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Racing in the Times of Pandemic

Welcome to Friday the 13th.

Yacht Clubs Scramble

This morning we received word from Vallejo Yacht Club about the Great Vallejo Race, aka YRA Season Opener. “Due to the coronavirus, we are postponing the Great Vallejo Race to October,” writes Amy Hendricksen. “The safety of our sailors and guests is our first concern.” The GVR had been on the calendar for April 25-26.

crowd on the docks
It’s not the actual sailing that’s the issue, it’s the après-sail social mingling that’s currently unadvised.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

This notice dropped into our email inbox yesterday afternoon: “Effective immediately, the St. Francis Yacht Club has canceled all club sailing events until at least April 15, 2020. This includes regattas, all juniors sailing, high school sailing, and all club boats events. This decision has been made based on the most recent information available, in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Club leadership is receiving daily assessments of the coronavirus pandemic and will continue to manage the club with safety of staff, members, volunteers and guests as our number-one priority. We will keep our membership and the yachting community updated on a regular basis throughout this period.” The note is signed by Commodore Ken Glidewell and other officers of the club.

The cancellation affects this weekend’s Spring One Design, next weekend’s Spring Dinghy, and J/Fest on the first weekend of April.

Other Bay Area yacht clubs are postponing their meetings for now. Richmond YC has canceled their junior program for this Sunday, March 15.

Jeff Stine, Winter Series race captain at Sequoia YC in Redwood City, sent the following message to his fleet on Thursday regarding Saturday’s last race in the series:

“Due to concerns relating to COVID-19 we’ll be altering our pre- and post-race activities to minimize the possible spread of the virus.

“Competitor Meeting:

  • There is no need to come to the meeting.
  • If someone from your boat wants to attend, only one member from each boat should attend the meeting.
  • All info from meeting will be emailed to all skippers registered in Jibeset.
  • The course will be announced in the starting area via VHF 69 at 13:15.


  • There will be no food or scheduled activity in the club after the race.
  • Results will be posted on Jibeset as soon as possible.
  • Prizes will be labeled and available for pickup in the club office.”

The Singlehanded Sailing Society has postponed their March 18 awards meeting for the Corinthian Race. The tentative plan is to hold it in conjunction with the skippers’ meeting for Round the Rocks on April 8 at Oakland YC at 7:30 p.m.

As of this morning Long Beach YC has officially postponed all 2020 Congressional Cup, Ficker Cup, and California Dreamin’ regattas and their associated social events. They anticipate rescheduling these events, if possible.

Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach has decided to postpone the Laser Midwinters West Championship scheduled for March 20-22 to a later date.

Sacramento Boat Show Shut Down

“Due to new regulations issued by the State of California, we have been forced to cancel the show,” reads the Sacramento Boat Show’s home page. The powerboat show was scheduled for March 12-15.

If your organization has adjusted or canceled any events, please comment below. Include your full name, port of call, the name of your organization, and a link to the event’s web page, if any. Or, send an email to the Calendar editor.

America’s Cup World Series in Italy Canceled or Postponed?

From Luna Rossa, the Challenger of Record (COR 36): “Following the declaration of the Pandemic CoViD19 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the restrictions imposed by the different  governments, COR 36 has declared the impossibility of organizing the ACWS Sardinia — Cagliari (23-26 April) event at the scheduled date. COR 36 also submitted a proposal to the Defender to postpone the event to a new date.

“The Defender published a press release in which it announced the cancellation of the ACWS Sardinia — Cagliari without mentioning COR’s proposal of a new date for the event, and refused COR’s proposal without even discussing it. COR 36 will submit to the Arbitration Panel the postponement of the ACWS Sardinia — Cagliari to a new date.”

As of this morning, the America’s Cup website has not yet been updated.

Hempel World Cup Series Genoa Canceled

World Sailing has canceled the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Genoa due to COVID-19. The Italian city was to have hosted that event on April 11-19.

Hempel World Cup Series Genoa was to act as the final opportunity for Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification for African, Asian and European sailors in a number of the Olympic Sailing events. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has granted World Sailing an extension of the qualification period to June 30.

World Sailing is now working to reschedule the remaining African, Asian and European Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers and to make sure that all quota places can be filled. They’ll issue further updates on qualification events here.

470 Worlds Is Postponed

American Olympic hopefuls in the 470 class were about to start the 470 Worlds in Mallorca tomorrow. This event was to determine who gets to represent the US at the Olympics. Currently, Atlantic and Nora Brugman are just one point ahead of Carmen and Emma Cowles in the race to qualify. Stu McNay and David Hughes, vets of Rio 2016, have a nice comfy margin over their competitors.

470 fleet start
Racing in the 2019 470 Worlds in Japan.
© 2020 470 Class

However, US Sailing has advised all American Olympic class sailing athletes who are training in Europe to return to the United States. The 2020 470 World Championships were postponed by the International 470 Class and Club Nautic Arenal and will be reevaluated in April. The same hosting club has also canceled the 51st Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar Regatta.

None of these event cancellations mean you can’t go sailing. Getting out on the water on a sailboat is a refreshing way to escape the crowds and relieve the stress.


  1. Avatar
    Mark 10 months ago

    Camellia Cup at Folsom Lake is cancelled as well. The state parks won’t issue usage permits till at least April 15.

    • Christine Weaver
      Christine Weaver 10 months ago

      Thank you for that information, Mark. If it gets rescheduled, please let us know.

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