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.
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.
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.
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.
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.