OPEN 5.70 RACING – The Great Pumpkin Regatta is the final high point regatta on the Open 5.70 One Design racing calendar for the Northern California Fleet. This event always delivers some unusual Bay conditions and this year was no exception. The regatta has boats racing around buoys on Saturday, followed by a giant Halloween themed party at Richmond Yacht Club, and then a pursuit “race” around San Francisco Bay on Sunday.
The Open 5.70s had 11 entries, making it one of the largest one-design fleets at the event – only the Express 27s and Moore 24s had 12 boats. Since it was the last high point regatta of the year there was a lot at stake with some podium places still up for grabs in the Northern California Overall One Design competition.
Saturday started light and those boats sailing to the race course ended up breaking out the motor in order to make it to the starting area on time. After a postponement the racing started with the Open 5.70s leading the other 9 fleets racing on the Southampton course – 1 of 3 courses used by Richmond Yacht Club for the 149 boats entered! It was a short course due to the light breeze and those boats that went left, including “Revenge From Mars”, appeared to find better wind rounding ahead of the pack at the weather mark. A significant right shift (40+ degrees) turned it into a drag race as boats reached down to the leeward mark and immediately tacked on to the layline to the finish located upwind of the weather mark.
Other fleets were less fortunate as the breeze shut down to almost nothing as the wind clocked even further to the right. After a long wait for other fleets to finish shortened courses the wind started to fill in again and we were off on a nicely squared race course. Another short one lap course where this time current started to play a role in who got to the marks first. Michael Gough on “boracic” showed everyone the right way to go and led the fleet around the weather mark. Tom Baffico on “The Maker” managed to claw his way past to claim his second bullet of the day. By the start of the 3rd race the wind had filled significantly and those Open 5.70s who had chosen to sail double handed knew they were going to have to work hard to be competitive.
One double handed team, Michael and son Tyler on “boracic”, hung on to 1st place for most of the race desperately fending off some close competition from “Revenge from Mars” and “Frolic” as they all crossed the line for a photo finish. New owner Frederic Bouju on USA 276 had a great first regatta on the Open 5.70 (see video) consistently finishing with the lead group of boats for an overall 5th place. Full results for the Great Pumpkin Race are available here.
With a final shuffle of position the overall one-design championship podium for the 2012 season looks like this : 1st place – Tom Baffico on The Maker, 2nd place – Marc Finot on Frolic, 3rd place – Michael Gough on Boracic. Complete season results available here.
Even though the high point season is over the fleet is going to continue to sail over the winter in the Richmond Midwinters and the Alameda midwinters. If you’re interested in the Open 5.70 and are thinking about joining the fastest growing fleet on San Francisco Bay, which is now up to 15 boats, then contact the fleet captain Marc Finot – [email protected]