The St. Francis Yacht Club's Big Boat Series presented by Rolex kicked off a seven-race series on San Francisco Bay yesterdayin 12-to 18-knot breeze and slightly cloudy skies.
Over 1,000 competitors on 109 boats sailed two races in each of two Americap classes and eight one-design classes: Transpac 52, Santa Cruz 52, Farr 40, J120, Express 37, J105, 1D35 and Beneteau 40.7. Racing continues through Sunday when five perpetual trophies and Rolex timepieces will be awarded.
In the 20-boat Farr 40 class, there is a tie for first place between Crocodile Rock, owned by Alex Geremia and Scott Harris of Los Angeles and Barking Mad, owned by Jim Richardson of Newport, R.I. Richardson attributed his 4,2 scores to good boat speed, "The currents are so significant here that it can be disheartening if you get behind a boat. B asically, you can't get out of the tide and you have to go in one direction, so it's your speed that gets you past the boats."
Defending champion Samba Pa Ti owned by San Franciscan John Kilroy is in third overall. John Kostecki is calling tactics for Kilroy and his local knowledge paid off with a 2,5 score for the former world champion Farr 40.
In the Transpac 52 class, Jim Demetriades' Yassou and Bill Turpins' Alta Vita traded a first and second place in two races and are tied for first overall on points. This is the first time that the Transpac 52s have raced as a one-design class and Turpin of Los Gatos, Calif., has put in some extra work with hope of eclipsing their rivals, "We have some new sails and have spent lots of time tuning."
With a standout crew consisting of big boat sailors Jay Crum, Jeff Thorpe, Ian Klitza and Ty Pryne, with sailmaker Fuzz Foster fresh off a win as the sail coordinator for illbruck in the Volvo Ocean Race, Turpin said, "We're playing to win on Alta Vita."
The largest fleet, with 33 boats registered, is the J/105 fleet, which also has its season championship to be decided. Class favorites Good Timing, owned by San Franciscans David Wilson and Phil Perkins, finished the day in first-place overall. Endurance, owned by Jeff Litfin and Steve Pugh, is in fifth-place overall. Litfin re-named his boat in honor of his good friend, local sailor Mike Congdon, who passed away recently.
Preliminary Results: Day 1 (Two races) Top Three per Class
1. Tabasco, John Wylie, San Diego, Calif., 1,3, 4 points
2. Koinonia, Doug Ament, San Diego, Calif., 6, 1, 7
3. Kill-A-Watt, David W. Rillie, Cardiff, Calif., 5,2, 7
1. Mojo Rising, Ben Oldham, Point Richmond, Calif., 1, 1, 2 points
2. White Dove, Mike Garl, San Carlos, Calif., 4, 2, 6
3. Tout Suite, Tim Merrill, Vallejo, Calif., 3, 3, 6
1. Eclipse, Mark Dowdy, San Francisco, Calif., 1, 1, 2 points
2. Golden Moon, Bridge/ Richards, Oakland, Calif., 2, 2, 4
3. Bladerunner, Mick Shlens, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., 3, 3, 6
1. Chance, Barry Lewis, Atherton, Calif., 1,1, 2 points
2. Dayenu, Don Payan, Hillsborough, Calif., 3,2,5
3. Mr. Magoo, Steve Madeira, Menlo Park, Calif., 2, 3, 5
1. Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy, Los Angeles, Calif., 2, 5, 7 points
2. Joss, Owen Kratz, League City, Texas, 1,7, 8
3. Peregrine, David Thomson, Woodside, Calif., 6, 4,10
1. Good Timin, Phil Perkins/Dave Wilson, San Francisco, Calif., 1, 3, 4 points
2. Charade, Thomas Coates, San Francisco, Calif., 3, 2, 5
3. Nantucket Sleig, Peter Wagner, Atherton, Calif., 2, 4, 6
1. Yassou, Jim Demetriades, Los Angeles, Calif., 2, 1, 3 points
2. Alta Vita, Bill Turpin, Los Gatos, Calif.,1, 2, 3
3. Victoria 5, Michael Campbell, City of Industry, Calif., 4, 3, 7
Americap II Class A
1. Pendragon IV, John MacLaurin, Encino, Calif., 2,1, 3 points
2. Icon, Richard Robbins, Edmonds, Wash., 1,4, 5
3. Swiftsure II, Sy Kleiman, Saratoga, Calif., 5, 2, 7
AMERICAP II Class B
1. Copernicus, Bob Garvie, Incline Village, Nevada, 1, 1, 2 points
2. Scorpio, John Siegel, San Francisco, Calif., 2, 3,5
3. Chance, Paul Kent, Corte Madeira, Calif., 3, 4, 7