It was hostility on the bay as two tall ships, the California and Lynx, traded cannon shots on Saturday. The strategy is to get the wind in your favor and perfect positioning to go in for the kill.
Half a pound of black powder comes out during each blasting, along with a loud boom. Spectators lined the Embarcadero to watch the battle on the bay.
“You can go sailing and race against another boat in a competition and that’s fun or you can shoot guns at them,” said participant Peter Durdaller, with a smile, when asked if this is popular with the maritime crowd.
The California, a replica of the Coast Guard Revenue Cutter and Privateer, Lynx battle three times a year in January, November, and one weekend during the summer. The public is invited onboard both ships for a fee.
"It's a boxing match," Durdaller said.