Beautiful Finale to Big Boat Series

San Francisco, CA (September 18, 2016) – The record-setting 52nd Rolex Big Boat Series hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club drew to a close today in splendid late-summer sailing conditions. After a slight delay waiting for the breeze to fill, a seabreeze of 15 to 18 knots arrived and brought with it decidedly warmer temperatures. For the first time in four days, crews shed their foul weather gear and fleeces as they took to the racecourse.

This year’s regatta attracted the largest fleet ever: 127 boats in 11 classes. Throughout its storied history, the Rolex Big Boat Series has showcased the top end of the sport and this year’s fleet featured everything from a 70-foot trimaran to a bevy of trailerable sportboats. It illustrated the variety of shapes and sizes that grand-prix racing offers these days.

San Francisco’s reliable seabreeze came in every day, starting at a gentle 8 to 10 knots and then steadily increasing into the 20s, with a peak of 30 knots yesterday. All classes completed their full slate of racing, and although there were some broken masts and scrapes and bruises along the way, the regatta went off without a hitch.

“We are very happy with this year’s regatta,” said chairwoman Susan Ruhne. “The seabreeze came in every day, there was great racing on the water, and the camaraderie ashore was at its highest level. Rolex’s involvement made it a unique experience for everyone involved, from the volunteers, to the race committee, to the staff of the St. Francis Yacht Club. It was tremendous.”

The coveted prize at all Rolex Yachting events is a specially engraved Rolex timepiece. At this evening’s awards ceremony, six class winners—ORR A, ORR B, ORR C, J/105, California 40 (also known as Farr 40) and J/70—were presented a Stainless Steel Submariner Date watch as well as a St. Francis Yacht Club perpetual trophy.

The grand prize was the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy, which was first awarded at the inaugural Rolex Big Boat Series in 1964. It was won by Victor Wild’s (San Diego, Calif.) Fox (Pac 52), winner of ORR A. Fox recorded four 1sts en route to the low score of 12 points in the seven-boat class. Fox was launched eight months ago and this was its first regatta.

“Excellence is expected and we achieved it here,” said Wild, who also won ORR A at the 2015 Rolex Big Boat Series sailing on board the TP52 Bud. “This is a place of excellence. I love the competition and environment up here; it’s the best. The conditions are the best in the world for sailing, because it’s every kind of condition. It’s the top of the world to win a Rolex.”

Tim Fuller’s (Murrieta, Calif.) Resolute (J/125) won the City of San Francisco Trophy, one of the two golden spades used for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1933, for winning ORR B. Peter Wagner’s (Atherton, Calif.) Topzy Turvy (J/111) finished second and also was the top-scoring J/111 in the fleet. Read On.

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