3 Bridge Fiasco 1/30/16

(If you like, you can skip down through the prose and go straight to the pictures below!)

A typical winter mix of weather greeted the 369 entrants in this year's 3 Bridge Fiasco race sponsored by the Singlehanded Sailing Society on Saturday, January 30th. 309 boats crossed the line and there were 9 Islanders signed up. Tall-rig Califia had perfect light to moderate reaching conditions, and with your big 150% genoa powered away from the Islander fleet to a commanding lead, despite wind holes along the way. Congratulations to Commodore Tim Bussiek with Vice Commodore Nina Riehs aboard as crew for this double-handed event. The rest of the I-36 fleet was Zenith, Frolic, Zingara, Renaisannce of Tahoe Vista, and Luna Sea, who withdrew during the race. Windwalker, Serenity and Cassiopeia had signed up, but did not start. The finish times are shown on the 2016 Race Results page. Here's a link to an Excel file with all of the boats listed in finish order: Results by Finish Order. You'll find Califia just above the middle of the pack at finisher 194 at 16:07:22. Though 2nd place Zenith is just about 9 minutes behind, there were 24 boats that finished in between them! Have fun looking at the gaps after that!

Another good thing about this race was the pursuit factor where slower boats started first and faster boats started later. This, in effect, applies the time allowance at the beginning of the race instead of the end. for the last two years, we've tried a ratings adjustment system to give slower boats a higher rating, and faster boats a lower rating, based on accepted PHRF factors. The (3 Bridge Registration List (sort on "Make") showed very nicely the range of YRA PHRF ratings for the Islanders. Here's what it looked like, with comments from Measurer, Kit Wiegman.

SailBoatOwnerTypeRatingI-36 Notes
67074CALIFIABussiek,TimIslander36138Extra tall rig; 155% jib
47462FROLICHodges,SteveIslander36141Tall rig; 150% jib
6763CASSIOPEIAKit WiegmanIslander36144Standard rig; 150% jib
420LUNASEAKnox,DanIslander36144Standard rig; 150% jib
82659SERENITYMueller,EricIslander36144Standard rig; 150% jib
57307WINDWALKERShoenhair,RichardIslander36144Standard rig; 150% jib
472ZENITHNork,BillIslander36147Standar rig; 150% jib; 14' 6" pole
234RENAISSANCEOFTAHOEVISTADouglass,StephenIslander36150Standard rig; 135% jib; 2 blade fixed prop
484ZINGARASwanson,Steve and jocelynIslander36150Standard rig; 125% jib

The results showed that the rating adjustments can really work. Clearly these were ideal conditions for a tall rig with a big jib, and Califia sailed very well to her rating and walked away from the fleet - as would be expected. The most interesting thing is that if Zingara had started at her YRA PHRF 150 rating time, she would have started 2 minutes, 10 seconds sooner, and, assuming they had sailed the course in the same time, they would have finished at 16:31:23, which would have been 1 minute, 27 seconds ahead of Frolic and put them in 3rd place instead of 4th. That's a standard rig I-36 with reduced headsail beating a tall rig I-36 by sailing to her rating, after a six hour race.

Here are some comments from the fleet about this unusual and fun race:

Califia, Tim Bussiek and Nina Riehs:
Orion [Nina's boat] was sailed by our BAADS veteran's, whose sailing program now switched to Saturdays, but Tim was so kind and took me on as crew on Califia. We got to the start a little delayed and had some adrenalin rush right at the beginning. One somewhat clueless boater, who wasn't even in the race, blocked the start line and then turned onto us. Fortunately we managed to avoid him just in time, thanks to Tim's fast reaction. We then sailed clockwise and had good wind up until RR, but just after rounding, it completely died. We didn't have to wait too long before the wind picked up again and started to build to a strong breeze, which carried us fast all the way around TI and back up the GGYC. We finished at 4:07. I have to say, what a gorgeous day on the Bay! Conditions were ranging from sunny, warm and little to zero wind to a cold and heavy breeze and choppy water. I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to the Fiasco. Nina

Zenith, Bill & Peter Nork:
On Zenith, we started with the 31 Moore 24's - that was exciting! We went Blackaller, Treasure Island, Red Rock. We took Blackaller to port while on starboard tack, about 10 other boats rounded it to starboard on port tack at the same time, thought that was kind of dangerous. Finished at 4:17. Made decent progress till we got stuck in the hole from the Berkeley pier on up to almost RR. Traded some tacks with Zingara and Renaissance getting to RR after the wind filled.

