Oakland Yacht Club's 19th annual Rites of Spring Regatta, for single and doublehanders, lived up to its name on March 13 as a record setting 76 boats 'earned' the new season with stiff breezes, choppy water and a big ebb on Saturday. In another hallmark of spring sailing, the ROS boats sailed out of fog into brilliant sun, and returned into fog to finish. With 15-25 knot winds over the course, all 10 fleets were given 10-12 mile courses, starting and finishing near the Berkeley Pier.
There was lots of post-sailing chat at the Oakland YC . . . like the tiller coming off one boat sailing past Angel Island, which caused a roundup and blown spinnaker. The experienced skipper and crew soon had things back under control. Then there was the boat where, during the process of removing a spinnaker wrap, the boat took a roll and the foredeck guy found himself hanging onto the pole 6 feet away from the boat. Fortunately, a roll the opposite way deposited him back on barca-firma. But none of that held a candle to the story told by Ben Haket and Bernard Slabeck on the Mull 22 STRAITJACKET. They were sailing downwind under spinnaker when the headstay came off. It didn't break . . . apparently the pin on the clevis just came out. Slabeck went forward, fixed the problem . . . and then fell overboard! He immediately started grabbing for handholds as the boat slipped by, thankfully latching onto a fitting near the stern where Haket was able to help him back aboard.
Joe Helfand and Gary Campbell sailed JOLIN 30C 164.