OYRA series this Summer.

I thank the co-skippers who shared this Summer’s OYRA series in the cockpit with me:  Jennifer, Ross, Nick, Jan, Chris, Dan.  I hope you enjoyed this Summer’s OYRA Races as much as I did. —Pat

Pat’s Half Moon Bay Race

This year’s SSS HMB Race began with a Friday overnight on “NANCY” in the Sausalito berth. That meant an extra hour and a half of sleep since I didn’t have to drive down Saturday morning and got everything set up for single handing down the coast to Pillar Point at the North end of Half Moon Bay before I went to sleep. The marina was quiet and the wind calm, so I crawled into the sleeping bag early and slept like a sailor until the alarm went off at 06:30. I needed to leave the berth by 08:30, so had plenty of time to finish preparations, eat a bowl of cereal, and put on multiple layers of clothes since it was overcast, chilly, and the forecast looked much the same.

It was almost calm in the marina as I motored out, but as I headed down Richardson Bay the wind began to blow. Getting the sail up off downtown Sausalito took some effort since I was doing it myself with no help, but I did get it up and began sailing across SF Bay toward the Golden Gate Yacht Club on the Marina  Green and the Start line. Other boats appeared from Richmond and from under the Bay Bridge from Alameda.  It was  not a large gathering, but soon about 30 boats showed up.  I checked on the VHF, reporting my sail number and that there was “one soul” onboard as listed on Jibeset and heard Kristen’s sparkly voice welcome me and say I was checked in.

As I sailed across toward SF the wind built until it was a consistent 20+ knots, with gusts into the mid-20s. Coupled with the morning Ebb it was a blustery, bumpy morning and in my eagerness to get to the Starting Area on time I spent 45 minutes sailing in the chop before guns began going off. At 10:20 I crossed with Starting Line with a single competitor, a J-30 named “Geodesic,”  in Division”F” and was on my way toward the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean.

The boat was slow and I couldn’t figure out what wasn’t working right, but with the Ebb pushed me out I arrived under the GG Bridge in 20 minutes. I think the nasty chop created by Ebbing currents and the now how 20s knot wind was a “slowing” factor for me — but not for my competitor nor the slower boats that Started 5 minutes behind me. Tacking back and forth in the middle of the Golden Gate between the bridge and Lands End was slower than it should have been, and several of those slower boats caught up and even passed me. Not a good beginning for a 25-mile race down the coast!

Once clear of land and away from the SF Entrance, the ocean began to calm down and the wind dropped below 20 knots. That trend continued the further South I got until things really settled down about the time I was off the SF Zoo at the Southern end of SF. The first mark on the course was the Colorado Reef Buoy, 14 nm away and about 5 nm off Pt,. Montara, so I set the GPS on that buoy and sailed a direct course toward it. I managed to get back in front of and sail away from the slower boats and do some catching up my division competition, reigning him in so I only trailed him by a few hundred  yards. And that’s how the middle of the race progressed.

“NANCY” at Pillar Point Marina

Paul’s “Plus 16” at the Colorado Reef Buoy

My problem was that “Geodesic” was rated slower than “NANCY” so I “owed” him time – about 15 seconds per mile X 25 miles on the handicap. That meant I needed to Finish about 10 minutes ahead of him before the handicap was calculated. That wasn’t looking too promising since I’d do some catching up and then he’d pull away. The wind speed went down to around 10 – 12 knots, coming and going as it backed to a Westerly direction. But it oscillated, so trimming the sail was a constant activity.

As we neared the Colorado Reef Buoy “Geodesic” sailed further out since he needed to get the correct wind angle to set his spinnaker. I was able to sail lower since I didn’t have to worry about setting a chute. It seemed I also began to move faster. I passed “Geodesic” at the Colorado Reef Buoy and soon lost track of the boat as I began sailing a course for the Pillar Point #1 Entrance Buoy, the next mark on the course – about 4 nm away. And that’s where the wind began to get really slow, with the windspeed dropping below 10 knots and the boat moving along at 3 or 4 knots through the water.

