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2015 SSS Single Handed Farallones - The Flying Penguin
2015 SSS Single Handed Farallones Red Sky Report

Thar She Blows! Returnees from Saturdays SSS Single Handed Farallones had plenty of cetacean company as they closed in on the Golden Gate Strait. A steady 20-25 knot wind greeted the fleet just past Bonita combine with a 5-6 short period wind chop that was described as a miserable bumpy ride by even the most veteran sailors. Brian Boschma sailing aboard his Olson 34
Red Sky provides some insight to the day below:

"Classic SHF start. Deep overcast, drizzly on the ride up from Breezebain. Nice ebb pulled me to the GGYC. I waved at Synthia as she motored out of South Beach. The start was timed well and an immediate tack for deep water was in order. The late ebb dictated staying to the north until Bonita. The ebb was holding well in or near the channel with the SOG in the high 8's. The north side was worked, tacking west on shifts. Ultimately the light ship was made to the port rail within two boat lengths, maybe a bit further south than ideal but the shifts were now aligned with a port rounding and no additional tacks. At the light ship conditions had freshened to high teens and the bounce factor was up. On came the runners. A reef went in about 17 miles out, The rocks were in view. The next few miles were tough with having to point in the seas.. There was no relief from the constant battering of short fetch chop. The swell was slight to moderate. As I got in close to the north end it appeared, for safety , a tack was called for. Checking the gear I noted a runner tangled on the man over board pole. Engaging the autopilot allowed freeing the runner and putting the pole on deck. At this point wind was hitting 30. There must be a compression effect at the north end, the wind always seems accelerated. A short tack with a multi hull a 100 yards away, and Dirk Husselman's Beneteau 30 just to the north west, was event-less. I stayed in 80 to 200 feet of water on the rounding. The autopilot steered as the reef pulled out. The islands were lit up by the sun that had burned through the haze an hour earlier."

Dan Benjamin's Vyliecat 30 Whirlwind division 4 and overall victory

Tom Cavers Olson 25 Rock On finish the trip in a very fast 09:35:38 to dominate division 5

"On the jibe at the back side several additional boats were in view. Clearing the island, Larry's tri, "Humdinger" , 888, tri passed to the north showing great speed. Kites was not possible with the speed and northerly components in the wind. Later, prior to the light ship, another tri passed to my south, likely a F27. Dirk was tracking just to my north and making incremental gains on this Olson 34. I could see his twin rudders digging in as the swells quartered under his stern. Dirk had to maneuver a bit to the north to steer around an orange ship on her approach. At this point Chris' J88, Ventus, was making tracks to the south. The boat has a distinctive look and low free board. Wondering how she fared in the upwind leg ?"

Mike Mitchell's Tartan 4100 Roxanne won the non spinnaker division bay a healthy margin. Come to think of it, it was
non spinnaker division throughout the fleet as conditions dictated whitesails as a healthy alternative to spinning out!

"Winds on the homeward run finally swung aft for a time about 6 miles out. The wind built to 30+ on gusts, and this boat hit 12 a few times on waves with the 100 up, and the bow pointing into the holes in the ocean. Past Mile rock the wind went forward into the bridge. The run to the finish was in deep water until the line could be made with the jib not in a wind shadow."

Photo : Erik Simonson
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