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2021 Delta Ditch Run


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Who is in?

This will be the 30th running of the Delta Ditch Run - It promises to be a great 65 nm downwind ride from the Richmond Yacht Club, up the bays and rivers, to the Stockton Sailing Club.

 

Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 9.34.55 AM.png

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A bucket list item for us as well, and it was on our schedule, but we had to cancel.

Different question: what would be your ideal ride for this race with an eye toward doing well and having a ball? It seems to me that sailing deep with a symmetrical spinnaker would be better for the twists and turns rather than sailing hot angles and gybing a Melges 32 or something every 90 seconds. Moore 24 or Express 27? Cal 40 with a longer waterline, a bigger ice chest and a better stereo? 

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Just now, SF Woody Sailor said:

A bucket list item for us as well, and it was on our schedule, but we had to cancel.

Different question: what would be your ideal ride for this race with an eye toward doing well and having a ball? It seems to me that sailing deep with a symmetrical spinnaker would be better for the twists and turns rather than sailing hot angles and gybing a Melges 32 or something every 90 seconds. Moore 24 or Express 27? Cal 40 with a longer waterline, a bigger ice chest and a better stereo? 

I think my ride would be perfect. Assym on a pole till we go symmetric, and put up the 2nd pole to make the foredeck easy. Only problem is the 9' draft means no cutting corners. But after a couple ocean race weekends the crew wanted a weekend off from a promised hate mission home.  Wife said something along those lines as well...

But you can't go wrong with the Moore or the Express

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Definitely a must do event if you've never done. This race is one of the most challenging I have done. It's whooped my ass twice and I've podiumed twice.

Coming up from SoCal again for more abuse. Not my own boat this time. Looking forward to it.

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48 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Assym on a pole till we go symmetric

Now there is a good idea. I sailed for a while on a Mumm 30 that had four options: masthead asymmetric, fractional asymmetric, masthead symmetric and fractional symmetric. The boat was complicated (including kite selection), but it was a hoot.

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52 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

 a promised hate mission home.  Wife said something along those lines as well...

 

Smart wife. The trip home is indeed a hate mission, but it is a walk in the park compared to the old Stockton South Tower race. THAT was a hate mission. Did it on an Express 37 once. Not surprising that race died.

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1 minute ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

Smart wife. The trip home is indeed a hate mission, but it is a walk in the park compared to the old Stockton South Tower race. THAT was a hate mission. Did it on an Express 37 once. Not surprising that race died.

I'm sure tacking that #1 a hundred times not only hurt the body, but destroyed the sail at the same time. 

 

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Having done it a bunch on the moore, I think it’s the horses for the course. This year I am doing it on a multi hull, the real question is how many gybes will we do. 
 

vegas odds over/under at 100 gybes. 

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We are hoping the sustained winds of 20 will allow for our lead mine will keep up with the Moores. We will be rigged for speed but can not plane. With figures crossed we are shooting for a sub 7:30 finish.

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I think it was 170 + on the  PEGASUS N-20 cat

14 minutes ago, IMR said:

Having done it a bunch on the moore, I think it’s the horses for the course. This year I am doing it on a multi hull, the real question is how many gybes will we do. 
 

vegas odds over/under at 100 gybes. 

 

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Last year — during the unofficial ditch run. Lots of south in the wind but a big breeze year we got to SSC by 3:45. Fastest trip I have done on the moore. 
 

have fun everyone!! 

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38 minutes ago, Black Jack said:

We are hoping the sustained winds of 20 will allow for our lead mine will keep up with the Moores. We will be rigged for speed but can not plane. With figures crossed we are shooting for a sub 7:30 finish.

If you are in a leadmine (as I usually am) I suspect 15-16 knots is better than 20. In 20 the Moore's and E27's will light up and be gone... In 15-16 your waterline will work for you.

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9 minutes ago, ROADKILL666 said:

Ok what is the delta ditch run??

It's a 70 mile sprint up an ever narrowing river from Richmond, CA (north end of SF Bay) to Stockton. Navigation challenges with shallow bars that the smaller boats try to skirt, sometimes not successfully.  "Usually" starts mellow, builds into a fun reach for 10 miles turning into a run with increasing breeze as the day progresses. One nice little challenge in the middle of the course as you've been sailing with a kite for a couple hours, but can you make a left dog-leg with the kite for 1/2 mile before it turns downwind again? Call it right and make lots of gains. Call it wrong and end up on the rock wall. I've seen boats there...

