The Great Vallejo Race
May 5 & 6, 2012

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

Our text will be a combination of inputs, starting with this from Dan Knox. Enjoy!

The Great Vallejo Race 2010

For those of you not able to attend all I can say is that you missed another terrific event. There is a reason it is called The Great Vallejo Race, hands down the best event of the year. Thank you to all the members of the VYC for hosting the massive horde and of course special thanks to our I36 Association VYC members, Barbara and Noble Brown, Staff Commodore Michele Williams, and of course the Newton Brothers. Barbara should get a month off to recover from all the work she has done for the last few weeks. Guys it was just great. Donít miss it next year.

As for the races, well as Cindy says, it is better to win the party than the race. Lou definitely won the party as his dance card filled up fast. Lou once again wins the best dancer prize. Rich and his crew on Windwalker and Kit (with a bit of help from Lou) and his crew on Cassiopeia pretty much smoked all the rest of us also-rans both days. Each boat took and first and a second. No one was even close to them. A couple of boats had their moments but when it came time for bow down and put it in gear they just zoomed ahead so far most of the fleet could not even see them.

Later in the week we hope to get an interview from Captain Hooke, the boat not the crew. She was not happy the entire weekend and the scuttlebutt on the dock is that she is not getting enough racing and is about the 86 her crew. I understand it all started when she was not invited to sail in the defenders series in San Francisco, then there was the roller furler and finally being passed by Freedom Won and Luna Sea was more than she could take. Anyway hope to have an update from ĎHooke soon. I will try to edit out the colorful language. If you would like to add your view of how the race went down or what happened at the party just email it to Rick and he will post it on the web site. Itís always fun to see how things went from another point of view. I should have a season totals up shortly. Remember those of you that attended the Sail Trim Clinic get a first place for your boat. We will be scoring three separate fleets this year: Two in the Party Circuit (Spin and Non-Spin) and the Non-Spin Championship Series. It looks as if the PC boats will be broken down as follows:

Non-Spinnaker Spinnaker
Califia Captain Hooke
Kapai Cassiopeia
Mischief Freedom Won
Orion Luna Sea
Zingara Windwalker
Because -

Of course more boats are always welcome. Remember the Party Circuit is the future for our fleet. Itís only a few days a year and we need your support to keep our One Design status active. It doesnít require a big commitment like the regular YRA season and it more about winning the party than the race.

As for my good friend Tim on his giant I36 thank you for coming. Itís always a better event with you on-board. But if you ever cut in front of Soozal again I will shoot you myself! Soozal is the IRC US National Champion until someone beats her she is the Queen of all racing boats in SF Bay.

One more thank you: Specials thanks to Ray and the crew of Orion for a job well done! In my mind you guys always finish first.


Results Going Up: http://islander36.org/race5-5-12.html
Results Coming Back: http://islander36.org/race5-6-12.html
(Note that a few scores need to be corrected in both races. A few boats need to be scored DNF instead of DNC. Laura will get to this in a couple of days Iím sure.)

The view from Kapai, Richard & Kathy Egan:

The Egan's on Kapai had an absolute blast on the Great Vallejo Race. Thanks to all for the great coordination.

On Saturday we were a little low of the layline at the start and had to pinch quite a bit to fetch the first mark. Once we rounded we set a course for the Richmond Bridge and made good progress against the fleet. We stayed in the middle of the course and managed to briefly pass Luna Sea south of Red Rock where we exchanged pleasantries with Dan and Myphi. Dan's enthusiasm for sailing is infectious. We are really lucky to have him as race coordinator.

As the wind backed behind us it was the last we saw of any Islanders flying spinnakers. We had a pleasant but slow sail down the side of the Pinole Channel. We rounded the mark at Mare Island just behind Mischief and had a nice light air duel down the channel, exchanging the lead several times. We caught a little windshift and some favorable current and pulled forward just in time to get across the finish just ahead of Mischief.

