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Thread: LUNCH AT THE ST FRANCIS YC, March 2006

  1. #1
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    LUNCH AT THE ST FRANCIS YC, March 2006

    As pointed out on other occasions, the St Francis Yacht Club hosts a weekly yachtsman’s buffet luncheon that includes a speaker. They get some very interesting people. A recent speaker was Phil Gioia, a naval historian who consults for the History Channel and who spoke on the rescue of the submarine Squalus back in 1939. Phil had the audience mesmerized.

    But, Gioia could not hold a candle to the speaker who followed two weeks later. It was Dave Perry who spoke about “When Boats Meet” on the race course. Or more precisely, "Use the Rules or be Abused by Competitors – A Racers Guide to the Rulebook." Now this was exciting stuff!

    Perry pointed out that, "It’s damned hard to be crew. You have to be a contortionist, a psychic, a glutton for verbal abuse, and, oh yeah, flawless." As my fellow racing skippers know, that’s precisely what we expect from our crew . . .

    Here is the book from which Dave takes his presentation. (NOTE: for you skippers who have not been keeping up with the rules, "mast abeam" is no longer available. Get the rule book and learn all about it and other changes.)
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  2. #2
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    Here's Dave Perry working the white board . . .
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    The lunch crowd listening to Dave . . .
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    Here’s the bar in the St Francis Grill Room . . . (early in the day)
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    The view of Alcatraz from the Grill Room windows . . .
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    The view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Grill Room windows . . .
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    But enough of the social stuff. Here are the sections of the rules you should know "when boats meet:"

    Section A – Right of Way

    10 - On opposite tacks
    11 - On the same tack, overlapped
    12 - On the same tack, not overlapped
    13 - While tacking

    Section B – General Limitations

    14 - Avoiding contact
    15 - Acquiring right of way
    16 - changing course
    17 - On the same tack; proper course

    Section C – At Marks and Obstructions

    18 - Rounding and passing marks and obstructions
    18.1 - When this applies
    18.2 - Giving room: keeping clear
    (a) overlapped - basic rule
    (b) overlapped at the zone
    (c) not overlapped at the zone
    (d) changing course to round or pass
    (e) overlap rights
    18.3 - Tacking at a mark
    18.4 - Gybing
    18.5 - Passing a continuing obstruction

    19 - Room to tack at an obstruction

    Section D – Other Rules

    20 - Starting errors; penalty turns; moving astern
    21 - Capsized, anchored or aground; rescuing
    22 - Interfering with another boat

    I need to confess that Maika'i has not been called upon to use these rules very often. We usually find ourselves alone at the marks . . .

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up Memories

    Bill, brings back some nice memories. A friend of mine is a member, and his dad, Jim Whilhite, once it's commodore. One rainy Sunday my friend and I went to SF boat show, and all the plastic got pretty boring. Peter suggested we might see his dad's old boat, Athene, a 63' S&S yawl built for R.J. Reynolds in the '30s. There she sat mint in the St Francis's 1st row of docks. Inspecting this woodie classic was a treat!

    The good story is how his dad bought the boat. Peter's dad had wanted it, but was beaten out before he could bid. The new owner hurriedly sailed it out of SF bound north. About 11PM a night or so later Peter was out on a date, and spied the boat coming back thru the Gate, her sails in tatters. He rushed to Marin, awoke his dad who drove straight to SF, and bought the boat at the dock.

    Amongst many stories about Athene, Peter was lucky, at about age 17, to be with his dad when the boat won a Transpac from L.A. to Tahiti. One of the crew was a dentist who pulled a bucket of bloody teeth from the grateful islanders. Peter is friends with the current owner, and I was very fortunate to sail on her 3 times, including a Master Mariners. Could be wrong, but I think she was about 60 tons...talk about plowing through vs bouncing over the water! Then too, how about 3 of us trying to drag that mamouth wet mainsail to the sail loft. Sad to think that the clubhouse burned years back, and a load of sailing history was lost.

    You remind me I owe Peter a call. He was the first to introduce me to Bay sailing on his Santana 22. Having once been an olympic sailing hopeful along with the late Tom Blackhaller, he didn't know any way to sail but flat out. Later, he introduced me to Tom and others at the St Francis during the Big Boat series.

    I've been living in Oregon 13+ years now, but warmly entertaining notions of selling my house, and living onboard in the Sausalito area.

    Forgive the rambling. Thanks again for the great memories!

    P.S. Peter cut those Bay marks so close think I could have kissed them all, including Southhampton Shoals. Gave me a few more grey hairs too.
    Last edited by xroyal; 03-28-2006 at 09:18 PM.

  9. #9
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    Great lil story.How many sq.feet would a main on a 60 ton vessel be ???? Could only imagine it's size.I have visited S.F. on several occasions...nice view from the club...brings back memories.

  10. #10
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    Frank, I can only say Gigantic and heavy! Think the wooden mast was about 75'. Recall one of the crew at the top of the mast when anchored at the club yodeling at the top his lungs on July 4th. Among the 3 of us trying to manhandle that wet sail was a big 300 lb crewmember, and it was all we could do to get it to the loft for drying.

    The seawall at and adjacent to the club was a favorite place for hundreds of folks to enjoy such as the annual Big Boat series, usually held in Sept. When racing againist an incoming tide these maxis ( sometimes 70'ers) would hug the shore, giving us spectators a really up close and personal feel for the action onboard, maybe 15 crewmembers hustling with trimming, shifting weight and praying againist collisions in the Extremely close quarters. Their prayers failed them on a number of occasions. These events also let us see the famous race boats at the St Francis docks too, along with such classics as Humphrey Bogart's Santana.

    Yep, the Bay area is a treat for sailors. Whether it's the ever present racing in every imaginable class, the annual Blessing of the Fleet off Tiburon, woody classics in the Master Mariners, anchoring and exploring Angel Island or just coasting in a gentle Sunday breeze.

    Darn, I miss it!

    P.S. If anyone wants to follow some exciting racing the Volvo Ocean Race around the world has been great winter fun. They've recently finished leg 4, 6800nm thru the Southern Ocean: Wellington, NZ>Cape Horn>Rio. Sunday April 2 they set off for about 5000nm to Baltimore, thence a leg to New York, then to Britain, around Britain, finally to finish in Sweden in June. This new class of Volvo 70s are the hotest stuff afloat for monohulls. Their boatspeed has been often at and sometimes above windspeed! They have a new hydraulic keel that has proved troublesome for some entries. Some boats were exceeding 500nm in 24 hour periods. Paul Cayard, skipper of Pirates, and John Kostecki of Ericcson are both Bay area standouts from the days I sailed there.

    http://www.volvooceanrace.org/index.aspx?bhcp=1
    Last edited by xroyal; 03-29-2006 at 10:41 AM.

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