ROLEX BIG BOAT SERIES
Sixty-six boats competed today, the third day of competition at the Rolex Big Boat Series. With divisions ranging from IRC to J-Boats, Express 37’s and finally catamarans, that raced for the very first time, all enjoyed the brisk airs and good winds.
While four teams have dominated their classes since day one (Vesper in IRC A, Shadow in Catamaran Class, Golden Moon in Express 37, and Double Trouble in IRC C), the decks gave been shuffling in the remaining four classes. I was onboard the tender, Double Trouble as Press for the races today and enjoyed watching all the starts and some great spinnaker legs.
The largest class is the J/105 Class and the leader has been trading places like drunken sailors. Donkey Jack, co-owned by rolf Kaiser/Shannon Ryan/Steve Kieha (San Francisco), took the top spot today with finishes of 7-1, moving yesterday’s front-runner, Godot, skippered by Phillip Laby (Oakland), down to second place.
Also seeing a change in standing was the J/120 Class’s defending champion Chance, skippered by Barry Lewis (Atherton), which ousted John Wimer’s Desdemona from the first-place position it has held all week.
In the Catamaran Class, Peter Stoneberg’s (Tiburon) ProSail 40 Shadow looked great out on the course and brought in a powerful performance that added two victories the two already posted in the thus-far six-race lineup. Stoneberg, who is the commodore of the host St. Francis Yacht Club, came up with the idea of adding the new catamaran class when it landed smack-dab in the middle of two America’s Cup World Series events also being held on SF Bay. Then, when eight teams entered, it became clear that the concept was a winner. Watching the fast cats sail rings around the monohulls while rounding marks was certainly a crowd pleaser.
Sailed since 1965, the St. Francis Yacht Club Big Boat Series added the Rolex Watch USA 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.
All the racers and spectators alike will look forward to the last and longest race of the event tomorrow – the “Bay Tour” race, which traditionally covers 20 or more nautical miles, will solidify who takes home class honors and the six special St. Francis Yacht Club Perpetual Trophies, each accompanied by a specially engraved Rolex timepiece. An IRC North American champion for 2012 also will be crowned.
More information can be found at www.rolexbigboatseries.com.