Bergman first raced Zuni Bear in San Francisco where he lived and worked in the aerospace industry. He bought the boat on account of it being a good stable design that he could race with his friends. Before he knew it, Bergman was swept up in the class’s heydays of regatta travel. He would eventually and regularly haul it cross country to Toronto, Annapolis, Chicago, and to Key West Race Week and back seven time. Those are some serious road miles, the likes of which are rare today. Times change, though, and reality today is big boats are staying home. Which is good for rich, organic growth.
The class has endured because of the owner/driver rule, says Bergman, who now also races a J/70, and its simplicity.
“This boat is just the boat. You are not going to go down and do stuff to the keel because everyone sees it.” But for those looking to buy 105, Bergman says there are essentially two groups: the lower hull numbers are lighter in the stern, the tiller boats are lighter than the wheels boats. “But we all know our boats strengths by now, we know the boat’s real capability. It’s a tighter class of comparability in the boats than any other one-design I’ve raced.”
Bergman is a wheelman, and like the other top guys in the class, takes great care of the Bear: “showroom quality at 20 years old.” Although he’s not selling at the moment, he says there are good used boats out there to be found. Some pristine, some having had some sprucing up and, says Bergman, chuckling, “the boats that were totally tricked out and would be challenged to be class measured.”