Variable sailing conditions hounded this year’s 79-strong Rolex Big Boat Series fleet, but the competition was as fierce as ever for the 59th edition of the West Coast’s premier racing event. The unpredictability influenced the leaderboards daily, with shifts across most of the eight classes competing. From a challenging ebb coupled with strong gusts in the low 20s on Thursday, to diminishing breezes each subsequent race day, even the most seasoned RBBS competitors had to work hard to earn points. But, that’s sailboat racing!
Heading into the final day of navigating the Bay’s famous currents and wind shifts, five class wins were still up for grabs as nearly 700 sailors left the docks.
ORC B proved to be an exciting fleet this year with relative newcomers, the Cape 31s, leading throughout the week. After an intense seven races, Mark McMorris on his Cape 31 M2 won the City of San Francisco Trophy, followed closely by Cape 31 Full Send, owned and skippered by Dirk Freeland. Third place went to Daniel Thielman's Melges 32 Kuai.
“I’m from the Bay Area and this is the event I look forward to every year,” said McMorris. “This is our second RBBS in the Cape 31 and my crew is outstanding. Needless to say, it’s a competitive group, but that’s okay as it drives us forward and I’m always learning from them.”