Three Bridge Fiasco at Singlehanded Sailing SocietyJanuary 28
Well, there ya have it, another 'Three Bridge Fiasco' in the books, and let it be known that once again it lived up to it's name. It all started out as normal, lots of energy and excitement around the club on Friday afternoon as folks got their boats in the water, last minute maintenance, and of course some provisioning as it is an all day affair. I went ahead and replaced my trap lines figuring it had been a while and didn't want to risk someone, maybe myself, going in the water in January due to gross negligence. It was a pretty big expense, I think each trap line cost me about $10 bucks, ya gotta love wabbits! Anyways, after dinner and drinks at the club on Friday night, I woke up early to get my last minute preparations finished which included rounding up some cold weather gear, grabbing the #1 out of the basement, and of course making the BLT's which have become my sailing sando of choice since Colin introduced them to me a decade or so ago. somehow they just taste amazing while sailing. Unfortunately, due to the extremely early time of our departure, 7:45, I had to make them myself, not quite as good as the Little Louie's version, but still pretty good, they would have been even better if Kelsey hadn't eaten some of the bacon before I made the sando's! Just as scheduled , Kim & Aaron were there on the big Wylie cat 'Checkered Past' ready to get all the wabbits on tow lines and on the way to city front. It went pretty good, and we were all on our tow by about 7:50 or so. the wabbiteers must be getting more prompt! I decided to put my main up at the dock before getting on the tow with the idea that i wanted more room in the cockpit for the ride over. Sarah, who was behind me on the tow did the same, and the fellas on Jack also had their main up. That got pretty interesting a few times as the wabbits with sails up were attempting to sail faster than the tow boat. It all worked out though, and we all made it to the starting area in good time, and warm and dry, even Rich & Sue who nearly capsized while on the tow! Wow, what a nice day, cold weather gear not necessary, and the forecast was for light breeze all day so most of us, if not all of us, committed to the genoas. Alright, a few minutes to go and Merrick and I have decided that the best way will be to go counter clockwise, let's watch the Moore 24 start to see how many feel the same...........'uuuugh, why are they all going clockwise???' oh well, we're not changing our plan....'hey Merrick, where are the other wabbits?' Merrick says 'looks like they are all on the other side of the line.....they're all going clockwise'. WTF!. oh well, so off we went our counter clockwise journey. It was fantastic as we glided eastward down the city front past fort mason, past liberty ships and submarines and past pier 39 where we then jumped across to Yerba Buena. The wind got light there but there was still enough to keep us moving and so we got around the first mark with little effort. up went the kite, and we were now heading north. there was a couple express 27' and a Cal 40 that kept us on our toes for a bit , but after a while, we were free to do what we liked. We eventually got past the Berkeley pier but the wind was dying, visions of grandeur were starting to fade as well. well f@#k it, lets have a party!, so foulies come off and beer and sando's came out. We talked about how light air sailing wasn't our thing and watched the Nash's sail 'El Gavalin' so far into the flats I thought they might go around Brooks Island on the inside! They eventually emerged a half a mile in front of us! Then we watched in horror as the clockwise fleet, which was just about everybody, including all the other wabbits, came charging south from red rock on the west side of the bay with breeze, WTF! where is our breeze???. Oh, well, we're history, not much point in continuing on now, at least we'll be in early and be the first ones to the bar at RYC. Then we watched in amazement as the entire fleet piled up at the end of the wind line that had brought them down towards treasure island. The boats just kept sailing into the hole and stopping, I'd never seen so many boats so concentrated and just bobbing around. We popped another beer and laughed about the whole situation for a while, we told sailing stories, talked about different ways to rig the boat , etc, etc, we were having a good time. Then we heard some girls laughing on another boat, so we looked behind us to find that we were getting past by a Merit 25 by two gals that weren't all that serious about the race but were still more focused then Merrick and I at this point. All right, the breeze was starting to fill again, lets see if we can get this thing moving again. 10 minutes later were sailing north again with 6 knots of boat speed and 4 over the ground against the ebb. The boat felt so good with the #1 up, just sliding through the flat water, It was the north easterly we had been waiting for, and it was beautiful! Around Red rock we go, I think it was about 2:45, the kite went up, and with the ebb we were now making 8 knots towards Raccoon Straights. 'Damn, this is looking pretty good' we laughed, 'and look at the clockwisers still piled up at TI with no breeze and building ebb, those guys are toast'! more laughs. We jibed into the straights, jibed back out of the straights after what felt like 10 minutes, we were still making 8 knots over the ground. a couple of more jibes to get across the bay and over to Blackaller, all the time being mindful not to get flushed out the gate. As we crossed the bay we couldn't see the fleet over at TI anymore so figured they were back on they're feet and most likely starting to round Yerba Buena, which by this time would put them in advantageous current as well, so the race was on. Like most of the boats around us we over stood Blackaller by a couple hundred yards due to the ebb, but found a ripping counter current as we approached the mark that launched us east again and towards the finish. Again, with #1 up, Merrick out on the wire, and flat water, today this proved to be a wonderful combination for a wabbit and so the last leg to the finish was awesome! As we finished at about 3:45 or so, the first of the clockwise fleet were finishing as well, most of them were still a ways back though so Merrick and I did a high five, and agreed to do some more sailing together. As we were sailing home we think we saw the rest of the wabbits finish in the following order but could be wrong so don't hold me to It, the official results will be up soon enough

Keala - Ron & Merrick
Bad Hare Day - Eric & Attila
Kwazy - Colin & Ethan
Bar Ba Loot - Sarah & Brother
Wasta - Rich and Sue
Jack - guest crew

The sail home was amazing as well, but that's a whole different story, the bay was in a crazy state with raging currents and collisions of currents like i'd never seen. I found myself saying WTF many times. As we pulled into ryc just as it got dark, I was freezing my ass off since i never managed to put my foulies back on after 'the party' many hours ago, so it was awesome when my Bro's Simon And Bart (Gruntled finished at 2:30, so they'd been in for a while, awesome job guys!) came running down to the dock with ice cold beers for us.....(WTF!., still tasted good tho)... and helped us get the boat put away. Afterwards they steered us up to the bar where we stood at the fireplace enjoying the heat and more ice cold beer. We reflected on how lucky we are, and its true, there are something like 7 million people who live in the bay area but only about 600 of the population came out to participate in the biggest race of the year....WTF? The bay is an amazing playground, for the most part we are not governed while playing on it. We can go any direction we want, we can be on any type of boat we want, we can go anytime we want, we can go as fast as we want, heck, we can even talk on our cell phone while under way and without a blue tooth, although mine was off all day. As long as we abide by just a few basic rules, we are for the most part, on our own, free, that's hard to find these days. So Yes, Wabbit sailors and all sailors are the lucky ones. I don't know what it is about the 3BF, but I can't recall ever having a bad time on one, even when everything seems to go to shit, it's still pretty fun. The 2017 version was no exception. Thanks to our 'Grand Poo-bah' Kim & Aaron for the tow over in the morning and thanks to Simon & Billy for going out later in a whaler to give 'Jack' a little assistance in getting home, that's good stuff! Don't forget that Small boat mids #3 is next Sunday, the current forecast is for 61 and sunny. See ya there!


2Bad Hare Day2
7Bear WabbitDNC
8Mr. McGregorDNC
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