Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Round the Rock Race

A piece of local windsurfing history found its way out of the closet this month with the resurrection of the Round the Rock trophy. The race was originally run in 1974 on stock windsurfers when sailing downwind, across the San Francisco Bay and around Alcatraz and back to Crissy field was a major feat. Of course, there was always the ironman division which prohibited harnesses to still keep it tough as the gear evolved and the crossing became easier!
Eventually, the race got replaced by more challenging Bay crossings like the SF Classic and Bay Challenge. Sadly the trophy got forgotten in a closet of the St. Francis YC until this year when it was resurrected and put in recirculation again as a junior trophy. It couldn't be a more perfect fitting as rounding Alcatraz for a junior windsurfing can still be a major undertaking.
I helped out in this years race by sailing alongside the juniors for support and to keep them from getting in too much trouble.
Like anyone who sails around Alcatraz for the first time realizes, the wind shadow is way bigger than you think. Its like being sucked into a vacuum and once your there its even harder to get out! At all cost, you have to take the leeward side wide and stay in the breeze!That's exactly what the2009 Junior girls national course and slalom champion and SF Bay local, 13 year old Marion Lepert did to stay out in front and win with a commanding lead over the rest of the fleet on the BIC 293's.
Kimball Livingston's report on the Quite Revolution that windsurfing is undertaking at the StFYC is just what the sport needs- an injection of youth! Kudos to all thos involved to make the 2009 Bic Techno North Americans happen last week as well as the planning of the 2011 Bic Techno Worlds at the club.
As if that wernt enough, this week, the club is running the Innuagural Kite Boarding Course Racing World Championships.
Check out the action on the clubs streamling live video between 2-6 daily,
live twits @,
and flicker stream

Thanks to windydevil and examiner and rockskipper for photos.
Check out windydevils preview of the event here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

The last round the rock was held in 1985 on windsurfer one design boards. I was the winner of the last race and donated the perpetual trophy to the Yacht club just a couple of years ago. John won the race in 1984...