Monday, July 27, 2009

Bumper Boats... San Francisco Golden Gate Cup

Golden Gate Yacht Club wins San Francisco Golden Gate Cup.
It was a San Francisco showdown in the final of the three-day Inter Yacht Club Challenge with challengers from four clubs competing for the coveted Golden Gate Cup trophy. This year, the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) won 2-0 over neighbors St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC). San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) and Berkeley Yacht Club (BYC) also competed this weekend taking 3rd and 4th place finishes respectively in the all-California competition.

The Pro-Am event, which is a match racing program in identical 1D35 yachts, had many sailing luminaries participating, including, Russ Silvestri, Genny Tullock, Tom Ehman, Chris Perkins, Andrew “Meat” Taylor, Matt Gregory, Shawn Bennett, Holt Condon, Alex and Brian Camet among others.

Four BMW ORACLE Racing team members joined the GGYC crew including team chief financial officer and San Francisco sailor Chris Perkins (USA) who was helmsman for the regatta. BMW ORACLE Racing head of external affairs, Tom Ehman (USA), called tactics. Noel “Nitro” Drennan (IRL) and Andrew “Raw Meat” Taylor (NZL) beefed up the middle of the boat with Drennan trimming the main and Taylor working the pit.

Four Round Robins were raced over Friday and Saturday, with the final rounds being every bit as dramatic as one might expect when so much talent get’s behind such fast boats in big breeze conditions.

After a serious dust up between GGYC and StFYC, which resulted in a broken spinnaker pole and bruised egos, the round robin program went to Olympic hopeful Genny Tullock of StFYC. The victory, by one point, allowed them to choose who they would meet in the semi final round on Sunday.

Sunday Semi Final rounds would see StFYC and BYC and GGYC and SDYC in a best of three semi final to decide who would meet in the finals. StFYC would take their slot 2-0 as would GGYC against SDYC. SDYC would later go on to win the Third place spot 2-0 against BYC.

The Finals

At the start of the final round, GGYC and StFYC engaged in exciting dial-ups, enjoyed by the spectator fleet that had gathered to watch the action on the water. In Race One, Tullock and Sylvestri would gain the upper hand and win the start powering over the line to and significant early lead. Perkins and Ehman would be in close pursuit but had a hard time gaining on the StFYC yacht as they approached the lay line for the weather mark. StFYC would tack too early, losing their position as the strong San Francisco Bay flood current carried them to starboard of the weather mark. As they tacked to get back a dual ensued with GGYC coming out ahead at the weather mark by seconds.

StFYC would power back from behind but would not have enough gas to catch GGYC at the leeward gate. GGYC would round first and rocket to the city front to find current relief with StFYC close behind. A fierce tacking duel ensued, being StFYC’s only hope at eating away at GGYC’s lead. Instead, GGYC’s lead simply increased this time rounding the weather mark 30 seconds ahead. From there it was a drag race to the finish with GGYC winning Race One.

Race Two saw an even more aggressive prestart with both boats using the GGYC Race Committee boat as part of their defense. GGYC would be off the line first this time and she never looked back. With each leg she gained more and more speed and more and more distance from StFYC. GGYC won 2-0 in the finals.

In 2008, San Francisco Yacht Club won the Cup with local sailor Eliel Redstone and his 1D35 Yeofy.

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