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Bay Area Midwinter Racing

Midwinter racing spans the entire Bay Area and provides both experienced racers and newcomers to the competitive side of sailing ideal opportunities to get out on the water. Apart from stormy days, winter wind and sea conditions are usually more forgiving than during the middle of summer, which means almost everything on the boat happens in slow motion.

Snowjob leads the J/24 fleet to the finish during the RegattaPRO Winter One Design Series last December. As you can see, winds were light, making deck action seem like slow-mo compared to what it’s like in mid-summer.

© 2013 Tim Sell

So, if you need to practice starts on that Moore 24 you just became a partner in, you need more practice time on the bow, you want to hone your spinnaker trimming skills, or you’d like to get a low-stress intro to volunteering for race committee work, here are a number of opportunities.

  • Berkeley YC’s midwinters take place out on the Olympic Circle during the second weekend of each month through February. There’s a Saturday and a Sunday series with a Champion of Champions finale at the end. Learn more about the racing here
  • Corinthian YC runs two, weekend-long regattas during the midwinter season. There are always a ton of racers, and the after-parties are certain to lift you out of any cold-weather doldrums you might be experiencing. Mark these dates on your calendars: January 18-19 and February 15-16, then sign up
  • In the East Bay you’ll find a lot of winter activity at Encinal YC. Their Jack Frost Midwinter Series includes two to three races per day on the third Saturday of each month through March. 
  • We love the name of Golden Gate YC’s Manuel Fagundes Seaweed Soup Regatta. This is great Cityfront sailing and there are several divisions to participate in. Racing takes place on the first Saturday of the month and continues through March.  
  • Have a J/120, J/105, J/24 or Moore 24? Jeff Zarwell’s RegattaPRO runs races on the northwest edge of the Circle, the second Saturday of the month through February. 
  • Richmond YC’s Midwinters take place the first Sunday of the month through March. And if you’re a junior El Toro racer, get out the day before for the junior midwinters. Click the link above for information on both.
  • Similarly, Sausalito Yacht Club is also running their races the first Sunday of each month through March. 
  • You’ll find Tiburon YC’s Midwinters schedule here
  • South Beach YC’s aptly named Island Fever Series will be held on the South and Central Bay waters through March. 
  • There’s more for dinghy sailors. St. Francis YC is hosting their second Spring Dinghy One Design regatta this March.
  • And, not to be forgotten, there’s also the Tiny Robbins Midwinters Series at Vallejo YC. Dust off your foulies, the next race is Saturday!

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