Big Daddy Regatta

March 12-13, 2011

Layla and Toon Town played it tough in the first two Saturday races, with Toon winning the first one by a boat length. In the second race both of the lead boats experienced problems with their spinnaker sets, and Layla was able to sail just a bit deeper downwind, to win by three boat lengths. The third race turned into a Layla horizon job, as an Open 5.7 had caught its keel on the weather mark, causing Toon to miss the offset, requiring Michael to douse his kite and re-round. By this time the breeze was nuking up to about 20 knots, providing exhilarating downwind sailing. Saturday’s conditions were glorious, with clear skies and great racing.

The weather was gray and drizzly for the pursuit race around Angel and Alcatraz islands. Which direction to choose? The four U20s split, with Breakaway and Toon Town heading for Alcatraz first (the clockwise direction) and Layla and Uagain heading counter-clockwise into Raccoon Straits. We rode the dying ebb through the straits, then short-tacked along the west side of Angel Island to Point Blunt before heading across to Alcatraz. This worked well, as little Layla was the first boat in our direction around the Rock. Looking back at the many boats all well behind us was fantastic.

As we set the kite we got rolled by a Sydney 38, but when we exited the lee of Alcatraz the nuke-o-meter turned on, and Layla jumped onto a rip-snorting full-bore plane. See ‘ya later Sydney 38, as we blew their doors off, opening up a huge margin on the entire counter-clockwise fleet. We later watched the hyper-speed D Class catamaran Adrenalin blast by, followed by the 40’ Pro Sail cat Shadow, both doing about Warp Factor Nine. Halfway back to Richmond the rain descended and, as often happens in this location, the wind fizzled. We could see the lead clockwise boats heading out of Raccoon Straits, and we watched in frustration as about twenty got by us. The Sydney 38 eventually drifted over us, making Layla the second counter-clockwise monohull to the finish.

This was indeed a clockwise year, and Breakaway absolutely made the most of the chance, finishing third overall. Toon Town (who was over early at the start and had to return and re-start) finished fourth. Layla was 23rd overall out of about 80 monohull finishers. On a “small boat” day, the U20s rose to the top. Congrats to Breakaway and Toon!

Story written by Tom Burden
Layla #92