Double Trouble aerial

Double Trouble takes the lead, but three teams within striking range with one race left (photo by Daniel Forster/Rolex)

San Francisco, CA – With only one race remaining to determine the winner of the 2013 HPR National Championship title and a new Rolex timepiece, four teams remain within 7 points of the new class leader, Peter Krueger’s J/125 Double Trouble. If tomorrow is anything like today, this margin is not safe in this fleet, where even the top teams can run into trouble to drop them back into the pack.

This happened with the early series leader, Daniel Thielman’s R/P 44 Tai Kuai, who led the pack into the bottom gate in the first race of the day, but rounded in the wrong direction and had to go back and re-round properly. The mistake forced them back to last place in corrected time, the worst result yet for this team. Don Payan’s MC 38 Whiplash made a similar mistake, but did not go back, so their first place in corrected time got replaced with a RAF (Retired after Finish) and 9 points on the scoreboard.

Tai Kuai mark rounding

(photo by Daniel Forster/Rolex)

Even Krueger’s team had their share of errors, when at a windward mark rounding they got caught in traffic, forcing them to hit the mark and having to do a penalty turn. This cost them enough time to lose a few places in an otherwise tight race.

But the misfortunes of some created opportunities for others, including Bernie Girod’s Farr 400 Rock & Roll, who earned their first victory in the first race, and Richard Courcier’s Farr 36 OD Wicked who had their best result yet with a second place.

Wicked close-in kite

(photo by Daniel Forster/Rolex)

The most consistent team in the last two days has been Tim Fuller’s J/125 Resolute, who has earned a credible third place in every one of the last four races, and is now tied with Rock & Roll in third place in the standings, seven points from the lead. And in tomorrow’s one long race scheduled to start at 1100 local time, anything can happen, as the course will feature nearly every angle of sail as the class romps around in the so-called “Bay tour.”