Can turn into a gybe-fest in the last few miles as the wind lightens by dinner time and goes dead astern following the river channel.

 

Usually means the normal sea breeze which is maybe 5 days out of 7. One year it was upwind in squalls from the south. Another year a northerly blew.

 

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29 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

It's a 70 mile sprint up an ever narrowing river from Richmond, CA (north end of SF Bay) to Stockton. Navigation challenges with shallow bars that the smaller boats try to skirt, sometimes not successfully.  "Usually" starts mellow, builds into a fun reach for 10 miles turning into a run with increasing breeze as the day progresses. One nice little challenge in the middle of the course as you've been sailing with a kite for a couple hours, but can you make a left dog-leg with the kite for 1/2 mile before it turns downwind again? Call it right and make lots of gains. Call it wrong and end up on the rock wall. I've seen boats there...

Can turn into a gybe-fest in the last few miles as the wind lightens by dinner time and goes dead astern following the river channel.

 

Usually means the normal sea breeze which is maybe 5 days out of 7. One year it was upwind in squalls from the south. Another year a northerly blew.

 

Sounds like a blast.So jealous all we we have is the mug race and it sucks!

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44 minutes ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

If you are in a leadmine (as I usually am) I suspect 15-16 knots is better than 20. In 20 the Moore's and E27's will light up and be gone... In 15-16 your waterline will work for you.

We might be the only plank on frame wooden boat racing.  I have seen us outrun the E27 class champion in 20 knots. We would love to run that fast again.  I dont think Gordie Nash wants to see us either when it blows.

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38 minutes ago, Timur said:

yeah, yeah you pot-smoking hippy sailors from NorCal and your cooler-n-cool 40yo balsa-cored rocketships from the 70's Show.  Family-oriented old-school ULDB surfing fun while play the Dead all the way up the Ditch on a broad reach boom-box blasting.  I. AM. Not. One. Bit. Jealous.

"don't hate me because i'm beautiful" ~ k. lebrock circa 1980's

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17 hours ago, Raz'r said:

It's a 70 mile sprint up an ever narrowing river from Richmond, CA (north end of SF Bay) to Stockton. Navigation challenges with shallow bars that the smaller boats try to skirt, sometimes not successfully.  "Usually" starts mellow, builds into a fun reach for 10 miles turning into a run with increasing breeze as the day progresses. One nice little challenge in the middle of the course as you've been sailing with a kite for a couple hours, but can you make a left dog-leg with the kite for 1/2 mile before it turns downwind again? Call it right and make lots of gains. Call it wrong and end up on the rock wall. I've seen boats there...

Can turn into a gybe-fest in the last few miles as the wind lightens by dinner time and goes dead astern following the river channel.

 

Usually means the normal sea breeze which is maybe 5 days out of 7. One year it was upwind in squalls from the south. Another year a northerly blew.

 

Raz'r is being modest... this is the Death Race of NorCal for either your boat, your crew, or both.

The Moore Fleet has mostly civilized racing while the high horsepower boats have their hands full. Testing your Nav Skils in tight and constrained areas while doing 20's through other fleets is a bit different than most other regattas. 

Plenty of carnage usually but addicting as hell. Funnest thing you can do in a boat with your pants on though. See you there.

 

 

789.jpg

dri.jpg

th.jpg

2015-DitchRun-Selects-60.jpg

5063legs.jpg

1234.jpg

the.jpg

hendo.jpg

zebra.jpg

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21 minutes ago, jhc said:

3hr 59min

Wow. That doesn't leave much time for crash recovery. I've been on the rocks after a bad gybe after that famous windy reach. The wind pressure rather favors the faster boats in an exponential way. Being able to get thru that last ship channel leg before the afternoon pressure eases can greatly improve one's finish.

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3 hours ago, Irrational 14 said:

Raz'r is being modest... this is the Death Race of NorCal for either your boat, your crew, or both.

The Moore Fleet has mostly civilized racing while the high horsepower boats have their hands full. Testing your Nav Skils in tight and constrained areas while doing 20's through other fleets is a bit different than most other regattas. 

Plenty of carnage usually but addicting as hell. Funnest thing you can do in a boat with your pants on though. See you there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hendo.jpg

 

I still wonder how they extracted that Hendo. Maybe it's still there...  (I know it's not, hey buddy!)

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We finished at about 5:20, it was a light start,Moderate day.  Took about 4 hours to tow the boat home. Back on my couch after over 100 gybes and 140 miles on the water n

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Wind speed picked up in the afternoon down the course.

