Berkowitz and Martin win 14s

Rand Arnold reports from the racing at the Richmond YC in San Francisco

Saturday April 12th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States
Last weekend, eight International 14s joined some 80 or so other small boats for the annual Richmond Yacht Club Big Dinghy regatta. The racing was dived into two parts. Saturday was traditional buoy racing, and Sunday was a long distance pursuit race with a staggered start (slow boats started ahead of the faster boats).

Joel Truher splashed his new (to him at least) 14 just arrived from Australia and had a great time sailing it for the first time. He loaned his old boat out to 29er sailors Bertrand and Brad who had huge (HUGE) grins on their faces after the races. (Isn't it great to listen to people gush about their first high speed 14 experience?) Chris Hsu sailed in his first regatta as a new 14 owner, but chose to crew for yours truly rather than sail his new boat for the first time in a race. He also had a huge grin on his face after the racing :-) Art Vasenius flew up from LA to sail with Greg Mitchell.

The first race on Saturday started with a normal wind pattern with wind out of the south blowing across the South Hampton race course. Seven 14s made it out for the start, with one laggard... (No not I!!) Zach Berkowitz/Mike Martin set the pace for the weekend with a bullet, followed by Ted Rogers / Kirk Price and then Lawrence Henderson / Kurt
Schmidt.

Race two made for some interesting sailing, at least for those in the rear as the wind clocked about 200 degrees to the right before going back to the left a bit and settling in the for last race. Zach / Mike won again followed by Lawrence / Kurt and Kirk Twardowski / Tim Burks.

After a bit of a postponement so that the race committee could pick up all the marks and move them for the new wind direction the remaining six boats took off in perfect 14 conditions (16 to 18 knots, solid double trap weather). We scared the pants off more than one other boat as we flew downwind (double windward leeward course, no pesky jibe marks!) Perfect conditions to hook new 14 sailors. Zach / Mike won again, followed again by Lawrence/Kurt and Kirk/Tim.

Saturday's racing was followed by dinner and the presentation of awards and then the raffling off of a whole bunch of left over stuff (t-shirts, trophies, key rings...) and the inevitable tales of whoa and victory (just why is it I can land perfect gybe after perfect gybe in double wire conditions, but I can get through a tack without capsizing?)

Sunday was just a single pursuit race. The 14s spotted the slowest boats more than 30 minutes on the 13 mile course. A tight two sail port reach from the entrance to the club down to Red Rock (island in the middle of the Richmond San Rafael Bridge) then get through the lee of the island and a starboard beat to the South Hampton shoal platform, bear off pop the kite and find the tiny yellow spot near the East end of Brooks Island
(last year we went around the island, which was not very kind to the underwater appendages of more than one boat, when underwater obstacles were found (rumour has it that there is more than one sucken concrete barge down there someplace, but not shown on the charts...)). After rounding the mark, it was another very tight two sail port reach to the channel entrance and then another very short run to the down wind finish.
(One tack, three gybes...)

Rumour was that somebody finished in 45 minutes (the moth? or Zach?), but no official times were taken, so there is not official record :-(

Zach / Mike passed the most boats and finished 9th, followed by Lawrence / Kurt in 11th and Greg Mitchell / Art Vasenius in 13th.

In the end Zach / Mike went home with the Northern California championship trophy, denying Kurt Schmidt his chance at winning it for a fourth year (twice crewing for me and once crewing for Lawrence Henderson).

All in all an excellent weekend of sailing (just forget that light shifty race!). Many thanks to Gail Yando for putting on a terrific regatta, and to all those that helped run the races!

Rank Skipper Sail No
PTS 1 2 3
1 Zach Berkowitz / Mike Martin 1137 3 1 1 1
2 Lawrence Henderson / Kurt Schmidt 1111 7 3 2 2
3 Kirk Twardowski / Tim Burks 1145 11 5 3 3
4 Greg Mitchell / Art Vasenius 1139 12 4 4 4
5 Ted Rogers / Kirk Price 1140 16 2 5 9
6 Bradley Van Vechten / Bernard 1109 19 7 6 6
7 Rand Arnold / Chris Hsu 1106 21 9 7 5
8 Joel Truher / ?? AUS 614 24 6 9 9

Pursuit Race
1 Zach Berkowitz / Mike Martin 1137 9
2 Lawrence Henderson / Kurt Schmidt 1111 11
3 Greg Mitchell / Art Vasenius 1139 13
4 Rand Arnold / Chris Hsu 1106 19
3 Kirk Twardowski / Tim Burks 1145 23
6 Bradley Van Vechten / Bernard 1109 25

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