Thursday, July 3, 2008

Photos from Norcal Sailing

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Sample below

BeatSarcoma thanks its volunteers at the Sarcoma Cup '08

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100% of the proceeds from the sale of pictures go to BeatSarcoma

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sarcoma Cup '08 Photos

From (c)2008
More available at:
100% of the proceeds from the sale of pictures go to BeatSarcoma
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Sarcoma Cup - Regatta Chair's Address

From Mark Lowry, Sarcoma Cup '08 Regatta Chair - Richmond Yacht Club.

2008 Sarcoma Cup

On Saturday June 28 Bay Area sailors were treated to the first racing day of the inaugural Sarcoma Cup Regatta with tight buoy racing action; and what a treat it was as the smokey haze from Norcal’s wild-fires gave way to some blue-sky and perfect sailing breezes. Four divisions raced 3 races each on the southern edge of the Berkeley Circle.

This regatta was the brain-child of Express 27 sailor, Nathalie Criou. Nat is a recent and very grateful survivor of a brush with sarcoma, a rare, little-understood, scarcely researched, and often deadly cancer. This encounter has inspired her to action, creating the non-profit BeatSarcoma, Inc., to raise awareness and research funding for this disease (see for details). The Sarcoma Cup was designed to be a celebration of the sailing life and a fundraiser for the BeatSarcoma foundation.

The buoy courses were windward-leewards with separate starting and finishing lines located to leeward of the leeward mark with downwind finishes prescribed for all courses. This efficient arrangement gave the racers what they wanted: more racing and less waiting. Time between races clocked in at around 10 minutes. Fred Paxton’s all-star Richmond Yacht Club race committee set impeccably square lines and true courses and ran like the well-oiled race management machine that it is.

“The circle” often known for its near-nuclear conditions during prime summer wind season on the bay, was a kinder-gentler place for this event, with winds barely reaching15 knots until near the end of race 3 which might have seen a gust or two near 20. Nope, no 35 knot rig-bustin’ carnage on the circle here – we have it on good authority that RYC PRO Paxton may have exercised his well-known divine connections with the Wind Gods on this occasion to quell the circle beast, but perhaps that’s just a rumor. No matter, the wind was perfect, at the low end of the #3 for the Express 27s – easy sailing.

Division A (PHRF) was dominated by the RYC team aboard Peter Kreuger’s “Howl”, with 1-2-1 place finishes. 2nd place in Division A went to Mark Howe’s “White Fang” of RYC and 3rd place went to Glenn Isaacson’s “Q” of SFYC. 4TH place went to Nick Barran’s new XL of RORC.

The Express 27 Division was beaten up by Tom Jenkin’s “Witchy Woman” team from Morrow Bay (1-1-2). Ray Lotto’s “El Raton” of StFYC won the tie-breaker over Eric Deed’s “Magic Bus” for 2nd, with “Magic Bus” taking 3rd. Mark Lowry’s Xena squeaked ahead of Phil Krasner’s “Wetsu” by one point to take 4th.

The Olson 25 fleet mixed it up well with Mark Simpson’s “Shadowfax” taking 1st and Tom Nemeth’s Clean Sweep taking 2nd.

PHR Division E was led by a pair of venerable Santana 22s. 1st place went to Tom Montoya’s “Meliki”, and 2nd place went to Stephen Buckingham/Chris Giovacchini aboard “Tchoupitoulas”. 3rd place fell to Bill West’s Wylie Cat 30 “Crinan II”.

After a very pleasant early afternoon of “all racing no waiting”, the fleet sailed up to the sunny docks of RYC on the “Richmond Riviera” in t-shirts and shorts to the strains of the very cool jazz band, ECQ, dock-side. To go with that jazz you were immediately offered a cool RYC/ Sarcoma Cup “Hurricane” Hunger pang? Hey we can fix that too, with a huge table of dockside appetizers… very tasty appetizers I might add. Sailors milled around on the docks listening to the great band, sipping cocktails, munching appetizers, lying about the races and leisurely putting their boats away. A great way to finish off the afternoon.

This very full day of regatta entertainment was completed with a sit-down evening buffet and an entertaining raffle-prize drawing followed by the second live band, Orquesta Gitano, who dished up salsa rhythms that had to be danced to… big fun !

Sunday’s main event was the pursuit race. This is a reverse handicap race in which the boats in all divisions are thrown together and compete as one fleet. The starting times are adjusted such that if all boats are perfectly handicapped and perfectly sailed they should all finish at the same time. The course started on the south side of the Berkeley Circle and took the fleet around Alcatraz (to starboard) and Angel (to starboard). The race began with the wind under 15 knots (comfortably within #1 range for the Express 27 fleet). Most of us were expecting that we would be pretty over-powered by the time we made Alcatraz, but that was not to be – more welcomed, mellow-weather surprises.

