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May Racing Preview

C420s raced in the Elvstrom Zellerbach Regatta out of StFYC over the weekend.

© Chris Ray

With the YRA’s Great Vallejo Race and St. Francis Yacht Club’s Elvstrom Zellerbach Regatta occurring in the last weekend in April instead of the more-typical first weekend in May, that leaves next weekend wide open. Many smaller club races will take advantage of the opportunity. One that missed getting in our  Calendar is the Butte Sailing Club’s Spring Feather Fiesta Regatta.

What about big regattas? For J/105s on San Francisco Bay, the obvious answer will be the J Stop Regatta at StFYC. As of this morning, 19 boats were registered. In San Diego the big event this week, SDYC’s Yachting Cup, will start on Friday.

On May 9-12, Long Beach YC will host the Farr 40 North Americans. The Oregon Offshore, a qualifier for this summer’s Vic-Maui Race, will start on May 10. Ocean action closer to shore will feature the OYRA Duxship Race on May 12, which rounds the Duxbury Reef Buoy and the Lightship. Another YRA event on May 12, the first day of CBRA racing for the 2018 season will be hosted by SFYC on the Circle. Alerion Express 28, Bear, Bird, Cal 20, Folkboat, IOD, Knarr, Santana 22, Olson 25, J/24 and Etchells are the invited classes.

More races on busy May 12 include the Yesteryear Regatta in San Diego, part of the California Classic Yacht Series and the Flight of the Bulls for El Toros on the Foster City Lagoon.

May 19 will be the date of the SSS Singlehanded Farallones Race, a local rite of passage. SFYC’s Elite Keel Regatta will be held on May 19-20, as will Lake Yosemite Sailing Association’s 20th Spring Regatta (sign up today to take advantage of the early-bird special).

With one of many scenic beaches in the background, a trio of SC27s races in the first MISCRW in 2013.

© Nils Kisling

The weekend of May 19-20 brings us to the big boat/PHRF portion of the second-ever Made in Santa Cruz Race Week. MISCRW2 will continue on Thursday, May 24, with racing for Jesters and MISC El Toros. On Friday the 25th, the Santa Cruz 27 Nationals and Moore 24 PCCs will begin, with Moores finishing on Sunday the 27th and the SC27s finishing on Monday the 28th (Memorial Day)

Conflicting in part with MISCRW2 will be the third annual California Offshore Race Week, a brilliant concept combining — and revitalizing — the Spinnaker Cup from S.F. Bay to Monterey (starts May 26), the Coastal Cup from Monterey to Santa Barbara (starts May 28), and the SoCal 300 from Santa Barbara to San Diego (starts May 31).

Another Vic-Maui qualifier, the Swiftsure International Yacht Race, hosted by Royal Victoria YC, will start on May 24. The Memorial Weekend Regatta on Whiskeytown Lake outside Redding will welcome trailer-sailors on May 26-27. Activity within San Francisco Bay on Memorial Day Weekend will include the always-scenic Master Mariners Regatta on Saturday the 27th, and StFYC will host the International 14 Nationals on May 26-28.

A 22-boat I-14 fleet sailed the Pasha Hawaii Pac Rim Championship on April 7-10 in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. The class will compete in San Francisco in late May for their Nationals; Richmond YC will host the Worlds on August 12-25.

© 2018 Lauren Easley

Many more events are available for race boats large and small; see our Calendar in the May issue of Latitude 38, coming out tomorrow, for a more complete list.

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We now bring you photos from Saturday’s downwind leg of the Great Vallejo Race, as seen from a healthy distance aboard a 24-ft cruising boat under sail trying to get as close to the action as possible without getting in the way. 
They’re off! Again. The 11 boats in the current Clipper Around the World Race, the most accessible circumnavigation race to the average sailor, started off Seattle yesterday under partly cloudy skies and light winds.