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A Beautiful Day to Get Ready for the Master Mariners Regatta

Last Thursday, John ‘Woody’ Skoriak joined sailors on the schooner Freda B for a sail alongside Call of the Sea’s Matthew Turner as both did a tune-up sail in preparation for Saturday’s upcoming Master Mariners Regatta. The race is now a Memorial Day Weekend tradition, though it was first raced on the Bay over the Fourth of July in 1867.

Matthew Turner under full sails
San Francisco Bay’s finally active tall ship, Matthew Turner, cuts across the Bay under full sail.
© 2021 John Skoriak

If you want to see both of them and a great selection of San Francisco Bay’s tall ships and classic boats, make sure you’re sailing this coming Saturday to watch the start of the 2021 Master Mariners Regatta off the St. Francis Yacht Club between 12 and 1 PM. It’s a reverse-handicap start with slower boats first. The biggest, fastest boats start last. with the mission of catching all the small boats by the finish line. The fleet will head north toward Belvedere, then up to a buoy off Yellow Bluff by the Marin Headlands before ending a Bay tour at the finish line east of Treasure Island.

Practicing for Master Mariners
Freda B and Matthew Turner will both be sailing in this year’s regatta.
© 2021 John Skoriak

Matthew Turner received her Certificate of Inspection last July, but sadly, like all charter vessels, remained dockside for most of the past year due to COVID. However, with the easing of restrictions, she’s become a frequent and welcome sight on San Francisco Bay. Though safety protocols still have her sailing below capacity, Matthew Turner and her Thursday sailing companion and Saturday competitor Freda B are both getting on the water regularly and available for guests.

If you can get a ride on one of the Bay’s classic boats, you’re sure to have a fun day.
© 2021 John Skoriak

The size of the boat makes no difference; everyone who has ever participated in the Master Mariners has enjoyed the friendly rivalry and the abundance of beautiful sailboats. Boats range in size from the Bay Area’s classic Bear fleet to the new ‘Queen of the Show,’ the 132-ft LOA Matthew Turner. If capturing spectacular photos of classic yachts inspires you, this is an ideal day to sail the Bay.

The MMBA was lucky enough to hold the skippers’ and sponsors’ luncheon at the St. Francis Yacht Club since it’s started reopening. Limited seating and outdoor dining were safe and welcoming. It was great to see the club and life moving toward normal!
© 2021 Shelly Willard
Herreshoff schooner Brigadoon
MC and Freda B owner Paul Dines with Terry Klaus and daughter Lindsay Klaus, who will sail their Herreshoff schooner Brigadoon, which will turn 100 in 2024!
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

While the traditional Master Mariners Regatta will go on this coming Saturday, the Wooden Boat Show, an annual fundraiser for the Master Mariners Foundation normally held at the Corinthian YC in June, has been postponed until the fall.


  1. Pat Broderick 5 months ago

    A gentle reminder: Although I no longer belong to the Sausalito Y.C., when I was Race Director there over 20 years ago, I reconnected the MMBA with the SYC Race Committee. Since then the SYC Race Committee has run the Master Mariners, spending a full day on the water from Start to Finish. Somehow the SYC gets overlooked in articles about the MMBA race. Thanks, Pat

    • John Arndt 5 months ago

      Pat – thanks for your note and kudos to you and the Sausalito Yacht Club. Sorry to miss including that and, we have to admit, they certainly gave SYC credit at the MMBA luncheon and we didn’t note it in the story. Keep up the great work and see you on the Bay.

  2. Adrian McCullough 5 months ago

    Actually, Matthew turner was one of the most active tall ships ships in the US last year. She sailed 144 times in 2021 and was incident-free wile observing Covid protocols. 2021 is already shaping up to a very busy one!

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