The fog was hanging low, but energy was running high at the start of the first day of racing at the 2021 Rolex Big Boat Series serving as the J/88 North American Championship. Fortunately by day’s end, the westerlies characteristic of San Francisco Bay were blowing strong and steady through the Golden Gate, powering competitors to the finish line and leaving sailors raving about “perfect conditions” on the water. The North Course included the J/88s. All classes finished their second races off the Race Deck, directly in front of the St. Francis Yacht Club, host to this four-day regatta. Gary Panariello’s Courageous looked well-trimmed and steady on their downwind runs, scoring two bullets Thursday, setting them up well for the weekend. When asked how he makes it look so easy, he said, “It’s a friends and family program, and we’re all happy racing together,” adding that, “The secret to Big Boat is to win all the Race Deck finishes!” For complete event details, visit

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