| April 20, 2002
Pegasus 55, wins first-to-finish trophy at Single
Handed Farallon Race 2002
Aprils 20th 2002, San Francisco, was the
single handed Farallon Race, windy, big waves and fun. I was lucky
and won the first to finish trophy... 60 Nautical Miles, Start in
San Francisco, offshore on a bearing of 240 degrees magnetic around
the Farallons 30 Miles out and back into the Bay through the Golden
Gate on a magnetic bearing of 60 degrees. Wind conditions varied
from a Southerly at the start to a stiff North Westerly. Big waves
leftover from the gale that has been blowing offshore in the last
few days. Very rewarding to get that winning gun after almost 7
hours of challenging and fast solo sailing! Nice way to start the
sailing season this year with this very special single handed event.
Stan Honey was also racing single handed as well as quite a few
luminaries. Good fortune helped me a lot. Thanks to the Pegasus
Racing team for preparing the boat and the skipper so well! Racing
was the easy part!
This chart shows my track. The red track is outbound, the green
one is inbound. Because the wind was so far left and I wanted to
sail hot angles which are faster with Pegasus 55, I jibed the Northern
coast. Furthermore coming back quickly has a disadvantage as there
was still quite a bit of ebb, and a long the Northern coast it was
starting to flood. I crossed at Point Bonita and jibed at the South
Tower. I put in another jibe to lay the finish line.
Approaching and rounding the islands
The South East Farallons are over 400 ft tall and can be seen from
far away. I was lifted all the way from Point Bonita where I saw
a true wind direction of 220 degrees magnetic. By the time I was
at the Farallons, the wind had clocked to 295 degrees magnetic.
There are breakers to watch for. The islands are to be rounded
I cut the islands too close. I was racing and liked the lead that
I had built during the long upwind leg. I did promise myself not
to take such risks again and not cut that close to the islands again.
Rounding the windward side happens quite quickly. It is going to
be time to jibe.
After four and a half hours upwind a picture is worth 1000 words,
but there is nobody else to take the picture and of course nobody
to hear any of the words!
Returning from the islands
So the jibe is coming pretty soon. It is
very important to stay clear of the lee of the islands as there
is a big wind shadow and one could easily stay parked in the lee
of the islands.
The return got windier as I got closer to the Golden Gate. Top wind
speed that I saw all day was 28 knots, top boat speed 20.3 knots
down a wave. I had to shift gears a lot during the race, reef, un-reef
many times because there were times when there was only 11 knots
of breeze and then 20+ knot puffs would blow out of nowhere and
last for 15 minutes or more.
Sail number 55001, Pegasus finished at 16:13:37 with an elapsed
time of 7:13:37 hours. The next boat to finish was a Santa Cruz
50 with water ballast, sail number 28154 Sundownwer and finished
at 16:57:39 with an elapsed time of 7:57:39, or 44 minutes and 3
seconds behind Pegasus 55.