First Race… No Wind
Saturday was OCEAN PLANET’s first race, the annual crewed event around Northern California’s Farallone Islands. Looking at the computer weather models the day before, I knew that there was no chance of a record, as the conditions were obviously going to be quite placid.
The reports were accurate, as the actual breeze was only 4-6kts of wind, except when nearing the Golden Gate Bridge (it always blows harder there). The wind direction was WSW, which is exactly the direction to the Islands, making for a very slow beat and run back, with no reaching (which is what you usually get in this race). These conditions, while not good for setting records on an Open 60, were very pleasant sailing.
Also, they were well suited for an America’s Cup class sloop, the ex-IL Moro, which is the only local boat that can threaten OCEAN PLANET (in light air). Normally, an AC boat wouldn’t want to venture into the Ocean outside the Golden Gate Bridge, but the peaceful conditions evidently convinced them to go. In the end they beat us to the finish line. It is no worry for us, as we do not yet have our full size jib and spinnakers.
Given our use of heavy weather sails, I am really impressed with the liveliness of OCEAN PLANET. I can’t wait to get her up to full throttle!
I had a stellar crew aboard, including guest star Brad Van Liew (the only American finisher in the last Around Alone), Greg Nelson (winner of the 2000 singlehanded Transpac), Will Paxton (local up-and-coming tactical rockstar), Bill Colombo (professional sailor and owner of the local Doyle Sails loft), local rigger Jason Winkel, longtime friend and crew Joakim Jonsson, our new shore crew Antonio Mazzarisi, and Latitude 38 magazine editor John Riise. Perhaps we were a little overloaded, but hey, these guys are my friends, and we had a great time. It is amazing how many bad jokes this group came up with….
Anyway, we are all dying to go sailing on OP again, especially when the wind blows. But there is still a lot of work (and fundraising) to do to get her at full speed. I will be watching the weather closely this summer, looking for good conditions to set a new Singlehanded Transpac record. I will keep you posted.
The attached pic is of OP & I in better breeze, coming down the coast in April (2001).
We will continue to work hard at finding additional sponsorship. In the meantime, the continuing donations to our non-profit foundation are REALLY appreciated.
Skipper, OCEAN PLANET