Friday evening beer-can racing on a Flying Tiger 10m

Cityscape at sundown

Captain John invited Sara and I to join him and the rest of his crew for a friday-night beer can race aboard his Flying Tiger 10m, sailed from South Beach Marina just south of the Bay Bridge in SF. The FT10 is a fairly new ultralight sailing boat with extendable sprit, giant asymmetric spinnaker, pre-bent mast with swept spreaders, and all kinds of other go-fast technology.

We joined John and the crew at the fantastic South Beach Marina – at Embarcadero and Townsend – and sailed out into the early-evening breeze. I was working the bow, loading, launching, gybing, dousing, and repacking the spinnaker while dodging the jib; Sara got a much better assignment as a variable ballast technician (read: rail meat) and as a pit monkey in the forward hatch, helping me get the spinny stowed on takedowns.


It was a blast. The FT10 moves in the lightest of conditions. Our crew knew what we were doing (most of the time) and we worked well together. I think we were the first boat to finish in the ultralight conditions after we caught and past Magoo, a J/109 with a truly massive spinny.

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