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Compete Against 100 Boats in a 37-Race Series on the Estuary

The biggest racing series in San Francisco Bay is underway. By the time it ends, the organizers expect to score 100 boats against one another in a 37-race series. Encinal, Island and Oakland Yacht Clubs have created the Boss of the Estuary Beercans series as an overlay on top of their respective weeknight races for this spring and summer. Last year 100 boats entered one or more of those series.

According to one volunteer, “The Estuary is special because it is so easy to enter and compete in three clubs’ weekday evening beer can races. Each club does things slightly differently on slightly different parts of the Estuary, but each series is well run and fun. The competition is always close by, and the shifty winds keep people on their toes. The water’s flat, and winds are more moderate than on the Central Bay, making for very pleasant evenings. The fees are pretty low too: People who registered early for each club’s series only paid $14 per race, or less.”

Estuary racing, Port of Oakland
Estuary racing, with the Port of Oakland in the background. (This photo is of an OYC Sunday Brunch race about a month ago). The Estuary beer can series racers get a view of the port without having to negotiate shipping traffic.
© 2024 Slackwater SF

To have each boat directly compete against all the others, across classes with potentially different courses, the series is scored by taking the race distance and dividing it by the boat’s corrected time to compute an average corrected speed. The boat with the highest average corrected speed wins and gets credit for beating 100% of their competitors entered in that race. The boat with the second-highest speed is second and beats all but one of their competitors, and so on. Boats that do not race beat no one. For series standings, the percentage of competitors beaten in each race is added up. The highest total wins the series.

The three clubs are running 37 races for this series. As appropriate for a series designed to boost participation, there are no throwouts.

There are also no fees beyond the entry fee for each club’s beer can races. Racers can choose to enter just one or two of the individual club series, or even just one race, but the organizers expect the winner of the series will be a boat that enters all three series.

“By encouraging boats to race each Friday at Encinal or Island, who alternate weeks, and each Wednesday at Oakland, we hope to help boaters have a great time twice a week. And also to get a chance to really practice skills, because we all get better, and more confident, with practice.”

Registration for each club’s beer cans is open now on Jibeset:

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