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.
2017’s PAC52 Champions, Tom Holthus’s BadPak had returned, determined too change their luck earlier in the season where promising leads had evaporated, denying them bullets to put in their holster. Season points leader, local boat, Frank Slootman’s Invisible Hand, entered the weekend with 70 points for the season, and having a dominating performance at the STFYC’s Rolex Big Boat Series just 2 weeks earlier. Manouch Moshayedi’s RIO had shown moments of brilliance throughout the season, arrived more determined than ever to erase some of the bad luck which eliminated promising races and Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s Interlodge proudly came in holding a second-place overall season points position, not bad for an East Coast team learning the West Coast race courses and their intrinsic nuances.
Race One, course 4, a 10.4 nm race would start in flat water just west of Alcatraz, in 10-12 knots of wind and a healthy 3.5 knot flood. RIO would win the start and lead the pack up to the weather mark with BadPak, Interlodge and Invisible Hand in close pursuit. RIO would stretch their lead downhill as the fleet would stretch out across the billiard flat, near empty bay, boats attempting to locate the favored lanes. RIO would arrive at the leeward gate below Alcatraz with an impressive lead with the 3 others closely pack behind them. The following leg would witness the fleet spreading out, with The Hand choosing the city front would reap benefits, arriving just behind RIO with BadPak and Interlodge, several boat lengths aft. The status would remain the same in the next two legs with RIO claiming their 1 st bullet of the regatta.
Race Two, on course 17 a slightly shorter version of course 4 with a Hollywood downhill finish began in slighty increased wind and slightly less flood. RIO would win the start with all boats arriving at weather mark in very tight formation, RIO sliding around in 1 st with an overlap on BP and The Hand and Interlodge closely behind. The Hand would show their downhill speed and manage to arrive at the lower mark just ahead of BadPak then Interlodge and RIO. BadPak would find a second gear by the 2 nd weather mark, leading Interlodge the RIO and The Hand before setting their kite and taking their 1 st bullet of the series, with Interlodge, the Hand and RIO very close behind.
Fridays Finale, course 6 a 12.8 nm in breeze now in the high teens and low 20’s would follow a similar route with a slightly more distant leeward mark and a building ebb would witness BadPak jumping to an early lead in a very tight formation that yielded little on the march to the weather mark. In the tightest rounding of the day, BadPak would arrive just a hair in front of The Hand, RIO and Interlodge before the fleet would spread slightly before arriving at Alcatraz in commute bus proximity. During the process The Hand and Badpak would mix things up with BadPak’s kite brushing the Hand’s forcing them into a quick 360 to clear themselves. RIO would arrive at the leeward mark in 1 st with Interlodge, The Hand and BadPak in close pursuit. The order would remain the through the next windward leg but change once again on a very fast finale downhill run for the day, with The Hand squeezing in ahead of BadPak at the mark. The finale push back to the finish off the St Francis Race Deck would witness RIO maintaining their lead to take their 2 nd bullet of the day with The Hand in 2 nd , BadPak in 3 rd and Interlodge close behind in 4th.
The Racing ends with RIO taking a 1-4-1 for 6 points, The Hand going 2-3-2 for 7 points tying BadPak with a 3-1-3 and Interlodge taking a 5-3-5 for 13 points (1 point per race penalty for non owner driver class rule).