The Great Vallejo Race has become a time-honored tradition every year for northern San Francisco Bay sailors. The event is hosted by the Vallejo Yacht Club, with over 100 boats sailing in 24 divisions. The race most often starts near the Berkeley Circle on Saturday morning, rounds a single weather mark near Alcatraz, and then heads to Vallejo, usually under spinnaker for the remainder of the race. The challenge is to maintain speed through the shadow of Angel Island, find the best combination of wind and current past the Richmond-San Rafael bridge and East Brother Light Station, and then avoid the mud shoals on the east side of the San Pablo Bay. As the boats enter Carquinez Strait, they bunch together, making the turn into Mare Island Strait. Because of the topography of Mare Island, as well as the fact that it sits at the mouth of the Napa River, local knowledge (or many years of sailing the race) can make the difference as the yachts maneuver toward the finish line on the Vallejo city waterfront. Winds vary from light to heavy, and becoming exceedingly shifty. The five-boat J/24 fleet had tight racing around the Bay course. This time it was Jasper Van Vliet’s turn to win on EVIL OCTOPUS by scoring a 1-2 to win with 3 points. Darren Cumming’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR had a 4-1 record for 5 points to snag the silver. However, behind him it was a tiebreaker for third place at 6 points each, the countback going to Randy Rasicot’s FLIGHT over Val Lulevich’s notorious SHUT UP & DRIVE. For more Great Vallejo Race information, visit https://www.vallejoyc.org/.