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Everyone Loves A Parade: Pac52 2018 RBBS Wrap Up

After Saturday’s chilly windy start and lengthy on the water marathon, crews welcomed the warm sun and lighter winds to start the Sunday Rolex Big Boat Series Finale Bay Tour. Well at least the warm sun part. Entering the day, Frank Slootman’s Invisible Hand had already secured the series class title with a 5-point advantage over 2nd place RIO, and didn’t have to sail. “We came to sail, so sail we will” said  a well-chilled Frank late on Saturday, and there the were at the Treasure Island start for the starting gun Sunday morning.

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Hell, Hath No Fury Like SF Bay in September

Saturday September 15 came in like a Lion and went out with a bang! With a strong residual ebb sucking out of the Bay, and winds ripping in in the 20-25 knot range at the start of play, the awe factor was pegged to the 11 mark on the Spinal Tap volume scale. Picking up where they left off the day before, the PAC 52’s moseyed over to the Alcatraz starting area for a 13.8 nm Course 7 breakfast. A big beat up to Point Diablo, a long run down to 21 just behind Alcatraz, back out the Gate again to Point Diablo and then finish off Treasure Island. Frank Slootman’s Invisible Hand gave the rest of the fleet a headstart with the their 2nd uncharacteristic OCS, but quickly jumped back in the game.

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Day 2 Rolex Big Boat Series: The Hand Is Quicker Than The Eye

Fridays racing on the Bay was greeted with cooler yet colorful weather as an early season weather front rotated offshore pulling in subtropical high elevation clouds from the south, and lower elevation stratus from the north. Racing for the PAC 52 class began off of Treasure Island, with course 14, an 11.5-mile jaunt up to Fort Mason, back to the starting area gates, back to Fort Mason return to the Gates and an upwind finish off the StFYC.

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Day One Provides Excellent Thrills for Pac52 Fleet at 2018 Rolex Big Boat Series

Sunshine, big currents, and wide variety of winds provide the PAC 52 a superb variety of challenges in the 1st two races of the StFYC Big Boat Series sponsored by Rolex. A short delay to low tide preventing the deeper draft boat kept the 52’s from starting until noon on the Alcatraz Course for race one. In near billiard table flat conditions thanks to a healthy flood, the fleet march straight up the course toward the 1st mark, Point Diablo just outside the Golden Gate. In 8-12 knots, the boats made quick work of the leg, working their way to the current relief of Lime Point in the shadow of the North Tower. While the land mass provides current relief, the towering bluffs also provide wind turbulence and the line between breeze and no breeze can be very fickle.

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Big Breeze & Big Fun Predicted For 4th Pac52 Stop

The predictive wind forecasts show bundles of sun and fun for the fleet in the 2018 St Francis YC Big Boat Series sonsored by Rolex. With winds expected in the 15 -25 knot range, temps in the mid 60's to low 70's, the Pac52 fleet will be battling on the edge and eating up the race course in spectatcular fashion. The prior 3 Southern California stops in San Diego, Long Beach and Marina Del Rey have provided a great training surface for crews which must now adjust to closer quarters, stronger breeze and unforgiving currents.

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Announcing the 2019 Pac52 Class Schedule

The Pac52 Class is pleased to announce our Official Class Schedule for the 2019 Season. This comes following an Owners meeting and an e-mail poll among the owners which gathered a consensus.

The 2019 Schedule is purpose built to avoid conflicts with other major races and to take advantage of the best sailing opportunities that California has to offer. The Spring racing will be held in Southern California, and the Fall racing will be held in Northern California, specifically San Francisco Bay. The season has an intermission during the summer which was put in place to allow some of the teams to compete in offshore races such as the Transpac, while other teams may use the opportunity to do some racing on the East Coast. With more teams planning to join we are looking forward to a great 2019 season!

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A Chamber of Commerce Finish For LBRW

The PAC 52 Class wrapped up the SoCal portion of the 2018 West Coast Grand Prix Tour on Sunday in spectacular fashion. The heavy overcast and potato patch conditions of the prior day were erased with a broad brush of sweet California sunshine, intermixed with a warm mid-range southerly breeze served on a manageable aqua substrate, with a dash of pending regatta victors to be determined.

The racing in the first 5 races had resulted in 4 bullets on 4 different boats, a testament to the level play of the boats when one critical leg can make or break a boats placement. At the start of play on this glorious Sunday, Frank Slootman’s Invisible Hand (9) held a narrow 1 point advantage over David Team’s Vesper (10) and 5 points over Austin Fragomen’s Interlodge (14). Just off the pace, Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio (20) and Tom Holthus’s BadPak (22) both awaited a change in fortunes and upgrade in standings after few disappointing races left them with burning desire to turn the worm.

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Taking Their Lumps In Long Beach

Day 2 at the 2018 Long Beach Race Week put a little mustard on the race track with winds ramping up over night as a low pressure system rolled in from the south, bringing a thick high stratus, winds in the mid teens and to near 20knots and a rambunctious sea state guaranteed to give your backside bruises and neck and back a wonderful workout.

By the time the 1st gun sounded and the crews set off on their 1st uphill leg, it was certain that today was not going to be like Friday’s mellow presentation. Interlodge would take an early lead to the right side then extend their lead to the top. Crews all lamented that port tack was considerably less painful than starboard and that was a big deciding factor in routing. At the 1st weather mark, Interlodge would lead Vesper by a few boat lengths, followed closely by BadPak, Invisible Hand and RIO. The fleet would spread across the course before rejoining at the gate then returning back in the right side. Interlodge would maintain lead position with Vesper in second, but a hiccup on their set cost the Green Machine precious seconds, an opportunity that The Hand was glad to use to their advantage. Vesper would recover fast enough to quelch that opportunity a continue their position down the course.

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