The San Diego Yacht Club Star fleet was host to 16 competitors for the 50th anniversary of the Rollins Bowl this past weekend. Long time fleet member Chick Rollins started this event and donated the trophy and it has become an integral part of the 5th District schedule and San Diego Yacht Club tradition. Urban legend has it that when Tom Blackhauler once won the event he dubbed the tall glass container the “ugliest trophy in sports.” That, and the fact that he broke it, didn’t stop him from coming back many times to try and win it again. It has since been replaced and we love to race for it even after 50 years.
Class members from as far away as Vancouver, Seattle, Chicago, and New York lined up Saturday for a Chamber of Commerce race day out on the Coronado Roads. Three sunny races were held in 8 to 13 knots of breeze with a solid ground swell coming in from the west. At the end of 3 races it was Eric Doyle sailing with Steve Brown with finishes of 1,4,1 holding a slim lead over George Gzabo and Craig Moss. Racing was tight with many place changes across the board as the shifty and puffy conditions challenged everyone.
As per Rollins Bowl tradition, Ruth Rollins hosted a wonderful party with help from many of her friends. Great food, cocktails, and Advil were enjoyed by all the tired and sore sailors. Many long time local 5th District stalwarts of the class were in attendance including Vince Brun and the legendary Lowell North, the only 4 time Gold Star winner in class history. It was great to see everyone and to catch up with old friends, many of whom had not been racing in a while but are starting to gear up for the World’s next year at San Diego Yacht Club.
Sunday brought another beautiful day with a little more wind. Eric and Steve won the first race and with a drop race were assured the victory. They raced using the North M-16 mainsail and the R-2 jib. Both sails set up nicely in the tricky conditions and allowed the winners to look around for the wind shifts and puffs while still maintaining optimum speed to win the regatta. The J-115 would also be an ideal jib for next year’s Worlds when the fleet will be bigger and more power to punch through the chop may be needed.
Gzabo and Moss finished second overall and Al Cullen sailing with Phil Toth rounded out the final podium position. Congratulations to everyone who sailed, great to see a revival of the fleet ahead of the 2013 World Championship. We welcome all class members come out to the 5th District next year to race in the North American and World Championships.
Please contact any North Sails Star expert for help with the best sails for West Coast conditions.