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Rio Wins Pac52 Cup, Invisible Hand Takes Series Championship

A warm fall morning greeted the San Francisco Bay on Sunday, with light easterlies, balmy temps and glorious sunshine. The easterly provided crews a lengthy siesta for the final day of the 2018 PAC52 Cup, and the last race of the year for the 2018 PAC52 5 stop series. Entering in to the day RIO had claimed 4 bullets in the previous 5 races, with a total of 8 points, The Hand lay in 2nd with 12, BadPak had the only other bullet and a total of 15 with Interlodge holding 20 points, 5 of them SCP baggage due to owner driver rule and the one-point penalty assessed per race. (Brad Rodi stepped in for series for owners Gwen and Austin Fragomen).

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The Rio Continues To Roll

Saturday’s dawn broke over the San Francisco Bay Area with a tropical flare if you will, very reminiscent of the warmth and humidity one might experience in Rio, the iconic beach city of Brazil, from which Manouch Moshayedi’s Ferrari Orange 52’ has inherited her name. It is a tad bit complicated, but the chain of grand prix boats the Moshayedi has owned has born the name.

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Rio and BadPak Take Opening Day At 2018 Pac 52 Cup

An early season low pressure system moved in to Northern California on Friday, and with it brought unusually cool over cast skies for San Francisco in late September, which is normally the Bay Area belated hot spell. The southwestern flow bringing with it, a nice sea breeze which would build throughout the course of the day.

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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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