Racing the YRA Southern Cross on Wayne’s Quest 33

X-Dreams heads out the gate just ahead of us

I joined skipper Wayne and crew of Rene, Gus, and Matt for the YRA’s Southern Cross race, which was originally scheduled to be out to the Farallones. I guess the race committee saw the weather forecast and changed the race; good call.

We had a fantastic time, I think the five of us worked really well together. We hit the start a few seconds late, quickly got into a groove, but it wasn’t until we’d had an hour under our belt that we had adjusted the headsail settings enough that we could point and keep our speed up.

The course was the southern approach buoy (“S”), the central approach buoy (“SF”), and back to the San Francisco Yacht Club start line. The first leg to S was fun, a beat the entire way with winds to 15kts, but the trip from there to SF back to the Gates was a bit muted with only 8-10kt winds.


Oh, on the way out we hit a sunfish, the stupidest fish ever, the handbrake of the ocean. It was a glancing blow and we all felt bad, but we didn’t see any blood and we continued on. We were all joking about it when from S to SF we saw his brother! Gus, who was supposed to be carefully trimming the spinny, pointed him out as he was trying to wrap himself around the keel. We dodged him. Too funny.

Hanging out

On the way back in as soon as we got close to the Gates everything changed – just like it always does. Winds popped up to 20kts and we started to haul ass. We gybed right under the bridge and rocketed down the stretch for the finish line. I think we topped out at 15kts, which is pretty damn fast. It felt faster than 23.5kts did on the F-27!

We had a great idea: gybe right across the finish line. We needed to gybe shortly thereafter anyway, so why not as we crossed? Well, we messed it up, broached, and drifted across the line with the boat on her side. Hahaha. I hope we don’t end up on Latitude or Sailing Anarchy. Oh well.

Wayne let Matt and I steer on the way back to Richmond. It was incredible, there was only 20-degrees where the boat could be sailed: too high and we would broach, too low and the sprited asym wouldn’t draw. We were leaving a huge wake, everyone was having a blast. Fun times.

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