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Flashback — “Canceled: Rolex Big Boat Series 2001”

Sometimes bad memories bring up good memories. When tragedy struck on September 11, 2001, it caused enormous pain, trauma and damage that still haunts the world. It disrupted our lives in ways large and small. One of the big events in our local sailing lives is the Rolex Big Boat Series, which, when measured against the scale of 9/11, can feel small. In the midst of our national trauma, the St. Francis Yacht Club did what essentially everyone had to do and called off the Rolex Big Boat Series days before it was to begin.

Rolex Big Boat Series
Much of the Rolex Big Boat Series’ colorful history has been captured by Sharon Green and seen in her annual Ultimate Sailing Calendar.
© 2023 Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing

Without the Rolex Big Boat Series story for our October 2001 issue, our race editor, Rob Moore, wrote a retrospective on all the Big Boat Series since 1964 when, at the time, “Young Bob ‘RC’ Keefe convinced Commodore Stan Natcher that St. Francis YC should create a series to showcase big boat yachting talent from around the world.” That’s where we have some good memories that came forth from the bad memories of that September terrorist attack.

As you look forward to the September 14–17, 2023, RBBS on your sailing calendar, you can enjoy some of the memories of the early days of RC Keefe’s Big Boat Series from 1964 to 2000 right here.


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The Question Is…
The first weekend of the month is the busiest for midwinters on San Francisco Bay, but some clubs are canceling tomorrow's races.