We were delighted to raft up next to Orion and get to know Ray Duran. Ray is quite a gentlemen and it was fun to hear about the fine and important work he does with BAADS.

Sunday we had a bit of a late start and followed some Express 27's across the strait to the Contra Costa side. Big Mistake. No wind, lots of ebb. After a few tacks we decided to drop out and turn on the iron genny given that one of our crew was going to drive back to Santa Barbara that evening.

All in all it was great to have so many I 36's on the line. What a great fleet. All the Best Rick and Kathy Egan SV Kapai.

Zingara (the boat) checks in:

After a great, clean start (thank you VYC for one of the clearest start sequences from start to finish that I have ever had the pleasure of being part of), my crew and I made our way up ye olde San Francisco Bay, avoiding Berkely pier, Red Rock, Castro Rock, and all the other rocks yet to be named. I heard my crew talking about the history of some of these rocks and apparently you have to hit a rock to get it named after you, and I'm not really interested in that kind of notoriety. I am a LADY after all, though Zingara Rock has a certain exotic ring to it. We were hoping for strong winds and favorable currents. I've gotten all gussied up during the short off-season and am ready to race, even a primarily downwind race, which isn't particularly my favorite (when will they EVER learn to set that pole more gently). Us non-spin folk just have to muddle through somehow. One of my crew members is trying to campaign for me to get a big red chute with a gypsy woman on it and realizes she's cruisin' for a bruisin' from Steve and Jocelyn everytime she mentions it, but I think it could be a lot of fun.

I like to go fast, like any Italian gypsy woman would, so Saturday was a bit of a struggle, though I felt a little less guilty because the light and shifty winds did have one upside: a rare warm race weekend for the Bay area, one I'll be pining for come the howling winds of summer. This gave me a chance to post for some glamour shots of my new head sail for the crew calendar, which will be chock full of pictures of my crew showing much more skin than a normal Bay lady would approve of (by which I mean we were in shorts and T-shirts, how scandalous).

I was trying to work with my crew, desperately distracting them from thinking about all of carousing going on without them at the VYC, giving them hints that we should try putting that pole up one more time and we would make some sort of forward progress up into the estuary. It worked, kind of, and we crossed the finish with everyone still speaking to each other. Once we got to the VYC, the somewhat chaotic but apparently methodical herding of the boats began. Coordinating a raft up for 150+ boats can be a tricky deal, but I made it through almost without a scratch, though that muddy harbor was not exactly my idea of a boat spa. My crew finally got to chance, relax, and enjoy a couple of cocktails while I hung out with a couple of Beneteaus, a Cal and a Tartan. It's always a show during a post race raft up, you make lots of new friends and hope they wore their non-marking party shoes. We only saw 1-2 people go into the drink, thank goodness none of my people were involved in any of that.

Sunday morning my crew and I were up bright and early, enjoyed a warm breakfast in the sun and hoped that the 15-20 boats that decided they could TOTALLY fit in the VYC harbor after we tied up weren't aground (no such lucky there). We left the raft up without any trouble and cruised around the river for a while, waiting for our start and trying to avoid clogging up the line and finally got underway. I didn't particularly appreciate the VYC race committee's comment after our 1300 start. "All Islander 36s are clear. In fact, more than clear." Hey buddy, you want us to go over early and have to do a 360 in the midst of your start sequence in an area just a few football fields wide? I didn't think so, smarty pants.

Up and down with the pole, wing on wing, rinse and repeat until we were near/in San Pablo Bay and then ahhhhh.... great sail trim and sustained winds kept me pretty close hauled the rest of the way down to San Rafael. The warm weather still held, even though we had a good amount of breeze for pretty much the entire race, and my crew got the chance to really tinker with sail trim, not to mention perform a couple of well timed tacks that helped keep me from getting stuck in the mud.

