Please select your home edition
Edition
GJW 2018 728x90

20th Annual Ronstan Bridge to Bridge at St. Francis Yacht Club

by Amanda Witherell 10 Aug 2018 16:17 BST 9 August 2018
20th Annual Ronstan Bridge to Bridge at St. Francis Yacht Club © St. Francis Yacht Club / Amanda Witherell

Just as the tide turned from ebb to flood, 26 hydrofoil kites, 23 5o5s and eight windsurfers queued up for the 20th running of the Ronstan Bridge to Bridge, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club on August 9, 2018.

A downwind distance race from Golden Gate Bridge to the west span of the Bay Bridge, with a steady 20 knots of breeze at the start and a flood tide, spectators were hoping to see kiter Johnny Heineken crack the 11-minute mark or better for a new course record. Unfortunately, he didn't quite hit those milestones, but he did nab his sixth first-place finish and stands out for the most wins in the race's 20-year history.

"It was definitely my fastest time ever down to the bridge," said Heineken, who finished the course in 11:04, followed by Gabriel Wicke, then Joey Pasquali. Sailing a size 13 "was too much kite for the beginning of the race but that's how it has to be for this race," he added.

The bigger kite powered him through the light air at the bottom of the course that stymied most of the other competitors. Only seven kiters, five windsurfers and 12 of the 5o5s finished – a normal outcome for this tricky course that runs from the nuclear narrows of the bay's entrance around the corner into the wind shadow of San Francisco's eastern coast.

Among the windsurfers, Chris Radkowski won the day in 22:02, edging out Xavier Ferlet by ten seconds. Jean Rathle crossed the line third. Michael Menninger and Reeve Dunn were first over for the 5o5 fleet, with a time of 25:08.

"We started out away from everybody and keyed into a nice puff," recounted Dunn. "Michael did a great job keeping on the pressure and I just held on."

Menninger and Dunn also had a good first day in the first three races of the 5o5 North American Championship, which started earlier in the afternoon. Standing at second overall, they were awarded the Ronstan Top Performer of the Day. Mike Martin and Adam Lowry nabbed two bullets for first overall and Craig Thompson and Matthew Woodworth are holding strong at third.

Buoy racing continues tomorrow through Sunday and with seven World Champions on the course, the 5o5 North American Championship remains anyone's game.

Related Articles

Callahan Brothers dominate C420 North Americans
Justin and Mitchell win at St Francis YC At the C420 North American Championship in San Francisco Bay, Justin and Mitchell Callahan won the continental title in dominant fashion, adding to the twin brothers' growing list of domestic and international racing laurels. Posted on 15 Jul
Classics class announced for Rolex Big Boat Series
The July 31 deadline to enter is fast approaching The July 31 deadline to enter Rolex Big Boat Series is fast approaching, and a whole new class of boat is now invited to attend. The crown jewel of St. Francis Yacht Club's racing calendar since its inaugural 1964 event. Posted on 24 May
2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final overall
French sweep Women's and Open Divisions in San Francisco Pauline Courtois (FRA) and Maxime Mesnil (FRA) took top honors respectively in the Women's and Open Divisions at World Sailing's Nations Cup Grand Final, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA. Posted on 15 Apr
2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final day 4
World Sailing Nations Cup Semifinals Pauline Courtois (FRA) and Pearson Potts (USA) lead the Women's and Open division after two flights sailed in the semifinals at World Sailing's Nations Cup, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA. Posted on 14 Apr
2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final day 3
Pauline Courtois leads Women, anyone's game in Open Pauline Courtois (FRA) ran a picket fence during Day 3 of racing at World Sailing's Nations Cup at St. Francis Yacht Club. Nicole Breault (USA), went into the day's racing undefeated, but suffered a loss to Anna Östling (SWE) in the first match Posted on 13 Apr
Tight battles at J/Fest San Francisco
J/Fest San Francisco provided yet again excellent race management In the twenty-five boat J/105 division, the top of the leaderboard saw nip-and-tuck battles that raged race-by-race. The key was consistency and, other than the regatta winner, all teams posted at least one or more double-digit finishes Posted on 12 Apr
2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final day 2
Mesnil leads Open, Breault remains undefeated in Women's Division Maxime Mesnil (FRA) dominated the Open Division during the second day of racing at the 2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final. In the Women's Division Nicole Breault (USA) and Pauline Courtois (FRA) continued to rack up wins through the afternoon Posted on 12 Apr
2019 World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final day 1
All bullets for Breault, Courtois and Mesnil It was picket fences for both French teams – top-ranked Women's skipper Pauline Courtois and Open Division skipper Maxime Mesnil, as well as defending Nations Cup Women's Champion Nicole Breault (USA) after the first day of racing Posted on 11 Apr
Pacific Cup 2020 preview
The fun race to Hawaii Entries for the 2020 Pacific Cup, the FUN race to Hawaii, are now open. The race is open to seaworthy boats in fully-crewed, doublehanded, and cruiser divisions. The race will start over several days beginning June 29, 2020. Posted on 9 Apr
J/Fest San Francisco Preview
The fleet is hoping for more traditional Bay area weather patterns The annual J/Fest San Francisco is hosting one-design fleets of J/70s, J/105s, and J/111s, hosted by St Francis Yacht Club and hosted on San Francisco Bay. Posted on 5 Apr