It took nearly an hour to reach PP#1 and turn in toward the Pillar Pint #3 Entrance Buoy, which was the finish line.  It was less than a mile.  But it took a painful half an hour with the sail slatting and the boom banging before I reached the green buoy that gradually became larger larger. I took my time as I passed the buoy at 15:11:10, for an elapsed time of 04:51:10, which corrected out at 04:39:48. Now, where was “Geodesic?” Nowhere to be seen!  “Geodesic” finished with a corrected time of 05:35:10. The Delta was 16 minutes corrected, a comfortable margin, and a great relief.

After finishing it was motor on, sail down, call the Pillar Point Marina Office and request a berth, and motor to the breakwater entrance and to berth C-5 for the night. Gordie and Ruth were there to help me get tied up for the night, which was very helpful.  After getting the boat tidied up and secure I walked over to the HMB Yacht Club for swapping tall tales, dinner, and awards. Turns out I wasn’t only 1st in  Division “F,” but 1st Overall among the singlehanded boats in the race.  A nice coda to a great day of sailing. I proudly wore my “2018 SSS HMB” hat as I walked back to the boat, climbed aboard, and was in the sack sound asleep by 21:30 (9:30 land time).

Sea Lions. Pt. San Pedro and Devils Slide in the background

Motoring toward the Colorado Reef Buoy (just to right of black winch handle)

Sunday I was out on the ocean at 08:15 for the delivery back to Sausalito.  I motor-sailed from Pillar Point to Lands End (near the Cliff House in SF) since Sunday’s wind was light. The return photos show how flat and calm the ocean was Sunday morning. I had a great, short sail from Lands End to Sausalito as a finalé to a very nice weekend’s sail. 8:15 – 12:45 at the GG Bridge, for a 4:30 return trip.

Happy and tired!  — Pat

More Adventures of Pat Broderick sailing Nancy

Here’s the Colorado Reef Buoy (Red#26) about 5 nm off Montara.  I took this photo two weeks ago returning from the Windjammers Race to Santa Cruz with Nick on his “Escapade.”  We figured there was a great white in the ‘hood because the sea lion pups, along with several sea lion moms were stacked on top of each other on the base. We didn’t see any sharks, but we did see too many humpback whales along with some harbor porpoises, mola mola, common murres, pelicans, and other pelagic birds (do sea gulls count?).   By the way, we call sea lion pups, “Great White Pops.”  The marine food chain is a cruel thing.

I’m headed back down that way Saturday on the SSS Half Moon Bay Race. Pillar Point at the N end of HMB is only 25 nm down the coast, about a third of the distance to Santa Cruz, so after I Start Saturday morning in S. F., I ought to finish the race and be tied up in the Pillar Point Marina (HMB) well before dark. I’d better, because the race deadline is 6:00! It’s actually only about 2 miles further to HMB than to Vallejo for those of you who’ve been that direction.

I’ve decided to sail the race singlehanded this year. It’s been a few years since I’ve singlehanded to HMB and I’m looking forward to screaming obscene sailing commands to myself when something doesn’t go right. That’ll give my faithful crew members a welcome break! I’ll overnight at the Pillar Point Marina with the commercial fishing boats (smell!) and party fishing boats (early noise!). It’s salmon season on the coast!!!  Dinner at the HMB Yacht Club (not as classy as it sounds). An early start out to this Colorado Reef Buoy (that’s Pillar Point in the dim right side of the picture just to the left of the black dot which is another boat), then turn N and enjoy a close reach back letting Mr. A. Helm steer the boat while I snooze or even work a crossword puzzle. This sailing life is hard!

You can follow Saturday’s race on jibeset.net  And check the results, too.  If you happen to follow along – or check – let me know.  Thanks, Pat

2018 Labor Day Regatta Race Results

Camp on the beach

Here are the race results. Congratulations to everyone who participated!

