September 1, 2010

Rachel Ellis reports from the Sarcoma Cup in San Francisco

This past weekend the Viper 640 West Coast Fleet attended the Sarcoma Cup hosted by Berkeley Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay. There were 5 vipers in attendance, 3 of which were from the SoCal area, making it the largest fleet of vipers on the bay to date. Team Viral drove up on Thursday night and rolled into South Beach around 2 am. Drew Harper was kind enough to let us stay on his beautiful Santa Cruz 50, Yukon Jack, for the weekend.

Friday morning some of us got together at the local coffee shop and discussed next years schedule and our plans for the weekend. We spent the better half of the day rigging our boats, and then we went out for a sail. This was my first time on the bay and what a BLAST it was! We sailed up past Alcatraz and set the kite around Angel Island, where the wind was peaking up to 40, and then sailed back to South Beach. I had a permagrin the whole time, which made it hard to stay focused and keep my head in the boat! After sailing all day, we all went out for dinner and drinks at Tres Agaves, where we met up with Ronnie Simpson and got to hear his amazing story.

When we woke up Saturday morning, it was already blowing 22 knots at 8am. After some trailer and car shuffling, we sailed over to the Berkeley Circle. Stacey rode over with us and we were going to swap crews with Glenn, but we didn't have much time left, so Tim was "lucky" enough to have an all women crew! It was blowing 30 with gusts in the 40s, and there were some pretty good sized waves, so we white sailed the first 3 legs. After the last windward mark, and a couple of lead

changes, Glenn was the only boat in front us. The three of us looked at each other, and Tim said, "Well, do you want to win?" Duh! So we hoisted the kite, Stacey owned it, and we took Glenn by surprise and won the race. Unfortunately, right after that we shrimped the kite and ran it over. We made the decision to go in, and shortly after Drew and Jeff followed us in. Glenn and Ike stayed out for the 2nd race, and only Ike stayed out for the last one. Ike won overall, Glenn took second, and we got third. One of the best parts about this regatta was the free massage after racing. We all know Ken really enjoyed it, since we practically had to use a crowbar to pry him out of there. And he wonders why we "forgot" him at the club!

On Sunday, we did the Pursuit Race from the Berkeley Circle around Angel Island up through the slot, down to Treasure Island and back to Berkeley. After Friday and Saturday, Sunday was a very easy day, starting off around 10-12 knots building to the 20s. Our game plan was to get a clean lane and try and hug the coast of Angel Island, which we were able to do. The race was about an hour of intense hiking upwind followed by 20 minutes screaming downwind to the finish. There were a lot of lead changes upwind between Glenn, Drew and Tim, but after starting about 5-10 minutes late, Jeff and his crew pulled out in front of us all, leading us through the last third of our upwind leg. After the windward mark, we pulled out in front of Jeff, but then we got stuck to leeward of a 40 footer, and Jeff and Drew pulled out in front of us. There were a couple more lead changes after that, and we ended up finishing second out of all the vipers, right after Drew.

A huge thanks goes out to Drew and Garret for all their help and hospitality this weekend, and for showing us a great time! Also, a huge thanks to Berkeley Yacht Club and the Race Committee for putting on a great regatta and making sure we all remained safe. The Vipers look forward to sailing on the bay again sometime soon!