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Belvedere Classic Yacht Regatta Attracts ‘Eye Candy’ Fleet

John Skoriak enjoyed some rousing sailing aboard the Matthew Turner for the annual Belvedere Classic Yacht Regatta, held out of San Francisco Yacht Club on Saturday. He sent us this report.

Let’s face it, when it comes to yacht racing, we can never get enough of classic sailboat regattas. Watching a 75-year-old schooner or ketch glide across the Bay — varnish gleaming, paint sparkling, and sails billowing — is the nautical version of “eye candy.” And now, thanks to San Francisco Yacht Club’s Belvedere Classic, which joins the Master Mariners and Jessica Cup in an exciting lineup of annual classic boat races, we can look forward to seeing more of the best of these wonderful classic yachts back on the Bay.

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID and related issues, the return of the Great San Francisco Schooner Race and Belvedere Classic is a welcome addition to any classic yacht aficionado’s calendar. This year, race chairman John Swain and the SFYC worked hard to get 15 boats signed up and on the starting line. The regatta featured not only schooners, but also ketches, yawls, and even a “guest appearance” by Call of the Sea’s brigantine Matthew Turner.

Belvedere Classics at SFYC docks
The SFYC docks were a “who’s who” of the Bay Area’s classic yachts.
© 2022 John 'Woody' Skoriak

The regatta was a mirror of previous races under the banner of the Great San Francisco Schooner Race. Call of the Sea’s schooner Seaward, Brigadoon, and even the schooner Freda B would battle it out for line honors. Not all boats made it to the start line, or finished, but considering it was post-COVID, with all the uncertainty involved, it was a respectable start. And this year with the addition of sloops, ketches and yawls to the Belvedere Cup lineup, there were plenty of boats to root for.

Despite the forecast of a hot day (which it was), the wind filled in early, and the fleet got a strong breeze that gave the boats and their crews what they’d come looking for.

Sequester in Belvedere Classic
Hans List’s Sequester took on the frisky conditions, at time burying her bow in the waves.
© 2022 John 'Woody' Skoriak

Back at the docks after the race, there were lots of stories about spray over the deck and crews getting doused. In other words, a typical day on the Bay!

Crew aboard Seaward
It appears Peter MacInnis (front) and John Swain managed to stay dry aboard Seaward.
© 2022 Jay Grant
From left to right; John Swain, Alan Olson, Angie Lackey, and Call of the Sea’s new CEO Mark Welther at the awards ceremony after the race.
© 2022 Jay Grant

After an exciting (and often wet!) race, the crews sought the quiet and comfortable refuge of the San Francisco Yacht Club deck. The club can arguably be called one of the nicest yacht club venues on the Bay, and last Saturday was no exception as the crew sat down to enjoy the club’s excellent BBQ and a cold beverage (or two …).

Brian Boyd’s Hana shows off her classic lines.
© 2022 John 'Woody' Skoriak

This year’s Great San Francisco Schooner Race and Belvedere Classic looked to be a rousing success, and the boats, crews, and classic-boat fans throughout the Bay will surely look forward to the same next year. – Woody.

Jeff Hawkins took first place in the Schooner division aboard Jakatan, and Bill Clausen took first place in the Classic Yacht (non-schooner) division aboard Cuckoo. The brigantine Matthew Turner took line honors in a division of her own.

Call of the Sea’s schooner Seaward and her crew of Alan Olson, John Swain, Peter MacInnis and Jay Grant took second place in the Schooner category.
© 2022 John 'Woody' Skoriak

See the full race results here.

1 Comment

  1. Susan Ruhne 8 months ago

    Great to see another Classics Regatta! The StFYC as part of the Rolex Big Boat Series also hosts a class for Classics in September! We hope to see more boats – and some from So Cal – in future years.

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