Rolex Big Boat Series: Gunning for Bragging Rights
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA
The battle is on for silverware at the Rolex Big Boat Series, where 66 boats in eight classes (four for IRC, one for catamarans and one each for J/120s, J/105s and Express 37s) have completed their second day of racing. With four races down and an expected three to go over the weekend, every move will count, especially for the IRC sailors, whose performances will be compared across all classes in their division to determine the IRC North American Champion for 2012.
Brad Copper celebrated his birthday in style today by winning both of his IRC B races in his Custom Tripp 43 TNT, which put his team at the top of the scoreboard, displacing yesterday’s leader Soozal, a King 40 skippered by Daniel Woolery (Alamo, Calif.), which now sits in second but with the same point score as TNT. "Today we took some gambles, and they paid off,” said Copper. I’m very proud of the team. It’s a great place to race, and the conditions are consistently outstanding and always a challenge.”
Also turning in two bullets for today was IRC D’s Frank Morrow (San Francisco, Calif.) aboard Hawkeye, giving his team the lead by one point over yesterday’s leader Tupelo Honey, an Elan 40 skippered by Gerard Sheridan (San Francisco).
Jim Swartz’s (Park City, Utah) TP52 Vesper conceded to the talents aboard Manouch Moshayedi’s (Corona del Mar, Calif.) IRC 52 Rio in today’s first race but won the second race to maintain the lead in IRC A.
“We were second by two seconds,” said Swartz, explaining that both boats were over early at the start, but Rio got back to the line first. “They made a nice recovery, and then they picked the right side of Alcatraz, the correct side, and we didn’t, so that’s when we fell back again. When we were at the top mark, we were actually all bunched together, so it was a lot of fun.” Swartz, who won the IRC North American Championship in 2006 and has sailed this event four times, said it takes some getting used to the longer races (about 16 miles) here, but he enjoys the challenges they serve up. “The big thing here is the currents and getting that right…it’s classic Bay racing.”
Explaining further how the IRC North American Champion will be determined, Event Chair Kevin Reeds explained: “During the week, the IRC sailors in each class compete against themselves with time-on-time handicapping, but we’ll also keep track of time-on-distance performance in all four classes and in the end award the overall winner of that fleet. This takes into account that they have been sailing on different courses, but the formula corrects for that, and based on the distance they’ve all traveled, it figures out who has the best performance.”
Peter Kreuger’s J/125 Double Trouble is dominating in IRC C, a class that is comprised of the event’s “fast forties,” which were introduced to the Rolex Big Boat Series in 2011 and are being dual-scored under a new HPR rule this year.
"This is my first time really looking at the HPR and evaluating it when I'm sailing along and looking at boats to see how fast they go,” said Double Trouble’s tactician Jeff Madrigali (Whidbey Island, Wash.), a 1996 Olympic medalist who grew up sailing here. “It seems like a better shake, really, for a lot of these boats that don't have a chance to do well with IRC ratings."
One of those boats is Bernard Girod’s (Santa Barbara, Calif.) Farr 400 Rock & Roll, which is second to Double Trouble in HPR but sits in fourth under IRC.
“With the advent and popularity of high-performance designs that are fast and stable upwind yet also plane easily off-wind, a new rating rule paradigm has been needed to rate these designs against each other for fair racing,” said Dobbs Davis, ratings analyst for the HPR rule. “The rule is still being developed and refined but is gaining interest and popularity around the world for its simplicity, transparency, and ability to promote new and innovative high-performance designs.”
In Catamaran Class, Peter stoneberg’s (Tiburon, Calif.) ProSail 40 Shadow still leads, while in J/120s John Wimer’s (Half Moon Bay, Calif.) Desdemona also has maintained its edge. In J/105s, Phillip Laby’s (Oakland, Calif.) Godot moved into the top three and to the top of the leaderboard. Yesterday’s leader in the Express 37 class, Kame Richards (Alameda, Calif.) aboard Golden Moon, took it on the chin last night after a protest rendered him DSQ’d (disqualified) for failing to observe a limiting buoy in race two, but after redress this evening he returns to the top of the scoreboard.
Sailed since 1964, the St. Francis Yacht Club Big Boat Series added Rolex Watch U.S.A. as a title sponsor in 2005. A specially engraved Rolex timepiece will be awarded to winners in the four IRC classes, the J/105 class and the Express 37 class.
