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Gracie & George Regatta Sailed on a Stunning Sunday Afternoon

Encinal Yacht Club held their doublehanded women’s skipper race, the Gracie & George, on Sunday, August 13. It was a warm, glorious day to be out on the water, despite some pull-up-and-park light spots.

J/92 and Santana 22
The J/92 Humble Vandal and the Santana 22 Anemone sail down the South Bay in light, fluky conditions. The persistence of spinnaker work on Anemone would pay off.
© 2023

The race starts on the Alameda side of the South Bay, sails west toward San Francisco’s Oracle Park, rounds a couple of buoys, and heads back to Alameda, with a finish down the Estuary in front of EYC’s guest dock.

J/109 and Wylie Wabbit
Brendan and Jessica McNally keep this Wylie Wabbit’s kite going during the reach down the San Francisco shoreline.  They had only just bought the Wabbit the day before the race! This was Jessica’s first time helming a race since last year’s Gracie & George.
© 2023

This year’s race featured a one-tack beat (turning into a close reach when the ebb built) to the mid-Bay red and green SC buoy so familiar to racers out of South Beach YC. Enter parking lot #1. The second division to start, the non-spinnaker boats, caught up to the spinnaker division here. They all slow-danced around the buoy before cracking off to sail south to a red buoy near the S.F. shore. Enter parking lot #2, and an even slower wheel turning ’round the mark.

Cluster of boats approaches mark
The clustered fleet inches its way toward the second turning mark. A couple of competitors mentioned that they drifted backward with the ebb during this part of the race.
© 2023
Dawn Chesney steering Bewitched
Dawn Chesney skippered Mark Salmon’s Merit 25 Bewitched. Since the death of both their partners, John New and Laraine Salmon, Dawn has been helming Bewitched.
© 2023

From there the boats were unleashed for a quick reach to the Estuary entrance in a fresh wind that felt divine. The Wylie Wabbit stretched out on the competitors. The Santana 22 Anemone stubbornly (turns out brilliantly) flew a kite when you would have thought the wind was too far forward.

Alley Cat and Zephyr next to a container ship
The Capri 30 Alley Cat and J/109 Zephyr sail past the Port of Oakland.
© 2023

The wind went light and dead aft for the run down the Estuary, but that’s pretty typical. Competitors stripped off layers, supplemented sunscreen applications, and rehydrated while jibing down the narrow waterway.

Kame and Sally Richards on Harbor 20
Sally and Kame Richards hugged the Alameda shore on their Harbor 20 Obsession for the first half of the Estuary run, seeking relief from the ebb.
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The Wylie Wabbit finished first, but it would be the (theoretically) slowest boat in the fleet, the Tuna Anemone, that would correct out to first place. The diverse fleet ranged in PHRF ratings from 66 to 234, but all finished within about 21 minutes, perhaps due to the mark-rounding restarts. See complete results on Jibeset

Trophy celebration
Shelli Bohrer and Hank Lindemann congratulate each other on winning the Gracie & George perpetual trophy with Hank’s Santana 22 Anemone. Shelli said this was her first time driving with the spinnaker up (did we mention it was up a lot?).
© 2023
Heidi and Aaron Stagg
Heidi and Aaron Stagg won the non-spinnaker division (and placed second overall) with their Wilderness 21 Slice. They sailed their Tayana 42 to La Paz last year and live there now. The couple will sail in this fall’s Baja Ha-Ha aboard Assistant Poobah Patsy Verhoeven’s Gulfstar 50 Talion.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The Gracie & George is an event on Latitude 38’s Unofficial Women’s Circuit; see more here in the Northern California Sailing Calendar & YRA Master Schedule. The next event on the list will be Sausalito YC’s Women Skippers’ Regatta this Saturday, August 19.


  1. Lisa Rohr 4 months ago

    Great write up, Christine- thank you for capturing this race. It’s awesome to see more women at the helm in the G&G Race each year! Props to our Rear Commodore, Linda Bradford too, who ran the race and is a true champion of women’s sailing activities at EYC and in the Bay. 💪

  2. Linda Newland 4 months ago

    Great to see so many boats out for the G&G and so many known faces having fun. Love the write up to keep on top of local racing since we are looking in from afar in WA state.

  3. Monique Selvester 4 months ago

    Congrats Shelli and Hank on the win!

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