Skip to content

Extreme Catamaran Sailing in San Diego

Alinghi flies a hull in San Diego during this week’s Extreme Sailing Series stopover.
© 2018 Lloyd Images

Like last year, the GC32 catamarans of the Extreme Sailing Series have come to San Diego for some high-level stadium-style racing. And also like last year, an American team has joined the small fleet. The Element Spark Compass crew consists of US match racing champion Taylor Canfield, Sam Hallowell, John Wallace, Matt Noble and Mateo Vargas. Matt Noble is a scion of the Richmond Yacht Club junior sailing program. Fellow Californian Mateo Vargas, a Laser champion, sailed for Stanford. John Craig, former racing manager of St. Francis Yacht Club and the PRO of America’s Cup 34 in San Francisco, is serving as PRO in San Diego.

Element Spark Compass
The new American team on her home waters.
© 2018 Lloyd Images

An extensive race village is set up on Harbor Island for spectators, and admission is free. Can’t get to San Diego or get away from the office to watch in person? There’s an app for that (find it here).

Map of race village
A race village is set up on Harbor Island, with lots of activities for spectators to enjoy.
© 2018 Extreme Sailing Series

In addition to the GC32 racing, there’s an Element Sports Kite Boarding Invitational, O’pen BIC youth sailing and Go SeaQuest on-the-water simulators.

Racing was off to a slow start yesterday, as the breeze played hard to get. John Craig postponed until 3 p.m. He extended the deadline and got in six races. Series frontrunners Alinghi took four wins to lead the San Diego Act. The event continues through Sunday.

two cats at a mark
Far from “extreme,” light breeze and lots of sunshine dominated the conditions yesterday.
© 2018 Lloyd Images

Los Cabos will host the final Act on November 29-December 2, and a Mexican team has also joined the fleet for these last two events of the series. Get caught up with the Extreme Sailing Series at


Leave a Comment

One hundred eight Cal 40s were built since they were introduced in 1963 and finished production in 1971, and, at the time, they were considered a radical design.
Just a few hours after we published a story on Monday about our love for the low-tech autopilot, we were at San Pablo Yacht Club when we met a gentleman who had just read the piece.