With Olympic fever in the air, Muscle Milk/Molecule MEGA Athlete, Memo Gidley, and his Basic Instinct crew took the gold and top honors in the Wednesday night RYC series race this past Wednesday night in the San Francisco Bay. Racing in the competitive over 29ft non-spinnaker class, Gidley and his crew of seven had really only one small hiccup as they steered towards the start line to take the gun.
“We were right on target to have another great start when all of a sudden it was as though we were dragging an anchor behind,” said Gidley. “Of course from sailing in the shallows of the bay, I know exactly the feeling of your keel dragging in the mud and compensated as quickly as possible. Not a big deal…but sort of like dropping two wheels off a racetrack…it kills your momentum.”
However “Basic Instinct” still crossed the start line third and then just immediately began to sneak away from the field. By the time the fleet had cleared the breakwater, Basic instinct was a few boat lengths in front. “It didn’t take long for our speed to pick back up again, and then it was really a nice team effort that saw us move into the lead,” said Gidley. “Unlike auto racing where you have really only one fast line around a track, in sailboats you have really no boundary. You look for best wind, and in the SF bay especially where we have big tides…you look to see what the currents are doing. But because of all the islands and how the fast moving bay water goes around them, it is not straight forward at all.”
Then it was up to the crew to trim for those precious tenths of a knot on the upwind leg. “My crew did a great job trimming. It is really nice to see the progress we have all made on this boat the last few months,” said Gidley. “My youngest crew member was my daughter who just turned 8 years old, and my oldest was my Mom who is 74 years old. Everybody contributed to our great run.”
Basic Instinct rounded South Hampton Shoals in second, and then it was the final downwind run to the finish. Again taking a different path than the leader, “Basic Instinct” once again slipped by and into the lead by the finish line. “We tried some new things tonight that really paid off,” said Gidley. “It wasn’t that we had any better wind than our competition, we just really kept the boat moving flying at a nice pace the whole time, and trimmed for the conditions as they changed. “Basic Instinct” is such a fantastic boat; she deserves to be in the winner’s circle. And it was very satisfying to get our first win on her!”