|District 5 Regatta Report|| |
Sat Oct 19th, 2002 through Sun Oct 20th, 2002
| The 2002 Calvin Paige Regatta by VanFalk|
The St. Francis Yacht Club hosted the annual Calvin Paige Star regatta with 21 boats with sailors representing six nations (Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, and USA) participating. The fleet included at least six skippers who had won Star World, Olympic, or Continental championships.
Additionally, the local fleet captain donated use of his boat to two rising collegiate stars (no pun intended) from UC Berkley to generate interest among the next generation of Star sailors. Many of the sailors were hoping to get some early practice for the 2003 North American Championships, which will be hosted by the St Francis.
The race committee was able to get three races off on Saturday despite a delay for lack of wind. After about 45 minutes of postponement, the wind filled from the west and gradually built to about 18 knots by the start of race 3. Race 3 was quite exciting with the wind at about the upper range of control for a Star boat. Paul Cayard was over the line early, but showed why he gets paid the big bucks by working his way from last to fourth on the extremely short course.
At the end of the first day of racing, Mark Reynolds and Austin Sperry were leading the fleet with a 1-2-1, with Paul Cayard and Hal Haenel in second with a 3-1-4.
Day 2 looked to be a repeat of the first day with there again being a delay for lack of wind. After a 90 minute delay, the breeze again started to fill in from the West (does it ever come from any other direction in SF?). Aussie Rod Hagebols showed everyone why he can be a real threat and won the start with Cayard on his hip. By the weather mark, Ross Macdonald had worked into the lead and led the fleet around the rest of the course to win the race, although the finish was very exciting with the first six boats all overlapped with each other.
Race five started in 18 knots of breeze. Rod Hagebols again won the start and Paul Cayard was again on his hip. Mark Reynolds who had opened the door for Cayard by finishing 6th in race 4 quickly worked into the lead and led the fleet the entire race, finishing in first, well ahead of everyone else.
The fog began to roll in at the start of race 6 and the wind moderated to around 14 knots. The lead changed several times between Cayard, Ross MacDonald, and John McCausland, but Cayard was able to work in front on the last run nipping the others at the finish.
There was a surprising amount of carnage in the fleet. In the third and fifth races, when the wind had built to 18 knots, a total of five boats were holed and two masts were lost. The problem was that there were several inexperienced sailors in addition to the rock stars and once the wind passed 12 knots, they were probably out of their comfort range given the very close quarters.
The RC did a great job with the weather mark set under the Golden Gate Bridge and the leeward gate right in front of the St. Francis YC bar. The course placement was great for spectators with several thousand people watching from Crissy Field, Marina Green, and the Golden Gate Bridge. The use of a leeward gate was a nice touch. I don't now why more RC's don't do this as gates make the mark roundings much safer and increase the tactical options. In fact, all of the damage to the boats occurred at the weather mark and not the leeward gate.
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San Diego, California 92106 USA
Phone: +1 619 222 0252
Fax: +1 619 222 0528
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