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Spring Races Up to Meet Soggy Sailors

As California’s rain-drenched winter greets March, we look forward to some late winter and early spring races.

The Busy Oakland-Alameda Estuary

Island Yacht Club announces the Linda Newland Women’s Skipper Regatta on March 4. The regatta is in keeping with IYC’s tradition of hosting the first women-skippered regatta of the sailing season. It’s part of Latitude 38’s Unofficial Women’s Circuit. The event honors IYC member Linda Newland, who has sailed thousands of miles over the ocean. In 2022 she received the prestigious annual Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award, co-sponsored by BoatUS and National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA), presented to her at IYC’s own Women’s Sailing Seminar in September 2022.

IYC will have special awards for entries with a higher percentage of women aboard. In addition to the usual prizes and celebrity for the winners, how can you resist a day of flat-water Estuary races? You cannot. Registration is open on $45 for two races; $40 for IYC members. “The regatta is open to all skippers who identify as female. Anyone is welcome to crew, come cheer on the racers, or support the race deck,” says Eileen Zedd, commodore of IYC. Update March 3: This race will not happen on March 4 due to the incoming storm. It will be rescheduled on a date TBD.

Sailing a Mercury on the Estuary in the race formerly known as the Sadie Hawkins.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Encinal YC invites the Mercury and Snipe fleets to the 2023 NorCal Series on March 4, April 1, May 6 and June 3. Chris Davis writes: “Join us for the calm waters of the Estuary. Join us at the club afterward. The expectation is that the Snipe fleet may be in attendance only for the final two days of sailing.”

San Francisco Bay

St. Francis YC will host the second Stop in the California Dreamin’ match racing series on March 4-5.

Richmond YC will host Sail a Small Boat Day, on Saturday, March 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Not a race but an opportunity to explore the choices of small boats that are often raced. You can test-sail a variety of small craft and enjoy a hot dog lunch — all for free. Update March 3: This event has been canceled due to the incoming storm.

RYC will follow that up the following weekend with the Big Daddy Regatta. We’ll be “On the Boat Again” on March 11-12. The event features three courses with three races each on Saturday, free beer back at the dock, dinner and dancing to the tunes of Shark Sandwich, and a pursuit race around Angel Island and Alcatraz on Sunday (skipper’s choice of directions).

The Singlehanded Sailing Society will continue their series of winter Bay tour races with Round the Rocks on March 18. Registration will open soon on Jibeset.

On March 18-19, StFYC will run the Spring Dinghy Regatta for 5O5s, C420s, RS Fevas and Teras, ILCAs and Optis.

Streaker and other boats starting in front of Sausalito Yacht Club
Sausalito YC’s Jaws Pursuit Race will take place on March 25.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

On March 25-26, Encinal YC will host a One Design Invitational Regatta for the Express 37 and J/105 fleets, to be sailed on the waters west of the Berkeley Pier. Enter on Jibeset.

Santa Cruz

“We look forward to seeing you in Santa Cruz for the SCYC Doublehanded Buoy Fiasco: 14.5 scenic miles to challenge your stamina and seamanship around four iconic marks — Santa Cruz Wharf, Natural Bridges, Capitola Wharf and The Cement Ship, in any order and direction,” says Sydnie Moore. The race is a counter in the Moore 24 Roadmaster Series. Registration by March 22 for only $40 at The race will be on Sunday, March 26.

Southern California

Cal Maritime Academy and Los Angeles YC will host the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup/Cal Maritime Intercollegiate Invitational on March 10-12.

The Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas International Yacht Race will depart California on March 10, with the start presided over by Newport Harbor YC.

The NOOD Regatta series will visit San Diego YC and Coronado YC on March 17-19.


Vallarta YC, based in Paradise Village, organizes the Banderas Bay Regatta, happening in Nuevo Vallarta on March 14-18. It offers racing and fiestas for cruisers. We look forward to covering it in person this year!

Midwinters Roll into March

Keep in mind that, although spring regattas are getting underway in March, they overlap with some final races of the midwinter season. Check out our list on the Calendar page in Latitude 38 or online here. With Daylight Saving Time starting on March 12, we’ll soon be making the transition to weeknight beer can race series.

Continuing Education

On Wednesday, March 8, Kame Richards will present a Tides & Tactics talk at RYC, 7-9 p.m. The cost is $20. Register through the YRA at On the same evening, the SSS will continue their series of Singlehanded Transpacific Race seminars, via Zoom at 7:30 p.m. This one is about provisioning: food, water, medicine. Find free registration for the seminars here. Also on March 8, the Newport to Ensenada Race series of seminars will continue at Seal Beach YC, starting at 7 p.m.

In February 17’s edition of ‘Lectronic, we told you about StFYC’s Spring Education Opportunities; if you missed that post, you can find it here. Nicole Breault sent us this quick reminder: “Registration is now open for these Race Skills Development programs at the St. Francis Yacht Club:

  • 2023 J/22 Spring Women’s Race Instruction Team. Participants share an entry in the StFYC J/22 Spring Series and race with expert volunteer coaches. The program kicks off with a classroom lecture March 8, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Match Racing Clinic Series. Dive into the advanced discipline of match racing with expert Nicole Breault: 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday classroom sessions and 5:30-9 p.m. Thursday practices March 21-April 6.”

Also at StFYC: on March 15, Dave Perry will present a free Rules Quiz talk, 7-9 p.m. Then, he’ll stick around for a Youth RS21 Clinic on March 17-19 at San Francisco YC.

We have added a second Safety at Sea course for 2023,” writes the Pacific Cup YC. “We hope you won’t find it too taxing to come to Kaneohe Yacht Club on April 15. Or we may see you March 25 at Cal Maritime Academy. Formally known as International Offshore Safety at Sea with Hands On, this course, when taken with the online or in-person Offshore course (aka Day 1) will result in the US and World Sailing certificate required for a portion of the crew. The prerequisite, in addition to proof of COVID vaccination, is taking the full 15-topic online course or (if you are renewing) a five-topic refresher. More information and signup here. Space is limited, but these courses are good insurance for any sailor voyaging offshore.”

Start off the spring racing season by brushing up on the Racing Rules of Sailing with the YRA’s online seminar on Tuesday, March 28, 7-9 p.m. John Christman, the Area G Appeals Committee Chair, will cover the current RRS. $10.

And More…

As always in these racing preview posts, the regatta calendar is filled with many more events worthy of your consideration. Find a more complete list in our 2023 Northern California Sailing Calendar and YRA Master Schedule, and in the monthly Calendar within the pages of the March Latitude 38, hitting the docks and the interwebs this Wednesday.


  1. Christine Weaver 1 year ago

    Brandon Mercer of Richmond Yacht Club writes: “While you and I might be fine sailing in the rain, and 25 knot gusts, we’re not ready to put our guests through that Saturday, so Richmond Yacht Club is unfortunately cancelling Sail a Small Boat Day for March
    4. We are eager to welcome sailors and the sailing-curious back November 4, where we hope to be enjoying some warmer, dryer and beautiful autumn weather.”

  2. Christine Weaver 1 year ago

    Eric Korbas, Vice Commodore of Island Yacht Club, writes: “In the interests of boater fun and safety, our Race Committee has made the tough decision to reschedule the Linda Newland Regatta. A new date will be announced shortly and registrations will be honored for this future race. We all want a fun, positive AND safe race, especially with so many new people joining us. Unfortunately, tomorrow’s weather forecast is making that less than likely.”

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