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December and Holiday Yacht Racing Preview

If you think that December’s calendar is the sparsest for regattas, you’d be correct — except in 2020. This year that dubious honor actually went to April and May. But even in purple-tier times, organizers have, for the most part, figured out how to facilitate yacht racing. In November, numerous Midwinter Series got underway. In December, a few more launch.

Added to the Bay Area Midwinter Schedule in December

Tiburon Yacht Club’s Bob and Esther Mott Midwinters, to be sailed in the North Bay on the east side of the Tiburon Peninusula, will start on December 5 and sail on the first Saturday of each month through March. One pursuit race is scheduled each day for divisions of singlehanded, doublehanded and fully crewed (but COVID-compliant) boats.

Wild Turkey racers with San Quentin
We’re hoping for a skosh more wind than in TYC’s Wild Turkey Race on Black Friday. None of the 16 boats entered were able to complete the 3.5-mile course.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Richmond YC will forego their usual Small Boat Midwinters this season, but very small boats can instead sail in Oakland with Lake Merritt Sailing Club’s Robinson Memorial Midwinters, held on the second weekend of each month December-March. El Toros and Sunfish are the fleets that usually make the scene. LMSC doesn’t have a website; if you’re interested in participating, call the commodore, Gary Hartsock, at (510) 653-1743.

The one city/county that has remained shut down (for organized sailing events) since March is San Francisco. None of the clubs in the City by the Bay have run races, and none have races on their schedules for the rest of 2020. Back in October we heard from Golden Gate YC that they were planning to run their Seaweed Soup Series December-April, with the first race this Saturday, December 5. But a lot has changed since then with regard to the pandemic, and the regatta does not appear to be happening — at least not yet.

Southern California Regattas

Santa Barbara YC will sail a Holiday Regatta on December 5-6. One-design classes include Harbor 20s, J/70s, J/105s, J/111s and Melges 24s; PHRF boats are welcome too. San Diego YC’s Hot Rum Series will wrap up this Saturday. On December 12, the Ancient Mariners Sailing Society will run the Half Pint-o-Rum Race in San Diego. SDYC plans to continue a holiday tradition with the New Year’s Day Race on January 1.

For Those Who Like to Watch (from Afar)

The Prada America’s Cup World Series Auckland, the only ACWS regatta in America’s Cup 36, will run on December 17-20 (that’s December 16-19 on our side of the International Dateline). It will be the first opportunity for the teams to race against one other on their AC75s. The action will start at 3 p.m. NZT on December 17, when four round robins are planned. Lucky enough to be in Auckland? A free America’s Cup Race Village will open on December 15, with limited visitor capacity. In the US, NBC Sports will carry TV coverage. The sailing will also be streamed live.

Te Rehutai foiling
On November 20, a beautiful Auckland day with a calm Waitemata sea state and building breeze, ETNZ’s new AC75, Te Rehutai, went for her maiden sail.
© 2020 Hamish Hooper / Emirates Team New Zealand

Continuing on Down Under for armchair sailors will be the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race on Boxing Day, starting at 1 p.m. AEDT on December 26 (that’s 6 p.m. on Christmas Day here in the States). We’ll post a preview of that annual classic later this month.

Back on San Francisco Bay to Ring in the New Year

“Look, you can spend the day regretting the prior evening (or year), or maybe you can stare at a screen where people far away are running around on fake grass, but why not get out on the water and start your day right?” This is the question posed by Corinthian YC in Tiburon. The club invites you to their “inaugural Resolution Regatta, a pursuit race starting January 1 at noon and looping around Angel and Alcatraz in our classic ‘you pick the direction’ course. Sign up today. Resolve to do so.”

Other New Year’s Day events include Coyote Point YC’s Brrr Rabbit and the Master Mariners New Year’s Day Race. The latter will honor Luc Maheu of Tiger this year. The MMBA member fell from the rig of a schooner in Maine and perished. Instead of gathering at Point San Pablo YC, the fleet will sail from Clipper Cove to Ayala Cove and take moorings. This is always a very casual DIY ‘race’.

Luc Maheu on Tiger
A New Year’s wave from Luc Maheu aboard the schooner Tiger on January 1, 2019.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

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