 

Shadow eXtreme 40 reached First Street Pier, Benicia ~ 1:00 pm. First gun 10:25, started multihulls at 10:30

 

Martinez
Union Pacific Rail Road Bridge NDBC UPBC1
https://flic.kr/p/2m5rqNd


Stockton Airport
NWS
https://flic.kr/p/2m5oxDN
 

Shadow, eXt 40

 

 

 

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We had a blast on the only timber boat that sailed this year and most likely oldest. We came in a bit late after a pretty tight hourglass spin wrap and recovery.  Nothing was damaged or broken. We can not wait to do it again! See ya next year.

 

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2 hours ago, Black Jack said:

We had a blast on the only timber boat that sailed this year and most likely oldest. We came in a bit late after a pretty tight hourglass spin wrap and recovery.  Nothing was damaged or broken. We can not wait to do it again! See ya next year.

 

How was the delivery home? Got a bit sporty in the north bay about 3pm yesterday.

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11 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

How was the delivery home? Got a bit sporty in the north bay about 3pm yesterday.

I saw many depart. We thought about it. We are leaving the boat in Stockton for a week.  Whew. I have a large purple bruise on my ass in my recovering the spin or it migh be do to sleeping on the whisker pole after having one too many rums and no pad. Took the Amtrak back from Stockton to Jack London Square.  12 dollars. Easy and fast.  Thought it smart to stretch it over two weeks with a nice weekend cruise home.

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7 minutes ago, Black Jack said:

I saw many depart. We thought about it. We are leaving the boat in Stockton for a week.  Whew. I have a large purple bruise on my ass in my recovering the spin or it migh be do to sleeping on the whisker pole after having one too many rums and no pad. Took the Amtrak back from Stockton to Jack London Square.  12 dollars. Easy and fast.  Thought it smart to stretch it over two weeks with a nice weekend cruise home.

2 stages and stop in Pittsburg Muni marina

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we went upwind at 60, boat at the club at 1215, home in bed by 115am

 

new kite and deck for next year and the little one has to ditch some weight from her bag but she said she’s in for moore

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An extra long shaft 6 horse waiting in Stockton (transom reinforced) makes relatively easy work of it on the Express. Some suck fest after Korth's Marina pit stop for head, fuel and breakfast, but lots of ebb all the way to Pittsburg. Flood was no biggie and kept chop way down- Suisun and San Pablo were downright pleasant. 11.5 hrs underway and a great way to see everything you missed on the way down.

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My first ditch, pretty crazy! People have been telling me SC27s crash hard and I got a few crashes under my belt this race - I was struggling to keep the boat under the kite when the stern was being pushed one way by wind waves and the kite was going the opposite way when a shifty gust hit. The kite would start oscillating and bam, we’re over.


Crew and boat made it in one piece, and we delivered back over 2 days with a stop-over in Pittsburg. Thought we’d make it to Benicia but there was no chance I was going to pound through Suisun Bay with the chop.

 

Today we had one nice long tack from the Richmond San Rafael bridge all the way back to Alameda, which put a nice cap on a great weekend!

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20 hours ago, atnan said:

My first ditch, pretty crazy! People have been telling me SC27s crash hard and I got a few crashes under my belt this race - I was struggling to keep the boat under the kite when the stern was being pushed one way by wind waves and the kite was going the opposite way when a shifty gust hit. The kite would start oscillating and bam, we’re over.


Crew and boat made it in one piece, and we delivered back over 2 days with a stop-over in Pittsburg. Thought we’d make it to Benicia but there was no chance I was going to pound through Suisun Bay with the chop.

 

Today we had one nice long tack from the Richmond San Rafael bridge all the way back to Alameda, which put a nice cap on a great weekend!

I never got to test the tweakers on my SC27 in winds like that but I have used them in the past to keep boats and chutes more connected/stable.

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2 minutes ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

I never got to test the tweakers on my SC27 in winds like that but I have used them in the past to keep boats and chutes more connected/stable.

+1

Also the normal stuff. Pole a little forward and oversheeted to reduce oscillation and keep the seam on the centerline. However, despite the best technique sometimes that roundup/round down just has your name written on it.

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22 minutes ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

+1

Also the normal stuff. Pole a little forward and oversheeted to reduce oscillation and keep the seam on the centerline. However, despite the best technique sometimes that roundup/round down just has your name written on it.

