I looked up historic wind for 5 years running from Oakland data. It looks like the mornings start off dead calm, start at about 9:00AM WNW and build to 10 kts fast, clocking to the NW peak at about 2:30 PM at 15 kts and begin to shut off at 4:00 PM. Typical evening off shore wind. This looks a lot like clock work from the historical data. Enough wind to be fun, less windy than the city front or Coyote Point (just south of the SF airport). Can any locals up there verify this.
I live in Oakland which borders Alameda, and your assessment from historical data is mostly correct - 4:00 is about the time the wind from the west peaks, but it doesn't change direction to off shore. In my amateur experience, the winds are powered by the cool ocean air rushing in through the Golden Gate and over the lower portions of the SF penninsula to displace the hot inland air as it rises (summer time temperature difference between SF and Orinda, CA (15 miles apart as the crow flies) can be as much as 35 F on the same day). As the sun sets the temperature balance is restored between the ocean and the SF Bay basin and the winds slow, but they don't really shift.
These winds which make for glorious sailing conditions also make for very cool nights and evenings, so for those who are unfamiliar with summer weather here, bring warm clothes as the temperature can drop to the high 50's bayside at night.
The other question I had is current. Both prior races really were influenced by strong current. What is it like on the Alameda side of the bay? I am guessing far less influence because its so far from the typical flow. Can any locals up there clew us in?
The current is not strong at Alameda's Crown Memorial Beach because the bay is fairly wide there, unlike the Golden Gate which is narrow like a bottleneck through which ALL the water must pass.
Another benefit of racing Alameda instead of SF is far less boat traffic - no huge tankers, container ships, ferries, or day sailors to contend with. However, the beach is a popular windsurfing and kitesurfing spot.
One last thing, if anyone has the time I can recommend sailing the lee side of manmade Treasure Island. The island is just north of the Bay Bridge directly in the path of the ferocious Golden Gate winds, but the island acts as a breakwater, so you get all the wind without the waves - the water is nearly glass. The conditions can be very deceiving, though, since you can't see gusts coming by looking at the water.