Two Farr 40s knock each other for six at the North Sails race week yesterday afternoon

Alexandra Geremia’s Crocodile Rock, sharing first place at the first windward mark with John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti, crashed into Mike Condon’s Endurance to knock the latter boat out of the regatta with two races remaining today. Crocodile Rock was on port tack, Endurance was on “I cried,” Geremia said, tears welling in her eyes. “I still cry every time I talk about it. The Endurance guys were so gracious. Thankfully no one was hurt.”

Endurance suffered a large hole in its port side near the chainplates that anchor the mast rigging. Crocodile Rock was not damaged but dropped out, anyway.

Robbie Haines, calling tactics for helmsman Scott Harris, said, “We could have easily kept sailing, but we were wrong. We just didn’t judge it right.”

The incident left the Santa Barbara boat in a three-way tie for fourth with 18 points. Meanwhile, Samba Pa Ti’s performance has returned to its former level of excellence with the return of John Kostecki as tactician this week. Does he make a difference?

“Is the Pope Catholic?” asked Mike Howard, a member of the rival Groovederci crew.

Kostecki, on hiatus from preparing his German illbruck team for the Volvo Ocean Race starting in September, has shepherded Kilroy and his crew around the course to two wins and a second in the three races for an eight-point lead over Peter Stoneberg’s second-place Shadow.

Four other boats among the 160 competing in 15 classes have even better records of 1-1-1 — Chris Winnard’s Altitude Sickness from San Diego’s Southwestern YC, H.L. (Loe) Enloe and Kurt German’s F-31 trimaran Merlot from Long Beach’s Shoreline YC, Allan and Ron Rosenberg’s Olson 30 Intense, Alamitos Bay YC, and Tom Carruthers’ J/105 Incorrigible, San Diego YC.

Dave Ullman, with Pease Glaser alongside calling tactics, sailed typically solid and conservative (1-3-2) to stay atop the Melges 24 standings by three points over Argyle Campbell of Newport Beach.

How does anyone – even an Olympic silver medalist – call tactics for Dave Ullman?

“She does it – and I have the option to override her,” Ullman said, smiling. “But that doesn’t happen much. We just worked our way up the middle, playing the shifts.”

Class rivals this week include Philippe Kahn, the Santa Cruz software developer who is in 10th place but whose Farr 40, winner of the recent Cal Cup, would have represented the U.S. if the Admiral’s Cup hadn’t been cancelled. Next Sunday Kahn will start his new Reichel/Pugh 75 Pegasus as one of the favorites in the Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii.

“He could keep punishing the Farr 40s if he wanted to,” Ullman said, “but he wants to learn to sail better. Not many people would step back and do it the way he is.”

In a late development on Friday, the first race of the PHRF-1 big-boat division was nullified by the race jury. Several participants requested redress because the race committee started the starting sequence a few minutes earlier than the 4 p.m. stated in the Notice of Race.

Although Dennis Conner’s 50-foot Stars & Stripes finished first in that race, Oscar Krinsky’s 1D48 Chayah corrected out for the win on handicap time. Neither of those boats protested. The biggest beneficiary was Mike Campbell’s new Andrews 52 Victoria, which dropped out after losing its headstay near the first windward mark.

Victoria’s designer, Alan Andrews, who was aboard, said, “The splice on the forestay came undone. We were just getting ready to round the mark. Mike did a good job turning downwind.”

Andrews said the boat wasn’t in serious danger of losing its mast because “the jib luff was supporting the rig.”

Victoria went 1-2 Saturday and leads Conner (1-4) by two points.