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Let the Beer Can Racing Season Begin

With Daylight Saving Time now in effect, it’s time to roll out the beer cans! (By which we mean beer can racing, of course. Actual cans of beer are optional.) Beer cans are after-work evening races that tend to be more casual than weekend regattas. They provide good opportunities to try out racing for the first time, train new crew, get non-sailing friends and family out on the water, and test out new gear configurations, all while sloughing off the cares of the workaday world.

Some Beer Can Series Starting This Month

Those fun-loving Santa Cruzers waste no time jumping aboard the beer can wagon. Their super-casual evening races actually start tomorrow with the Tuesday Night Developmental Race Series. (Apparently Wet Wednesdays weren’t enough; in Santa Cruz you can race on Tuesday and Wednesday nights throughout the many months of DST.)

Santa Cruz Wednesday Night Beer Can Race
A typical Wednesday night in Santa Cruz.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The Tuesday Night series is more formal than the Wednesday night races, which aren’t actually run by SCYC. For Tuesday’s races, you’ll need to sign up, pay a registration fee, and take note of the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions. Unlike the Wednesday nighters, the Tuesday races are actually scored. Both culminate in BBQ suppers back at the SCYC clubhouse. In our opinion, post-race gatherings are an important part of the whole beer can experience.

Others that start in March include: Monterey Peninsula YC’s Sunset Series, every Wednesday starting on March 13, and Berkeley YC’s weekly Friday Night Races and BBQs, starting on March 15.

Many More Will Start in April

Encinal YC in Alameda sent us this message last week: “Encinal Yacht Club is excited to invite you to participate in the 2024 Twilight Series. The first day of spring is just two short weeks away, and EYC is turning over a new leaf this year! Join us for Friday evenings on the Estuary — we look forward to fun, competitive racing on the water, and an inviting post-race scene back at the clubhouse.” Registration is open on Jibeset. The Twilight Series will begin on April 5.

Corinthian YC’s weekly Friday Night Races will also start on April 5. “Join us for dinner and a drink on the CYC sunset deck at the no-host bar and collect your daily trophies, presented following each race,” invites the club. “The best way to unwind the stresses of the week and enjoy the evening sail.”

Blue Ribbon in Corinthian Beer Can Race
The J/105 Blue Ribbon sails into Raccoon Strait on the way to a finish in a Corinthian Friday Night beer can race.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Many more beer can series kick off in April, and a few more will start in May. Check out our list on pages 22-26 of the 2024 Northern California Sailing Calendar and YRA Schedule. In the same publication, you’ll find some basic racing rules (on page 14).

To really dig the vibe of these evening events, read (or reread) Rob Moore’s Ten Commandments of Beercan Racing.

1 Comment

  1. Chris 3 months ago

    You left the Wednesday night Scyc sailors that never leave the dock and hang out Dennis Bassano’s bar b Que snacks.

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