Rolex Big Boat Series - Results
Place, Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points
IRC A (IRC - 6 Boats)
1. Vesper, TP 52, Jim Swartz, Park City, Utah 1, 1, 2, 1 (5)
2. Rio, TP 52, Manouch Moshayedi, Corona del Mar, Calif., 2, 2, 1, 2 (7)
3. Swiftsure II, Schumacher Custom 54, Sy Kleinman, Saratoga, Calif., 3, 4, 3, 3 (13)
IRC B (IRC - 5 Boats)
1. TNT, Custom Tripp 43, Brad Copper, Pt. Richmond, Calif., 2, 2, 1, 1 (6)
2. Soozal, King 40, Daniel Woolery, Alamo, Calif., 1, 1, 2, 2 (6)
3. Swazik, Swan 45, Sebastien de Halleux, San Francisco, Calif., 3, 3, 4, 3 (13)
IRC C (IRC - 6 Boats)
1. Double Trouble, J 125, Peter Krueger, Reno, Nev., 1, 1, 3/SCP, 1 (6)
2. Resolute, J 125, Tim Fuller, Murrieta, Calif., 2, 2, 2, 2 (8)
3. August Ice, J 125, Richard Ferris, Tahoe City, Calif., 3, 3, 3, 3 (12)
IRC D (IRC - 7 Boats)
1. Hawkeye, IMX 38, Frank Morrow, San Francisco, Calif., 2, 2, 1, 1 (6)
2. Tupelo Honey, Elan 40, Gerard Sheridan, San Francisco, Calif., 1, 1, 2, 3 (7)
3. Encore, Sydney 36, Wayne Koide, San Anselmo, Calif., 3, 3, 3, 2 (11)
Catamarans (PHRF - 7 Boats)
1. Shadow, ProSail 40 Cat, Peter Stoneberg, Tiburon, Calif., 1, 2, 2, 1 (6)
2. BridgeRunner, SL33, Urs Rothacher, Oakland, Calif., 2, 4, 1, 2 (9)
3. Vamonos, Sig 45, Tom Siebel, Felton, Calif., 4, 1, 4, 3 (12)
HPR (Exhibition Class - 6 Boats)
1. Double Trouble (HPR), J 125, Peter Krueger, Reno, Nev., 1, 1, 4/SCP, 1 (7)
2. Rock & Roll (HPR), Farr 400, Bernard Girod, Santa Barbara, Calif., 2, 4, 1, 2 (9)
3. Resolute (HPR), J 125, Tim Fuller, Murrieta, Calif., 3, 2, 4, 3 (12)
J 105 (One Design - 21 Boats)
1. Godot, J 105, (Keith) Phillip Laby, Oakland, Calif., 5, 5, 4, 2 (16)
2. Donkey Jack, J 105, Shannon Ryan/Rolf Kaiser/Steve Kleha, San Francisco, Calif., 10, 3, 5, 1 (19)
3. Risk, J 105, Jason Woodley/Scott Whitney , Greenbrae, Calif., 2, 1, 12, 5 (20)
J 120 (One Design - 7 Boats)
1. Desdemona, J 120, John Wimer, Half Moon Bay, Calif., 1, 1, 4, 3 (9)
2. Mr. Magoo, J 120, Stephen Madeira, Menlo Park, Calif., 2, 2, 3, 5 (12)
3. Chance, J 120, Barry Lewis, Atherton, Calif., 3, 3, 2, 4 (12)
Express 37 (One Design - 7 Boats)
1. Golden Moon, Express 37, Kame Richards, Alameda, Calif., 2, 2/RDG, 2, 2 (8)
2. Blade Runner, Express 37, Michael Shlens, Palos Verdes Est., Calif., 4, 2/RDG, 4, 1 (11)
3. Bullet, Express 37, Michael Maloney, Alameda, Calif., 1, 3, 5, 3 (12)
For more information, live race footage, tracking, and daily video by T2P, go to www.rolexbigboatseries.com. Find us on facebook at St. Francis Yacht Club – Racing, and follow @bigboatseries. Competitor details can be found at http://www.yachtscoring.com.
Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its OYSTER watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the OYSTER, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the PERPETUAL rotor self-winding mechanism, introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities, as well as philanthropic and patronage programs.
About the St. Francis Yacht Club
The St. Francis Yacht Club was founded in 1927 and has been host to many of the most prestigious national and international championships in sailing. With over 40 regattas on its calendar annually, the club is widely regarded as having one of the top racing and race management programs in the country. In 1964, the St. Francis Yacht Club’s Big Boat Series was established to take place annually on San Francisco Bay. In 2005, Rolex Watch U.S.A. became the regatta’s title sponsor (after three years as presenting sponsor), and since, the Rolex Big Boat Series has become one of the most important sailing events in the U.S.