California's Howie Hamlin and crew won both races on the wildest day yet of the Skiff 18 International Regatta and now moves into first place
California’s Howie Hamlin, with his world-class crew of Mike Martin and Rod Howell regrouped, won both races on the wildest day yet of the Skiff 18 International Regatta on Wednesday to move into a first-place tie with Australia’s John Winning after 6 of 9 scheduled races.
Their boat West Marine was the only one of the eight that stayed upright all day as 18 to 22 knots of wind, with gusts to 25, blew up a mean chop straight into the face of an ebb tide flowing out the Golden Gate past the host St Francis Yacht Club.
Flipping like pancakes, only six boats finished the first race and four the second, but only because of gear breakage, not because they were discouraged.
However, the forecast for Thursday for winds up to 35 knots left principal race officer John Craig considering whether to run the Bridge to Bridge race as scheduled late in the afternoon when the ebb tide is strongest.
The wind opposing the tide creates chop “like speed bumps,” Craig said. “The boats keep tripping over themselves.”
They’ll try to sail the scheduled buoy race at 1 o’clock today, then return to the beach and measure the conditions. The Bridge to Bridge race, five nautical miles from the Golden Gate to the Bay Bridge, could be run on the last day Friday.
Results (after 6 of 9 races, one discard)
1. West Marine, Howard Hamlin/Mike Martin/Rod Howell, Newport Harbor YC, Newport Beach, Calif., 2-2-(6)-4-1-1, 10 points
2. Computer Associates, John Winning/Euan McNicol/Jack Young, Australian 18 Sailing League, Australia, 3-3-1-1-2-(3), 10
3. Omega Smeg, Trevor Barnabas/Trent Barnabas/Rob Greuter, Australian 18 Sailing League, Australia, 1-1-3-2-4-(4), 1
4. Sunrise, Patrick Whitmarsh/Paul Allen/Chad Freitas, St. Francis YC, San Francisco, 5-(7)-2-5-3-2, 17
5. Fisher & Paykel, Grant Rollerson/David Cunningham/Chris Cleary, Australian 18 Sailing League, Australia, 6-4-5-3-9-(9), 27
6. Vodka Cruiser, Dalton Bergan/Jeff Nelson/Kevin Richards, Newport Harbor YC, Newport Beach, Calif., 4-5-4-9-5-(9), 27
7. Emery Worldwide, Dana Jones/Jon Bell/Campbell Rivers, Ventura (Calif.) YC/St. Francis YC, 9-6-7-7-9-(9), 38
8. Canada 1, Fred Eaton/Dan Cunningham/Rob Patterson, Royal Canadian YC, Toronto, 9-9-8-6-6-(9), 38