2010 Nationals: Richmond, CA June 4-6
Well, the 2010 Olson 30 Nationals is in the record books, and I say record book for a number of reasons.
Allow me to begin by saying it was our utmost pleasure to host a small but incredibly fun group of diverse sailors that (I hope) had a wonderful time at this event. By all indications they did!
First, let me introduce the competitors; when you only have six boats willing to make the commitment to attend the national regatta, this task is easy…
Our only “out of town” boat (physically) was BLUE STAR, our old friends from Channel Islands Marina. The perennial favorite, Todd and Larry from BLUE STAR have done more to promote and support this fleet than many of you know, and my hat is off to them for that continued effort. One would be hard pressed to find a better prepared or better sailed Olson. These guys know how to sail well and have fun at the same time – virtues indeed.
The most notable entry was Jim Saylor and his gang of fun loving Olsonites from Kauai, who have given me new faith in Olson 30 draw…I am very glad I got a chance to meet Jim and his gang of the faithful, and so very much hope I get a chance to either sail with them or sail against them soon. They chartered probably the best looking Olson 30 on the planet, DRAGONSONG, belonging to my good friend Sam McFadden. What a bunch of fun folks! They had a few of the “usual suspects” from SF Bay sailing with them, my good friends Celeste Mirrasou and Ralph Wedge among the gang.
Charles Barry on VOODOO CHILD, yet another good sailing pal from Pt. Richmond made the regatta with a very talented pool of crew including Dale Scoggins and a host of his old pals from RUN WILD, an Olson that haunted these parts in days gone by with great success.
Our great friend Don Newman made the regatta with CORSAIR, and a group of yet again old friends from Tahoe including Curt Rasmussen and a host of others. Judging by the post regatta reaction from Susan, Paul, and others, a good time was had by all!
John Scarborough and his gang of fun lovers on HOT BETTY may absolutely define how to have fun while sailing, and sail well at the same time. They are spending the rest of the Summer at Lake Huntington, and by all descriptions, maybe the rest of us should be there as well.
Last but certainly not least, the usual suspects were out on good old HOOT – having fun and banging around the buoys along with long, long, long time friend and trusted sail maker David Hodges.
So on to the racing!
Day one saw your fleet president chewing his fingernails, as forecast was for lighter winds, with the SF bay menace not making an appearance. Fears unfounded, as a light but steady breeze graced the racecourse for day one. The fleet saw 8-15 knots of breeze uninterrupted, but definitely not the norm for SF Bay in June.
We opted for the number two jib (which in our case is about a 145% genoa) for the first start, which seemed to be the right call. The boats got off the line in fine fashion and the pecking order was established fairly early. Clean sailing and nice conditions lasted for this race, a two lap affair.
Race two saw the breeze backing slightly, which left the locals confused as to what would happen next – this is definitely not a typical day on the Bay for us. Peeled down to number one genoas for this one, we had yet another good clean race. One trip up and down and a drag race for the first to finish.
Race three had us still in the number ones, but the breeze held, and the fleet had yet another fine race from Eric Arens and his crew on the RC, with a double sausage.
Day two came to us with more than a hint of the Marine Layer, and the promise of the “normal” wind machine for SF Bay (giant thermal low due to heat in the valley, with giant thermal high due to marine layer offshore). Conditions delivered, with conditions well into in the #3 jib from the first start. With the start line set near the Berkeley flats, and the weather mark square up towards the GG bridge, it was good times racing in 20+ knots with 3’ square waves beating up the fleet. Eric Arens and is RC crew did an awesome job of keeping things square, and another day of clean racing was in the books. I must admit I was amazed by the lack of carnage in the fleet – these folks are obviously prepared for these conditions! A couple of twice arounds and a one lap closer took the somewhat weary fleet home.
Day three saw a carbon copy of Saturday, with the wind machine working its magic in the SF Bay yet again (man I love sailing here!!!). We got another two races off in great conditions, with the battle royal going on for the 3-4-5 positions. Nice racing guys!
I must say a great time was had by all at the dock, and I couldn’t imagine a better group of folks to share some buoy banging and dock time with.
Final tally had BLUE STAR taking the regatta, with HOOT in second, HOT BETTY a solid third, VOODOO CHILD taking a well deserved fourth, FAST COMPANY aka DRAGONSONG holding fifth, and CORSAIR rounding out sixth.
I must applaud the competitors for being well prepared for the breeze attendant on SF Bay, and the lack of trouble during the regatta. These folks really know Olson 30’s!
Many, many thanks to Eric Arens and his crew of skilled volunteers from RYC for running a clean, well managed regatta; and especially to Scott Gordon for providing possibly the perfect committee boat. Also thanks to Carey, rick and the staff at Brickyard Cover Marina for their fine assistance in pulling this thing off.
Thank you all for attending, and hopefully we’ll see better attendance for 2011 in Long Beach! Fair winds and following seas to all – Andy Macfie, HOOT