This past weekend 19 505’s descended on St Francis Yacht Club for the first event of the season on the US West Coast.
Saturday greeted the fleet with a light Easterly breeze and partly cloudy skies, not good indicators for a great day of Five-Oh sailing. Unfortunately for the 19 boats this turned the day into a waiting game and finally at 2:30 with a light Westerly breeze spreading across the course we were sent out.
We got a two lap windward leeward started and fastest out of the blocks was Pat Diola and Jeff Miller, leading from start to finish from a chasing pack. The race was close all the way around with the wind filing in and dropping out, making wire running occasionally the way to go downwind and the right hand side of the course the way to go upwind. Unfortunately for Pat and Jeff the outcome of two laps of racing was to cross the line to silence, victims to an OCS start. This left Paul VonGrey and Parker Shinn to pick up the win from Rob Woelfel and Mike Holt with Justin Schaffer and JB Turney taking 3rd.
Race 2 followed straight after but by now the flood was running hard and the wind had decreased to non trapeze conditions. Justin and JB got an early lead on the fleet but failed to push hardest to the left with the boats to the left the proverbial “country mile” ahead of those that had gone to the right. Paul and Parker lead round, away on the flood, Justin and JB hanging on to second. On their heels was the team of Stuart Park and Ryan Cox. Sadly though as a contest the race was pretty much over as the left was the only way to go up the beat and the leading teams made no mistake to finish in that order. On returning to shore though there was to be a little more drama though as the results did not reflect the story I have told and showed a different one. One in which 5 boats incorrectly thought that the race was shortened sailed through the finish a lap early, confusing the race team and having many of us fall victim to the time limit! All was however corrected.
Post racing the StFYC supplied the usual excellent food and beer, all included in the entry and stories were swapped and excuses laid out…
Sunday dawned and unfortunately stuck very close to the forecast, that is to say, no wind. We waited and waited and eventually the PRO called the racing and we were done for the weekend and the results for two races stood, leaving Paul and Parker as the winners!