Those that wisely worked south first on the beat caught the ebb earliest and were first to round Alcatraz, this move proved to essentially decide the race. Tom Jenkin’s Express 27 “Witchy Woman” was the first to round Alcatraz, followed by Vaughn Seifer’s Moore 24 “Flying Tiger”, followed by Ray Lotto’s Express 27 “El Raton”, shortly followed by Mark Lowry’s Express 27 “Xena”.

The reach from Alcatraz to Angel was, as usual too close to carry the kite with most boats able to set just west of Angel. The majority of the fleet sought relieve from the ebb on the Marin Shore of Racoon Straights. This was the favored side for relief, mostly because it led you clear (more-or-less) of the dreaded lee of Angel. From here it was a straight-shot to the finish.

The three lead boats successfully held off the charge of the pursuing bigger and faster boats for an exciting finish: Tom Jenkins of the Express 27 “Witchy Women” took 1st, with Ray Lotto’s Express 27 “El Raton” close behind in 2nd, followed by Vaughn Seifer’s Moore 24 “Flying Tiger” in 3rd. Peter Krueger’s “Howl” took 4th as they rolled Mark Lowry’s 5th place Express 27 “Xena” in the final 200 yards. Dan Pruzan’s Express 27 “Wile E. Coyote” held off the advance of pursuing boats for 6th place.

From the finish, just off the Richmond Yacht Club breakwater, it was just a matter of dousing the kite and you would soon be kicking back with a glass of wine from the excellent selection in the complementary Sarcoma Cup dockside bar, or cold keg beer if you preferred, accompanied by great munchies. This had to have been the best complementary wine to be served at any Bay Area regatta (certainly in the 25 years of this observers experience). The opening entertainment for the afternoon’s dockside activities was the charity auction which featured some spirited bidding, pitting race course rivals against each other in seemingly fierce bidding wars, all in good-natured fun for a great cause.

Given the long list of dockside activities that we have reviewed, it’s hard to believe that we have missed one. But, we would be remiss in not mentioning that the festivities actually got started Friday evening with a slideshow presentation entitled “Whale Sinks Yacht – the Last Voyage of XL”. Nat presented a very absorbing account of the sinking of XL from her perspective as member of the delivery crew bringing the yacht back from a Pacific Cup race to Hawaii. Amazingly they were able to take quite a few photos to document the ordeal which made for a very interesting slide show.

The Sarcoma Cup featured stellar dock-side activities due to all the efforts of the BeatSarcoma volunteers and the efforts of many of the big-hearted stalwarts of the Richmond Yacht Club, including RYC’s first couple, Commodore Torben Bentzen and Judy Bentsen. And this event probably would not have happened without the support of RYC’s Standing Race Committee, Chaired by Gail Yando, and the support of RYC board of directors.

The inaugural Sarcoma Cup Regatta turned out to be a great combination of excellent sailing, very entertaining dockside activities, and significant benefit to a good cause as it raised over $10,000 for sarcoma research. For those of you that missed it this year, we hope to see you at the next one.

Sarcoma Cup T-shirts for sale

Two options:
- long sleeve cotton
- short sleeve microfiber
- both at $15
- 100% of this goes to support Sarcoma research
- please contact the sarcoma cup team: sarcomacup@ (all addresses are

Sarcoma Cup

We held the first ever Sarcoma Cup this weekend at Richmond Yacht Club and in the challenging waters of San Francisco Bay. We will post shortly a more detailed account of the event but I wanted to share a quick summary with all of you.

We haven't finalized the accounting but our first estimates indicate that we have raised over $10K at this inaugural event.

We have achieved a lot more.
- Andrew, the 16-year-old osteosarcoma patient to whom the regatta was dedicated volunteered at the event and will keep invaluable joyful memories of this experience
- One of our volunteers unexpectedly rediscovered the joys of sailing on Ay Caliente, a Beneteau
- Regatta participants discovered a very talented painter from a tiny nation in West Africa who contributed a beautiful painting to the charity auction. It is one of these rare connections that wouldn't have happened without the magic of this weekend
- A lot of people had an amazing weekend to share with their friends and family
- Many new friendships have started under the auspice of a weekend dedicated to life and hope
- Many people were given an opportunity to give and engage in a deeply rewarding activity. It can be so gratifying to generate a lot of smiley faces

The Sarcoma Cup itself is a beautiful and uncommon piece of work, but what else could best symbolize the richness of these moments.

You can read more about the sarcoma cup on the:

Stanford Patient News

Norcal Sailing

and see pictures of the regatta