Friday, August 26, 2011

2011 Ronstan Bridge to Bridge race

The bridge to bridge race is like no other.
20k+ at the start just outside the golden gate bridge and barely a puff in the air at the Bay Bridge finish line.
There is a race to the finish area and then a race to get across the line.
Racers come screaming downwind from the golden gate only to come to a sudden stop and if your lucky a crawl across the line. 
This year the skiffs, kites and formula boards all started on the same starting line set just outside the golden gate bridge. Chaos entailed as we all lined up full speed for the downwind start. I opted for my 10.7 knowing that I would need it at the end of the course but it sure was a handful a the beginning. A few boards got rattled by the skiffs but it was the kiters who jumped out to an early and expected  lead. 1/2 way down the course I gybed back and was still looking in decent shape amongst the charging fleet. CRad came flying in from the far side after gybing immediately after the start and finding the flat flood tide to take him down the Bay.

It was still pretty crowded and you really had to look out for the skiffs and kites who all had different downwind angles.
As I rounded Alcatraz the top group was out in front but anything could still happen. I opted to heat it up a bit as the breeze was starting to diminish but inevitable took it too far to the city front and when I gybed back fell off a plane for the first time.  Ouch there goes a few precious seconds.
A few pumps and back in the thick of things again.
I had just 1 or 2 options left as fleet was getting funneled into the finish area.
I gybed off before the layline taking a risk and separating from the fleet hoping that the Treasure Island bubble would catch them all off guard. As I looked back one by one they all fell off a plane just a few hundred feet in front of the finish. I over stood the finish almost going below it in order to get the required speed to cross it but alas fell off a plane again as the wind was barely 5k at that point.
Even a 12.0 wouldnt help at that point.
The skiffs came charging in hard and overtook the line of boards.
What seemed like an eternity later I crossed the line around 10th place.
Local SF Bay racer Brain Lake took the win on his kite but it wasnt almost so as he had to practically slalom to the finish to keep his kite in the air. Amazingly he managed to break the course record Micah Buzianis has held for almost 5 or 6 years now.

The trip back home was littered with fallen kites. It looked like a graveyard with everyone waiting to be plucked out of the water. I managed to find a puff and get going but the fog rolled in so thick you couldn't see much at all .

Bridge to Bridge 2011 from Phinneas Photoboy on Vimeo.

All photos & videos via photoboy at pressure-drop
GoPro video by waterhound


Kerthialfad said...

I watch the Bridge to Bridge on Thursday, August 25, 2011. Filmed it and posted the video here.

USA-4 Steve Bodner said...

Awesome Kerthialfad.
Thanks for the video