MR MAGOO Tops J/120 Fleet
(San Francisco, California)- Over the August 17th weekend the San Francisco YCs always popular Summer Invitational is often seen as the final regatta for the larger one design classes on SF Bay leading into Septembers St. Francis Rolex Big Boat Series.
Winds blew 18-24 kts on the Berkeley Circle, such that one of Bruce Stones crew on the J/105 ARBITRAGE, Philipp Berner, a skiff sailor from Germany, suggested we might as well adjust our SF Bay base setting to that range since its been there for almost every regatta this summer!
The J/105s had very close racing, particularly amongst the leaders. In the three races on Saturday, Stones ARBITRAGE team nailed some starts and scored a 1, 1, 2, with Jason Woodley’s/ Scott Whitney’s RISK close behind, gathering a bullet in the third race due to some excellent downwind sailing, passing ARBITRAGE by jibing early into even more pressure (hard to believe there was more somewhere, but there was!) and then the two boats entertained the race committee by engaging in a match racing-style tacking duel for the last half mile into the upwind finish.
On Sunday, ARBITRAGE logged another bullet despite shredding a kite on the first downwind leg and changing to the back-up spinnaker. Stone was a bit aggressive on the last start and called over early. After restarting, they clawed their way back from dead last off the line to fifth at the windward mark but was flagged for tacking too close after coming into the zone on port, so did a 720, potentially losing the podium position for the regatta, but they nailed a shift on the last downwind to work their way back again to fifth by the leeward gate, only to get camped on by the whole world on the last beat, and slid back to 8th. Nevertheless, the 8th place enabled ARBITRAGE to win the regatta by just two points over RISK, who won two races and sailed consistently strong all weekend. Behind these two fast, smart boats was a tough fight for 3rd, 4th and 5th positions. Sailing a strong series, and in fact an overall contender for the lead, was third place finisher Phil Laby on GODOT, their 2-2-3-4-11/SCP for 22 pts knocking them down the ladder. Fourth was a solid performance by Scooter Simmons on BLACKHAWK with a 4-12-4-4-2-4 for 26 pts. Finishing fifth was another renown SF Bay 105 team, Shannon Ryan’s gang on DONKEY JACK, completing the event with a 5-4-9-8-10 for 36 pts.
The J/120 one-design class had its usual “jump up, jump ball” for who was going to lead the class home this weekend. Literally, this has to be one of the closest matched fleet of boats in the world other than perhaps their colleague in the SF Bay J/105s fleet. This time around it was Steve Madeira’s MR MAGOO taking home the silverware with a 3-2-1-4-1 for 11 pts to just nip a win by one point! Second home was David Hallwill’s PEREGRINE with a 4-1-2-1-4 for 12 pts, bombing the last race didn’t’ help their case. John Wimer’s DESDEMONA also sailed a solid series to grab a 1-3-3-3-6 for a 16 pt total– hmmm, were the finishes a reflection of the great times the crew had at San Francisco YC’s famous Saturday night soiree?? Incredibly, two past Rolex Big Boat Series winners could only manage to snatch 4th and 5th, they were respectively, Barry Lewis’s CHANCE and Richard Swanson’s GRACE DANCES– indicative of how tough and unforgiving this fleet can be for even the slightest of mistakes. Sailing photo credits- Daniel Forster/ Rolex. For more San Francisco Summer Invitational Sailing information