Game on! The fog started parting early and racing started at 11am PST. Today brings a combination event with three heats of course racing followed by the Bay Challenge racing to Berkley Pier and back. Now that we have over five heats of racing the dropouts start taking effect. There are battles brewing all over the field and today brought some sailing drama.
With yesterday being a wash, three heats are run before the 1:30pm skippers meeting for the Bay Challenge. The wind just started coming up with many on 15m kites. Nico Parlier blasts out three bullets to lengthen his commanding lead. Axel Mazella is having a better day today and rips out solid seconds but has a possible over early. Johnny Heineken ends the course racing portion of the day tying up for second battling out the podium finishes with Axel. With only one board collision and a kite tangle with a sailboat, the racing has been clean and fast.
The wind is picking up for The Bay Challenge as the fog backs off almost to the bridge for the 3pm start. This is a race from the San Francisco bridge to Berkeley Pier in the east bay and back. After an upwind start rounding a mark, it is an open course through the bay. These points count towards the overall Hydrofoil Pro Tour and mixes in a great distance and tactical aspect. The fleet ripped east north of Alcatraz, riding the pressure and tide. Racers round a mark at the Berkeley Pier and jam back upwind. Reaching back to the upwind finish in front of the St. Francis Yacht Club, Nico Parlier pulls in the fastest time ever to Berkeley and back at 30:21, smashing last year’s time of 45:20 by Johnny Heineken. Johnny Heineken finishes a solid second ahead of Axel Mazella, firming up second place for the day for Johnny.
The finals are tomorrow right on the waterfront! Check out the beach live with the Park Service crissy Field camera. With the racing this fast and battles brewing throughout the pack, tomorrow will be an epic day with a solid forecast. Thanks to all the sponsors and volunteers for enabling an incredible event.