Tom DostLido 146198.921111
David Gray Banshee11293.712242
Dennis DericksonLaser15391.143323
William FlynnLaser22491.155435
John MahaffeyPelican51131.211111
Paul LorenziPelican142131.233323
Bill DanielHunter 2251931112
Mark MadiganCatalina 258295.63221

Detailed 2018 Regatta Results

Santa Rosa Sailing Club Alameda Estuary Expedition

Saturday, September 8

Bring your boat to the Alameda Estuary for an adventure on the “Estuary Riviera.”

We’ll leave Santa Rosa, drive down to San Rafael, cross the Richmond Bridge, continue south on I-880 into Oakland, then take Exit 39B and cross the Park St. Bridge, turning right onto Clement St. at the 2nd intersection in Alameda. Grand St. is at the end of Clement and the Launch Ramp is 1 block to the right.

Plan on 2 hours drive time, although it will probably take less time on a Saturday morning.
Please observe Alameda’s 25 mile per hour speed limit once you’ve crossed the Park St. Bridge.

There’s plenty of parking and a wide ramp.

We’ll sail in the Estuary, arriving at the Encinal Yacht Club around noon for a lunch break at their 1890 Restaurant.

After lunch we’ll continue sailing until we decide to return to the Grand Ave. ramp and haul out. We’ll sail “down” the Estuary to Jack London Square or even further before turning back.

The Westerly Estuary wind is usually mild to moderate and the water is flat.

Sights to see
  • Coast Guard Island with its long range cutters (observe the “safety zone”).
  • Rows of marinas on the Alameda Island side.
  • Historic ships: the “Potomac” (FDR’s Presidential Yacht) and the Lightship “Relief” at Jack London Square.
  • House boat communities.
  • If there’s enough wind and time the Oakland Inner Harbor container ship facility.
  • And much, much more.

If’s often warmer than S.F. Bay, but dress in layers so you can adapt to Sept,. 8’s weather.

There’s a Richmond bridge toll on the return from Alameda. If you have a Fast Pass, it will count your trailer. If not, be prepared to go through the right toll booths and pay cash.


Leave Santa Rosa around 0800. Arrive at the Grand Ave. Launch Ramp 09:30 to 10:00. Rig and launch. Sail until around noon or a little later. Tied up at the Encinal YC for lunch. Sail in the afternoon until we decide to call it a day.

PLEASE RSVP TO PAT BRODERICK. broderic@sonic.net

I need to tell the EYC galley how many souls are planning on lunch several days in advance, so it’s important that I know who’s coming and how many sailors there will be. I’d also like to issue weather/wind updates in the days leading up to the sail.

Alameda Map and Chart

SRSC Estuary Expedition

2018 Labor Day Regatta

The 66th Annual Labor Day Regatta is happening this weekend!

Results and photos coming soon

You can find information and documents at the Regatta page here.

To qualify for the regatta, a yacht must complete a written entry form. Pre-registration entries should be mailed by the deadline of August 9 for those ordering shirts; and by August 25 if not. Regatta shirts are only available through pre-registration.

Beach registration will be available from 10:30 to 12:00 on Saturday (9/1). Pre-registered yachts must also check in during this time period. At the discretion of the Race Committee, late entries may be accepted until the first race Sunday.

Photos from 2017 Regatta


Summer Twilight Series

Another successful series.
Congratulations to all skippers who participated!

Final Race Results

Paul ZeniLaser
Doug HowsonLaser542
David GrayBanshee353
Paul BussardLaser144
Bill DanielLaser25
Paul KruetzfeldtLaser16
Dave CroweEl Toro621
Wallace WhitingVagabond 14452
Gail CafferataEl Toro383
Mark AlarieSpindrift 10324
Joe DuriLone Star 1395
WaltSpindrift 1366

Detailed results to date – 2018TwilightDetails