Ah, the SJSU wind model. That model is normalized to a 200 foot altitude. My boat is only 50' tall so my anemometer never records the modeled wind speeds. Yes, there is a wind shadow directly behind Alcatraz but it is well gone before you get to "Red 2". Interestingly, the wind begins to separate from the water at the windward side of the island and it is actually windier mid channel than right at the island. MrsB, not noted for her heavy air sailing, will start making comments around Blossom Rock if weíre experiencing a building breeze and thatís my cue to go up the City Front and not up the slot proper.
Richard Spindler will tell you that the slot is demarked by a line going from the South Tower and past the north east side of Alcatraz. The other side is the line from the North Tower and past Pt. Blunt. All outside of the race course area. The counter clockwise notion is for sailors to work their way up past Sausalito and cross the slot at Yellow Bluff and then make for Chrissy Field. This is the shortest distance to cross at the slot and wind abates at Chrissy because itís protected by Fort Point. The run down the City Front is all in that same lighter air.
I've must have raced GGYCís City Front Course at least fifty times as well as seeing 45s do their Grand Prix thing and Iím having a hard time remembering a time when the breeze was much over 20kts. Maybe itís just me. If thatís the case, the organizing committee ought to put me on one of the boats to ensure that breeze never gets too strong.
Yes, I've enjoyed a certain amount of sucess racing GGYC's City Front courses