Mercury Class Yacht Racing Association

The 20 race NorCal Series, held over 4 months, ended with a perfect day of steady winds and lots of sunshine in the Alameda Estuary. A total of 12 boats participated during the early spring series.

When there was a threat of rain on a couple of Saturdays some racers stayed home, while others made all 20 races. Aaron Lee – EYC Race Committee, did an excellent job of setting challenging courses that resulted in many lead changes. Over the series, five different boats won one or more races.

For the June 3rd final 5 races, the fleet was down to 7 boats but the fleet was very competitive. Rejoining the fleet after recovering from a bad shoulder John Ravizza with crew Mike Ravizza won the day with three firsts and two seconds. John who has been around one-design racing on the Bay for a number of years showed that his skills at the tiller were not diminished by his lay off. His son Mike did a great job of calling the tactics. Second for the day was Randy Smith followed by Jim and Kathy Bradley. Chris Davis (Vice-Commodore at EYC) with crew Steve Andres rounded out the top of the fleet.

For the overall 2023 Mercury NorCal series, Randy Smith in Mercury 543 is the Champion, winning by 11 points over Jim Bradley in second and Chris Davis in third. Fourth goes to Katie Worden sailing 432, Tsunami, in her first regatta as skipper.2023 Mercury Norcal Series Results

March 4, 2023
Norcal #1 Not to be deterred by the weather report predicting rain, 4 hardy skippers and crews kicked off the 2023 NORCAL regatta sailed out of Encinal Yacht Club.  Following a short 30 minute delay the race committee set a windward leeward course for a steady Southwesterly breeze.

With the exception of one 5 minute down pour the day was perfect for sailing.  By the end of the 3rd race the sun was out and it was time for sunscreen. The wind direction held pretty stead for the 5 double sausage races so playing the puffs was the secret to winning the races.  Randy Smith with crew Dennis Mulligan, fresh off a win at the LA Midwinters, made it clear that time out on the race course is what leads to success.  Randy won most of the starts and had good boat speed both upwind and down to take the day and the lead for NORCAL championship.     


May 6, 2023
Norcal #3
had a little bit of everything.  It started with a very unusual wind direction of ~180 for race #1 won by Jim and Kathy Bradley. 
After that, the wind shifted a bit to the west but as the RC prepared to move, the engine wouldn't start.  EYC Vice Commodore and #529 skipper Chris Davis got it going again.  Turns out the starter needed a quick smack.  With the motor running, we shifted the course and the racing continued with Randy Smith and Jeannette Kushner winning race #2, and the Bradleys winning race #3.
During race #4, Greg and Stacee Morrill on #430 broke their mast at the spreaders at the start of the 2nd lap.  The RC went to the rescue and were able to get them back to the dock at EYC and get back on station in time to finish the remainder of the fleet, won by #543.  After all that, race #5 went off without a hitch and with perhaps a bit of good karma, was won handily by Chris Davis and Karissa Peth.
The fleet was back to the dock at ~1530 and after putting boats away, retired to the bar for beverages and socializing.  Congratulations to Randy Smith and Jeannette Kushner on #543 for winning the day.  Complete results below.
Special thanks to Richard Reitmeyer for helping on the RC boat.  Without his help, the course shifting and rescue activities would have been extremely challenging.