Friday, September 12, 2008

Day 1 Big Boat Series

Joe Fly Melges 32 Photo ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi

San Francisco, CA, USA - The 44th annual Rolex Big Boat Series kicked off with classic San Francisco Bay conditions of early fog and building breeze. Over 1,000 sailors on 111 boats completed the first of four days of racing in nine classes -- four for IRC-rated boats and five one-designs, 1D35, Beneteau 36.7, J/105, J/120 and Melges 32. Highlighting a number of regatta improvements, regatta host St. Francis Yacht Club unveiled a new web cam where fans around the world can go to view racing live at

In IRC A, where the largest boats are racing, the Reichel/Pugh 45 Criminal Mischief is leading. Owned by Chip Megeath (Tiburon, CA), the boat was last seen on San Francisco Bay as Sjambok when Larry Ellison chartered it for the 2007 Rolex Big Boat Series and finished third. John Kilroy's (Los Angeles/San Francisco) TP52 Samba Pa Ti is in second, with Bill Turpin's (Santa Cruz, CA) Reichel/Pugh 78 Akela - the largest boat entered -in third.

For Jim Mitchell (Zurich, SUI), who chartered the Reichel/Pugh IRC 52 Vincitore, being in fourth place in IRC A is fine with him. “It was an awesome day,” he said moments after returning to the dock. “It was my first day sailing in San Francisco. Our first race was really competitive with Samba. It was great.” He went on to explain that although they finished third in the first race, the second race was more challenging. “We had some dramas as the Kiwi boys onboard would say. We cleaned the boat bottom with the spinnaker. If we would've gotten it onboard we would have been the second boat to finish.” They finished fourth. - Read more