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Big Sailing Weekend Coming Up

For reasons we’ll never understand, many people choose to take long road trips over the Memorial Day Weekend, and invariably end up spending long hours in ugly, mind-numbing traffic. That’s not our idea of fun. Instead, we urge you to spend a maximum of your weekend out on the water, decompressing from the pressures of the workaday world.

Dean Treadway’s sweet wooden-bottomed Farr 36 Sweet Okole sails out the Gate on her way to Monterey on a foggy Friday in May 2015.

© 2016

The weekend will actually kick off early with Friday’s 11:00 a.m. start of the Spinnaker Cup from San Francisco Bay to Monterey, the first stage in the new California Offshore Race Week. "Twenty boats will compete for the title of 2016 California Offshore Champion," reports Encinal Yacht Club commodore Jim Vickers. "Fifty-five boats have entered the Spinnaker Cup, which is 32 more boats than last year. Twenty-nine boats are registered in the Coastal Cup, and 30 in the SoCal 300." The Coastal Cup will start on Sunday and serve as stage two, carrying the racers from Monterey to Santa Barbara. 

Off Angel Island, Bill Belmont’s Farallon Clipper Credit prepares to take the stern of the steel schooner Seaward during a breezy MMR regatta.

©2016Latitude 38 Media, LLC

One of the best classic-boat-ogling opportunities of the year will take place Saturday, as the vintage Master Mariners Regatta fleet blasts around the Bay with all its canvas flying. If you’re not lucky enough to be on board one of these meticulously cared-for beauties, you might just hang out along the edges of their Central Bay course to take photos and cheer them on. The usual route is from St. Francis YC north toward Sausalito, back to the Cityfront, east to Blossom Rock, north to Southampton Shoal, and on to the finish behind Treasure Island.

A jibe at Blackaller Buoy is part of the course of the Master Mariners Regatta.

©2016Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Wooden-boat shows are fun, but the place to grab great photos of these classic sloops and schooners is out on the water where the Central Bay breeze pushes them to their full potential. Whatever you do, though, please stay way clear of them. You wouldn’t want your boat to get skewered by a bronze-tipped bowsprit. But if you get some killer shots, we’d love to see them.

For much more goings-on this weekend, see our Calendar.

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Lemme guess: Rip Van Winkle? Leon Russell? No, that’s actually solo circumnavigator Jeff Hartjoy looking rather wooly after spending 204 days alone at sea.
The West Coast is well represented on US Sailing Team Sperry. Californian Paris Henken and Washingtonian Helena Scutt, a Stanford grad, sail the 49erFX, the women’s version of the 49er skiff.