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Archive for the ‘Regattas’ Category

2011 Corinthian Midwinters

The first weekend of the 2011 Corinthian Midwinter series was held on January 15-16, and was sponsored in part by my friends at Sailors for the Sea. Corinthian Yacht Club became the first SF Bay area club to implement the requirements for SfS certification of the race as a “clean regatta.”

Corinthian Yacht Club, Tiburon, CA.

Chris Mancini and Dan Pingaro of non-profit Sailors for the Sea.

Saturday brought light air, flat water, and big currents — not so good for on-the-water action photography. Sunday was a bit more lively.  I was out on the water with videographer Vince Casselina, on a power boat donated and operated by club member —.

While I was prepared for the salt spray (microfiber dish towels and protective camera covers) I was not prepared for the failure of one of my favorite lenses, the Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR. Unfortunately, after shooting some test shots at the beginning of the day, I didn’t replay the photos until I returned home and began the download / editing process. Much to my horror, over half of the shots were completely over-exposed!  What happened? I tested the lens on several different bodies and had the same result – it seems that the lens aperture was stuck in the wide open position.  I cleaned the contacts and reseated the lens on my Nikon D7000 and everything seemed fine. On Sunday I started shooting with the same lens, and after about 10 shots I had the same problem. I also tried it on the Nikon D700 – same problem. I found that by re-seating the lens I could make it work again, but that was VERY frustrating – I was re-seating it every 10 frames or so.  I’m still not entirely certain what happened, but needless to say, the camera has been sent to Nikon for service!

Shot at 1/1000 s at f/8.0, ISO 250 - this should have been a near perfect exposure!

Much to my relief, I was able to recover many of my images with Adobe Photoshop, although the post processing took much more time than normal.  I’m still not pleased with the resulting unintentional high-key look of many of the images.

After post processing with Adobe Bridge and Photoshop CS5 - not great but good enough for the online photo gallery.

Sunday - more wind, action, and mostly properly exposed images!

Galleries of the weekend’s racing are on the Rockskipper Photography website.

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What a day it was out on the water yesterday! Sunny, warm, and winds of ~ 10-20 kts, made for perfect sailing conditions for the Rolex Big Boat Series competitors.  A  beautiful fog bank blanketed the Golden Gate Bridge for much of the day, providing a great backdrop for the boats as they made their way upwind.  With relatively light air and flat water, there wasn’t much in the way of the crashing and burning that we photographers find so compelling, but none-the-less, I think I shot a few compelling images.  Many thanks to John Siegel for the ride on his Protector!

The day’s galleries are online now at Rockskipper Photography.

Pre-race at the St. Francis yacht Club dock.

Pre-race at the St. Francis yacht Club dock.

Ragtime and the TP 52s.

Ragtime and the TP 52s.

Dan Woolery's Soozal at the windward mark.

Dan Woolery's Soozal at the windward mark.

John Siegel's Scorpio ducks James Bishop's Gold Phoenix.

John Siegel's Scorpio ducks James Bishop's Gold Phoenix.

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I’m always looking for different vantage points when shooting sailboats, and my perch on the pier just north of Crockett proved to provide some terrific angles of the boats as they raced to Benicia through the Carquinez Straits.  More photos at Rockskipper Photography.

9-5-2009_7LR7973_s

9-5-2009_7LR8088_s

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Tuesday marked the first day of racing at the inaugural Kiteboard Course Racing World Championship hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, California.  It was a very colorful scene at the beach at Crissy Field where nearly 70 racers prepared themselves and their kites for the preliminary races on Tuesday, August 4th.

Kiteboarders prepare their kites for competition on the beach at Crissy Field.

Kiteboarders prepare their kites for competition on the beach at Crissy Field.

Typically kiteboarding is a more solitary sport, but this event is more like a sailing regatta with multiple boarders lining up on a starting line and then sailing a windward / leeward course around inflatable marks.  What makes this special as a photographer is the chance to get images of multiple kiteboards / kites in the same frame.   However, photographing kiteboarders poses some  unique challenges — for example,  how do you fit both the kiteboarder and the kite into the frame, and how do you track the focus of a single boarder when they can be flying along at 20 knots?

Racers start at the StFYC committee boat.

Racers start at the StFYC committee boat.

The racers fly past Alcatrez on their way to the first upwind mark.

The racers fly past Alcatrez on their way to the first upwind mark.

Kiteboarders are dwarfed by an incoming tanker.

Kiteboarders are dwarfed by an incoming tanker.

More photos at Rockskipper.com.

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The 2009 Swan 42 U.S. National Championship, hosted by the New York Yacht Club,  came down to the wire on the fourth and final day of racing, with Andy Fisher’s Bandit, seemingly unstoppable,  in first place by eleven points (including four bullets).  But in the end, determination and consistency paid off as Phil & Wendy Lotz’s Arethusa sailed to victory – with no bullets, but the only boat with all single-digit finishes.   Photo galleries are on the Rockskipper Photography website.  Results are on the NYYC website.

The start of race 8 of the Swan 42 NAs
The start of race 8 of the Swan 42 NAs
Arethusa and Bandit on the first beat of the 8th race.

Arethusa and Bandit on the first beat of the 8th race.

Swan 42s approach the first windward mark.

Swan 42s approach the first windward mark.

Close racing for the Swan 42s.

Close racing for the Swan 42s.

Celeritas and Mustang hoist at the windward offset mark.

Celeritas and Mustang hoist at the windward offset mark.

Day 4- Arethusa at the windward mark.

Day 4- Arethusa at the windward mark.

I was fortunate to be following the race in the Lotz’s support boat, Alpheus.  But after eight windward/leeward races, with four legs each, the Swan 42s, with their predominantly white hulls and white sails all started to look alike.  Happily, on Saturday and Sunday the big boats of the Newport Bucket regatta (parade?) sailed by and through the fleet adding some much wished for color.

Hanuman sails past the Swan 42s

Hanuman sails past the Swan 42s

Wild Horses and the Swan 42s.

Wild Horses and the Swan 42s.

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