After a Friday night Mount Gay Lawn Party, Saturday morning seemed to be a fortuitous time to raise the AP flag, signaling a delay to the start of racing on day three of Rolex Big Boat Series at St. Francis Yacht Club, also the 2021 J/88 North American Championship. After two days of 15-20 knots that had sailors raving about the perfect and predictable wind of San Francisco Bay, day three dawned with an uncharacteristic light southerly. Fortunately, the wind filled by 1300 for a start. The North American Championship is what drew Iris Vogel and her boat Deviation to the Bay from New Rochelle, New York. Though she crewed in one Big Boat Series 30 years ago, she and her crew, all from out of town, have been quick studies of the nuances of San Francisco Bay. “I trust my team. They worked very hard studying the local conditions. We do a lot of travel regattas, and the four of us race together all the time. My tactician, Dave Coughlin, made great calls, and everyone is key on this team.” She’s watching the other eight J/88s closely, making small changes every day and adjusting to the conditions. “On the first day, everyone kept their big chute up for the second race, but we didn’t. So, we did that yesterday, and it made a difference.” Deviation finished Saturday in second place, four points behind Sausalito-based Gary Panariello’s Courageous, which won the class at the 2018 Rolex Big Boat Series. In third place for the J/88s is Sergey Lubarsky’s Pelagia, another local boat who is a newcomer to the event, though co-skipper Christos Karamanolis has raced previously in the J/105 fleet. “This boat is much more agile. It’s challenging in windy conditions. For us, it’s a great learning experience,” said Karamanolis. For complete event details, visit

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