This was my first time driving our SC27 in those conditions, so I'm pretty sure it can be chalked up to lack of experience! I've been doing a bunch of reading since then and I think I/we made a few mistakes:

  • Not keeping the boat under the kite - easier said than done but I think I was starting to get the hang of it
  • Sailing slightly by the lee with opposing wind waves when we could have gybed to match the direction of wind waves or sailed a hotter angle
  • Main sheet wasn't trimmed in enough, which may have been causing the mast head to move to/from windward in the shifty gusts
  • We weren't easing the pole forward / twinging on / moving kite center of effort to leeward when I was getting overwhelmed on the helm
  • I'm not sure what height to set the pole for different wind speeds, but we probably should have lowered the pole

But we (crew AND boat) survived, so it all worked out :-)

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1 hour ago, atnan said:

This was my first time driving our SC27 in those conditions, so I'm pretty sure it can be chalked up to lack of experience! I've been doing a bunch of reading since then and I think I/we made a few mistakes:

  • Not keeping the boat under the kite - easier said than done but I think I was starting to get the hang of it
  • Sailing slightly by the lee with opposing wind waves when we could have gybed to match the direction of wind waves or sailed a hotter angle
  • Main sheet wasn't trimmed in enough, which may have been causing the mast head to move to/from windward in the shifty gusts
  • We weren't easing the pole forward / twinging on / moving kite center of effort to leeward when I was getting overwhelmed on the helm
  • I'm not sure what height to set the pole for different wind speeds, but we probably should have lowered the pole

But we (crew AND boat) survived, so it all worked out :-)

Keeping the boat under the kite is so easy to read and can be so hard to do. Reducing the oscillation side to side of the kite helps a lot; the pole forward and tweakers and oversheet aren't so much to move the center of effort (NTTARWT) as to prevent the oscillation side to side. Main sheet in isn't necessarily as important as vang on TIGHT. The tight vang gives you predictable side force from the leech of the main. The corollary of course is that you need to have someone on the vang to release it if you start to round up or after you round down.

It would seem intuitive to lower the pole, and in this case the intuition is wrong. Pole lower when reaching, but when running a lower pole brings the leeches of the kite together and makes it deeper which is the opposite of what you want. The pole tip should be nice and high so the shoulders of the kite are far apart.

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We saw that happen just as we were taking our kite down for white sail reach.

Here's a video of our day out:

Didn't get any footage when it really started to blow, so this all looks rather tranquil :-)

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3 hours ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

Nice little writeup in Latitude today.

Can someone please explain the geometry of this photo?

 

Green-boat-roundup-LynHines_1186.jpg

Ugly but here goes.

the port guy(red) goes through a twing around the mast/bows butt. and then vertically up to the tip of the pole, which is in line with the mast.

From there the guy goes round the front of the mast to the tack of the spinnaker. which is behind the main.

The kite is of course inside out.

The sheet(green) attaches to the clew, and then a wrap of kite passes on the stb side of the forestay, wraps tightly round the front and back to the clew/head. .

 

what a mess.

 

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32 minutes ago, JohnMB said:

Ugly but here goes.

the port guy(red) goes through a twing around the mast/bows butt. and then vertically up to the tip of the pole, which is in line with the mast.

From there the guy goes round the front of the mast to the tack of the spinnaker. which is behind the main.

The kite is of course inside out.

The sheet(green) attaches to the clew, and then a wrap of kite passes on the stb side of the forestay, wraps tightly round the front and back to the clew/head. .

 

what a mess.

 

round down and main went over, boat still sailing!

I bought my SC27 from some guys who were trying to race it double handed and in the 3 bridge fiasco I think they had an epic spinnaker event and bent a spreader bar and on the racing main there were big greasy stains on the head of the sail and the spin pole was bent. They bought a multi hull :)

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

A couple of pictures trail from Benicia, seen from the 1st Street Pier.

 

2021 Delta Ditch Run - Gallery.LINK

The gallery keeps pictures time-ordered.

 

 

eXtreme 40 Shadow X

Flickr.Link - ShadowX

 

IMG_2547_eXt40_ShadowX_4mpixel.jpg

 

 

Marstrom Seacart 30 Bottle Rocket

Flickr.Link - Bottle Rocket.stbd

Flickr.Link - Bottle Rocket.port.2

 

IMG_2610_Seacart30_BottleRocket_4mpixel.jpg

 

Open 8.5m Mama Tried

IMG_2643_Open8.5m_MamaTried_4mpixel.jpg

 

Marstrom Seacart 30 Hammer

Hammer - Flickr.Link

IMG_2697_Seacart30_Hammer_4mpixel.jpg

 

 

Melges 24 #855 Looper

Flickr.LINK - Melges 24 Looper

 

IMG_2784_Melges24_855_Looper.jpg

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A few pics of the Delta Ditch Run finish area trail below, multihulls.

