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.
Manouch Moshayedi’s Team on RIO wasted no time taking advantage of the gift and led the fleet up past Lime Point and out to the weather mark with authority, extending the lead with Austin Fragomen’s Interlodge, Invisible Hand and Tom Holthus’s BadPak all launching into 20 plus knot hoot east towards the leeward mark. RIO would stretch their lead during the next weather leg back out the Gate to Punta Diablo, with The Hand now the closest pursuer, and BadPak now in 3rd with Interlodge dropping back to 4th. The super-fast blast down to the Alcatraz finish yielded no changes, aside from perhaps a huge sigh of relief and some giggles of joy.
After a short break in the lee of Alcatraz for a quick bite, a little warmth and big dose of ammonia salts like aroma, the fleet moved east to the Treasure Island start for the 24.3 nm Course 5 Bay Tour. The morning ebb, for the most part had now given way to a building flood, and the temps had not budged from the chilly low 60’s and wind remained brisk. While the flood provides a flatter playing field, it also lengthens the length of the field making the 24.3 mile course feel more like 30.
The Hand would take quick command of race 6, with RIO in close pursuit, followed by BadPak and Interlodge as they favor the north side of the Bay and worked their way around Lime Point and back out the Gate. “We visited Point Diablo 4 times today” Frank Slootman would later explain” I think I have seen it enough”! Invisible Hand would round the oft visit Point Diablo in 1st, launching quickly and blasting back in the with RIO then BadPak and Interlodge fallowing suite.
That next leg, a monstrous romp down the bay crossed several zip codes before turning back west after rounding mark 4 just north of Treasure Island. The fleet would then return back to Point Cavallo in the same order as before blasting on a power reach to Fort Mason the continuing to Blossom Rock. With one last beat to go, the fleet worked their way west on last time, through the cone of Alcatraz and north toward Harding Rock before working back out the Gate to Point Diablo before getting on final adrenaline rush ride back in, hitting low 20’s on the fun meter and wowing sailing fans awaiting at the St Francis.
Invisible Hand would win the race, adding another bullet to their other 3, with Rio taking second, BadPak adding a 4th 3rd to their score card and Interlodge a 4th. The tally sheet for the regatta has Invisible Hand currently in 1st with 10 points, Rio in Second with 15, BadPak in 3rd with 17 and Interlodge in 4th with 19. Racing resumes on Sunday with the one race finale, “Bay Tour” Just what the doctor ordered!