I crossed the line with plenty of sunshine and wind to spare to keep us cruising on home until we hit Angel Island. I prefer the jacuzzi tub, not the washing machine kind of trip through the slot, but no such luck this weekend. The wind died just before the Bay Bridge, as per usual, and I was still a little hungover from the night before and couldn't get my engine to turn over. After a few more attempts at starting me up, an extensive reading of a diesel engine manual, and a gin and tonic later, (not necessarily in that order) we happened upon a wind line and started to make progress south. I decided I needed a night in the city to collect myself before the riproaring ride back down to Coyote Point. I deposited my crew on the dock of South Beach harbor, gave them money for Caltrain and bid them arrivederici and told Jocelyn (one of my 2 skippers, the other one Steve) I'd be up bright and early in the morning ready for the trip back home after a quick once over by Drake Marine, which is the boat equivalent of putting cucumbers over your eyelids and taking a long bath. My batteries were dead (maybe it was the margeritas Saturday night). So Jocelyn took me back to my slip at Coyote Point Marina on smooth water with both of us listening to Lady Gaga and Adele.

I might have heard a little bit of grumbling, but sailing is always an adventure, and you'd think that they would have learned that by now. One thing they did learn, and I agree with, is that the Great Vallejo Race is a wonderful experience.

Can't wait for the Interclub race this Saturday. See you at the start line!

Zingara 484
Islander 36
By crew, Maribeth Kibbey

Lou Zevanov (crewed on Cassiopeia) checks in:

The Saturday start was good for Luna Sea and Windwalker; Cassiopeia, was third covered but close.

After 15 minutes Cassiopeia had clear air and Kit called for Chute readiness. We could point above Red Rock and I would have kept all options open; I was wrong. Kit called for the set and we carried with a good speed increase. We sailed under Red Rock but well above restricted areas.

One mile past the bridge Cassiopeia was 200 yds ahead of WW and LS, and Freedom Won was in that group. All Islander36s were gaining on faster boats that started earlier. Tthis told us what we all were facing.

It was great to outsail Express27s, Santana 35s etc for an hour or so in light wind on an I36 . WW made a strong move to the center near the San Pablo channel markers and passed us. Better wind and great sail trim put us 40yds ahead of WW at the Napa River.

Heavy ebb forced most boats along the port shore where 27 footers and 60 footers took turns covering both Cassiopeia and WW. Then in the gutsy call of the day WW drove out into the torrent and found better air. WW passed us about 3/4 mile before the finish.It was a brilliant WW move; she got first by 26 sec.

The balance of the fleet must have had their wind and current stories because of fleet separation. Dan on LS beat Hook and this made all his work for the last few years worth it for the next few years.

The VYC rafting was a fun sporting event because all boats were asked to wait their turn to enter which took up to 30 mins; and some had to sail in with strong current issues. The many cut-ins provoked sailor type discussion.

I danced that night with several fine ladies. Myphi helped me after I broached into some of the band's sound equipment and cut my arm. My first thought was that she pulled a knife during a Tango passion. Great Party.

Sunday start was well off the wind. Cass was first but covered by chutes. Kit wanted non-chute options and control, WW passed us and was ahead by 150yds at the Napa River mouth. We held to the starboard bulkhead and had better current and wind. With loose cover Cass was 6 min+ ahead at the finish. Using This years Sailing Instructions, Cass won the 2012 Great Vallejo Race. And it was a great event. Thanks To All The Workers, Lou Zev.

Pictures by Dan Knox, Jocelyn Swanson and Takae Watters. Click on images to enlarge, click "Back" to return.

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Freedom Won ...
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is going to ...
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eventually ...
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get their ...
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chute up!
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Now make it ...
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go fast!
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Looking pretty
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Califia chases
Captain Hooke
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Light going
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When going was good
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Freedom Won
looking for wind
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Battle flag
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Luna Sea all tucked in
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Califia looks for
dock space
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Saturday crew
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Sunday crew
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Warp around ...
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view of the fleet ...
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lots & lots ...
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of boats ...
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all tucked in.

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