 

2021 Delta Ditch Run - Flickr Gallery.LINK


The Flickr gallery keeps pictures time-ordered.
 

 

1st multihull finisher
eXtreme.40 Shadow X, Flickr.LINK

 

IMG_2907_eXt40_ShadowX_4mpixel.thumb.jpg.fc64cb19d909e270133d8e83f1fa8b5d.jpg

 

 

Seacart 30, Bottle Rocket, Flickr-LINK

 

IMG_2944_Seacart30_BottleRocket_4mpixel.thumb.jpg.4d358fad76d785a665a7bcdb748f7dff.jpg

 

 

Seacart 30, Hammer, Flickr-LINK

 

IMG_2960_Seacart30_Hammer_4mpixel.thumb.jpg.8845b63ef3513a2357a7232267f7495d.jpg

 

Open 8.5m Mama Tried, Flickr-LINK

 

IMG_2969_Open8.5m_MamaTried_4mpixel.thumb.jpg.4808b5ae13b0deb4300cb1b8c6c3384b.jpg

 

 

 

C-31RS, Water Wings, Flickr-LINK

 

IMG_2981_C-31RS_WaterWings_4mpixel.thumb.jpg.47249b92318db1439c7b3306ab9cc27b.jpg

 

 

F-27, Raven, double-handed below, Flickr-LINK

 

 

 

IMG_3044_F-27_Raven_4mpixel.thumb.jpg.002a6f3c8e590e0ec3fe64c585043c41.jpg

 

 

F-22 Greyhound near the finish, doublehanded, Flickr-LINK

 

IMG_3078_F-22_Greyhound_4mpixel.thumb.jpg.e9a3baeaec9a65e636f6a9babf77cf3d.jpg

 

 

F-22 Greyhound, finish mark far shore, Flickr-LINK

IMG_3083_F-22_Greyhound_4mpixel.thumb.jpg.fba58e3717e9b192a3cc1546d3486240.jpg

 

2021 Delta Ditch Run - Flickr Gallery.LINK
 

 

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On 6/15/2021 at 3:15 PM, atnan said:

This was my first time driving our SC27 in those conditions, so I'm pretty sure it can be chalked up to lack of experience! I've been doing a bunch of reading since then and I think I/we made a few mistakes:

  • Not keeping the boat under the kite - easier said than done but I think I was starting to get the hang of it
  • Sailing slightly by the lee with opposing wind waves when we could have gybed to match the direction of wind waves or sailed a hotter angle
  • Main sheet wasn't trimmed in enough, which may have been causing the mast head to move to/from windward in the shifty gusts
  • We weren't easing the pole forward / twinging on / moving kite center of effort to leeward when I was getting overwhelmed on the helm
  • I'm not sure what height to set the pole for different wind speeds, but we probably should have lowered the pole

But we (crew AND boat) survived, so it all worked out :-)

The way I learned to steer to a kite ddw in breeze was to go out in medium breeze and sail without then pole and both guys twinged on. No worries about rounding up but you really get the feel for how to keep the bow under the kite. With the pole is then much easier.

2nd on pole height. The top of the spin is pointing up and not contributing to power, and the clues are spread apart flattening the chute overall. Also helps to get a flat cut chute

 

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On 6/9/2021 at 10:07 AM, Black Jack said:

Who is in?

This will be the 30th running of the Delta Ditch Run - It promises to be a great 65 nm downwind ride from the Richmond Yacht Club, up the bays and rivers, to the Stockton Sailing Club.

On 6/9/2021 at 3:39 PM, Raz'r said:

It's a 70 mile sprint up an ever narrowing river from Richmond, CA (north end of SF Bay) to Stockton. Navigation challenges with shallow bars that the smaller boats try to skirt, sometimes not successfully.  "

On 6/9/2021 at 4:22 PM, IMR said:

Does anyone know what the record time is? 
 

On 6/10/2021 at 12:25 PM, jhc said:

3hr 59min

OK, 70ml/4hr is 17.5 mph against a river current. 

 

 

 

 

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17.5 Knots as the crow flys  But that was  gybing their way the entire course.

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