After we rounded RR, we stayed on one starboard tack all the way to the finish, saw 18 knots in the slot.

We think we heard Luna Sea retire on the radio a little after noon, but not sure. There was another I36 racing and I believe the name was "Hangover", at least that's what I thought I made out through the binoculars. They started with us and they appeared to be heading for the Estuary after the race. [Ed: the pictures below show an I-36 #367 which was not listed in the registration sheet.]

Had a nice time - it was our first Fiasco!

Frolic, Steve & Susan Hodges
Frolic did the course CW. We (double handed with wife Susan) had some fun at the starting line, which we had trouble finding in the cloud of boats, and at the last minute I decided to change from the #3 to the #2 and, thanks to a sticky snap shackle and clumsy fingers, lost the halyard. I retrieved it fairly quickly with a boat hook and got the #2 up. We had an uneventful rounding at Blackaller and a fun sail to and thru Raccoon strait, though we did drift in a dead spot for a few minutes. Then across toward Richmond and lifted to Red Rock which, after a couple tacks, we rounded CW. I could've put up the chute for the slooow rounding but I was set for starboard pole, feeling lazy, and a bit wary of the close proximity of so many vessels and it was only a short distance (blah blah blah). Anyway, we got around and reached for TI with the new #1. Well more drifting, until the wind came up motivating a switch from the #1 back to the #2 as we went under the Bay Bridge by the CG station. And then, with one reef in the main, we headed for the finish. But not before a close encounter and blown tack as we went under the Bay Bridge. Once through I failed to remember that in a flood best to stay close to the city front (so I was told), we sailed to Alcatraz and beat our way to the finish, which I think we crossed about or before 1630 (but I didn't mark the time carefully) at about the same time as several other I36s. We were thrilled to have rounded all the marks before dark! It was a very nice sail back to Marina Village with a narrow passage past a freighter being turned in the estuary. All-in-all a nice day on the bay. And what luck the race was on Saturday rather than on dreary wet Friday or blustery cold Sunday! A single-hander shared a nice shot of us headed for TI, see the picture below.

Zingara, Steve and Jocelyn Swanson
Zingara took the counterclockwise route. We went under the SF span of the Bay Bridge at 11:00 and the Oakland span around 11:30, and were making good progress when we ran out of wind about 2 miles south of Red Rock. After an hour the wind picked up again and we rounded RR at 3:00. Since the flood was fairly weak we went straight to Blakhaller through Racoon Straight. We finished at 1633.

It turned out to be a beautiful day. The biggest adventures were sailing Zingara into South Beach and Coyote Pt. Marinas since our engine wasn't working. We had a tow out from south beach harbor then had a really nice sail south until we hit the coyote point slot. The wind was blowing 28 knots when we arrived at CP Marina on Sunday.

We did hear Dan Knox drop out really early in the race. Did any of the I36 fly a spinnaker? It was a great spin run to the Bay Bridge when we started. We were wing to wing.

Renaissance of Tahoe Vista, Stephen Douglass / Ralph Woodard
As luck would have it, there was just the right amount of competitors and fiasco's to go around.
Renaissance: Blackhaller to Treasure Island to Red Rocks, up Racoon with a great finish across the bay. Finished about 16:20. V.Fun Thanks for the nice bottom.

Cassiopeia, Kit Wiegman
Cassiopeia will not be able to race in the 3 Bridge Fiasco as we have just learned we have a broken Prop Strut. I hope you all have a great race and we will see you on the water later.

Sorry I did not race my boat against you all, but I did race my crew's Santana 22, Kitten. It was a great day with all types of wind conditions. I was wondering how you all did? I saw Califa and Frolic up at RR, Zenith at the finish and Zingara before the start. Oh and Orion sailing around and enjoying the wind around 4:00. So what time did you all finish and how did you like your day? Which way did you go?

Pictures by Various. Click on images to enlarge, click "Back" to return.

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Starting line jam
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A little more wind
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Califia - pre start
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Frolic - starting
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Frolic - yellow-a
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Zenith - 472
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Renaissance - 2
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Renaissance - 234
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Unknown - 367
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Zingara - 484
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Luna Sea - 420
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Califia - trucking
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Frolic - yellow
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Finishing traffic
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Califia - finishing

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