Skip to content

Rolex Big Boat Series Preview

The multihull division will be back for the fourth year at September’s Rolex Big Boat Series. Tom Siebel’s Redwood City-based MOD70 trimaran Orion will be the biggest.

© Daniel Forster / Rolex

If you’re planning on signing up for this year’s Rolex Big Boat Series, to be hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club on September 17-20, it’s time to get a move on. This Saturday, August 15, is the early entry deadline. You’ll pay an extra $200 if you procrastinate! Saturday is also the deadline for establishing a one-design division.

The not-to-be-missed social schedule at RBBS is just one of the ingredients that make the regatta special. Last year, Friday night’s Mt. Gay Rum Party moved outdoors, and food trucks (bacon!) replaced trays of hors d’oeuvres.

©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As of this morning, 84 boats were signed up for the regatta, which is still more than a month away. The biggest — and perhaps most notable — is the 1974 S&S 78 Kialoa III, entered by Jorge Madden of Providence, RI. (Among her accomplishments: in the hands of her original owner, Jim Kilroy, Kialoa III held the elapsed time record for the Sydney Hobart Race from 1975 until 1996!) The smallest, at 22.75 feet, will be the J/70s, assuming their owners step up and register — only two were signed up when we checked this morning.

Jim Kilroy donated Kialoa III to Orange Coast College in 2005, and the school sailed her in the 2006 Baja Ha-Ha.

©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Boats will be coming from Hawaii and Mexico, but perhaps traveling the greatest distance will be skipper Martín Baeza from Santiago, Chile, who’ll campaign a local J/105. The J/105 fleet is using the regatta for their North American Championship, and they expect about 30 boats, likely to be the biggest one-design class. The Melges 24s have a baker’s dozen signed up so far.

A J/105 start in last year’s RBBS.

© 2015 Daniel Forster / Rolex

"As the fleet of the Rolex Big Boat Series starts to converge on the West Coast, I checked in with the half-dozen entrants that also raced the Transpac," writes Meredith Laitos of StFYC. "A bit of digging revealed that four of these boats are not only racing in both regattas — they are also partaking in the Ocean Cleanup on their way back across the Pacific." The four entries are the TP52 Patches, the J/125s Timeshaver and Resolute, and the Rogers 46 Varuna. For more on the Ocean Cleanup, see our ‘Lectronic post on August 7.

Eduardo Porter Ludwig’s Mexico-based TP52 Patches will return to RBBS for the first time since 2010.


Leave a Comment