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Mother, May I Go Yacht Racing in May?

The Great Vallejo Race Gets Its Own Subheader

The Yacht Racing Association and Vallejo Yacht Club invite racers and cruisers to sail in the Great Vallejo Race this weekend. “Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of this historic race,” writes the YRA. “Divisions for ORC boats, one-design fleets, spinnaker fleets, non-spinnaker boats, sportboats, shorthanded crews, multihulls, and a cruising division are available. Saturday’s Race starts off the north end of the Berkeley Circle at 10:30 and finishes in the Mare Island Strait next to Vallejo Yacht Club. Sunday’s Race starts off the Vallejo Yacht Club at 11:30 and finishes at the Richmond YC race platform. Be sure to head to Saturday night’s party at the Vallejo Yacht Club after the race!”

Vallejo racers with spinnakers
Last year’s Great Vallejo Race started in chilly overcast, and this year’s is shaping up to look similar, with strong breeze and a chance of rain.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

We recommend joining the raft-up on Saturday afternoon in VYC’s harbor. Arrivals will be assisted by club volunteers and be entertained by live music, bars, a beer wagon, lots of food choices, and an evening dance party.

If you haven’t signed up yet, better hurry. Registrations close at midnight tonight (Wednesday, May 1). Find all the details and sign up here:

Out on the Ocean

The SSS Singlehanded Farallones Race will be on May 11. Registration is open at The price for signing up increases $10 after today.

The following Saturday, May 18, will be the YRA Duxship Race, with the turning marks Duxbury Reef buoy (south of Bolinas) and the Lightship buoy. Sign up for the one race or the rest of the YRA Offshore Series at

Offshore marks
The YRA provided this chartlet showing marks/destinations used in local offshore races.
© 2024 Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay

On the same Saturday, May 18, the YRA will start the Bluewater Bash, a long-distance ocean race to a longitude 75 miles to the west — and back, of course — for a total course of 150 miles. Participants can use this race as a qualifier for the Pacific Cup; they’ll have a chance to practice watchkeeping, cooking and living aboard, navigation and comms. The racers will record their own finish times. Enter by May 13 to save $10 off the entry fee. The deadline to enter is May 15; see The YRA will host a mandatory skippers’ meeting via Zoom on May 16.

California Offshore Race Week will kick off Memorial Day Weekend on May 25 with the Spinnaker Cup. The start will be off the St. Francis YC and the finish in Monterey, with hospitality at Monterey Peninsula YC. The series will continue with the Coastal Cup, starting from Monterey on May 27 and ending in Santa Barbara. The SoCal 300 will start on May 30 and finish the series in San Diego. Got a really fast boat, like, say, a MOD70? Go the whole distance all at once in the CA 500, starting from San Francisco on May 25. Learn more about all of CORW at

Doin’ It Dinghy Style

Keelboat racing not your thang? There are plenty of options for dinghies and other trailerable boats. Lake Washington Sailing Club’s One Design Series will kick off on May 11 and run monthly on the second Saturday until October. (Lake Washington is located in the Port of Sacramento, in West Sacramento.)

On May 17-19, Richmond YC will host the International 14 Nationals.

St. Francis YC’s Elvstrom Zellerbach regatta will also serve as the ILCA Pacific Coast Championship, and doubles as Spring Dinghy, on May 18-19. Invited classes are 5O5, C420, I420, ILCA 4, 6 and 7, RS Feva and Tera and 29er. Enter no later than May 13, but sooner is better in order to form classes.

On the same weekend, Lake Yosemite Sailing Association will put on their Spring Regatta. “Crazy, crazy courses, fabulous dinner, great lunch. Registration covers your camping for the weekend,” writes a member of the Laser fleet. “If you like great weather, fun people and competitive racing, you’re going to want to be there.”

Trailer-sailors, we’re not done with you just yet. Scroll down to the next section for more.

Memorial Day Weekend

On May 24-26, the El Toro fleet will take to the waters of Whiskeytown Reservoir for the Hank Jotz Memorial North Americans. More trailerable boats will join the fun on May 25-26 for the Memorial Weekend Regatta, hosted by Whiskeytown Sailing Club. Dinghies, centerboarders, multihulls and keelboats are welcome.

The big to-do on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend is the Master Mariners Regatta on May 25. The race will start in front of Golden Gate and St. Francis YCs, finish east of Treasure Island, and party at Encinal YC. Crissy Field on the San Francisco shoreline is a great place from which to spectate.

Hoisting sails on Freda B
Sailing out of Sausalito, the crew on Freda B hoists the sails en route to the start of the 2022 Master Mariners Regatta.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

In San Diego

In San Diego on May 3-5, an expected 60 boats will take to three venues: the cityfront course for smaller boats, the Bay to Coronado Roads course for Navigators and Classics, and the Pacific Ocean course for the bigger-boat fleets. Using three separate courses during the event facilitates the Yachting Cup’s “come one, come all” credo.

The weekend starts off on Friday, May 3, with the Ton Cup. This casual race doesn’t count toward overall Yachting Cup results, but could be a good way to get out and practice with your crew. Traditionally, the Ton Cup was a random-leg race sailed in racers’ own boats. This year, the event will be sailed right off San Diego YC’s dock in La Playa in the club’s own J/22s. The change in venue promises great spectating. Scored racing will begin on Saturday, May 4. Sign up at

All That and More…

The above events constitute a mere smattering of those available in the month of May. Find more in the Calendar pages (10-18) of the May Latitude 38, and plan your whole year with the 2024 Northern California Sailing Calendar and YRA Schedule. Feel free to promote your favorite May regatta in the Comments section below.

Our yacht racing calendar for the month of May is mysteriously blank for Sunday, May 12. It must be a conspiracy — oh, wait! It’s Mother’s Day! (You’re welcome for the reminder.)

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