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West Coast Yacht Racing Marches Along

Party and Race in Berkeley

“I wanted to share a new free event we’re planning at Berkeley Yacht Club this year: a crew party for skippers and crew to connect ahead of our Friday night beer can series,” writes Sam Kronick of BYC.

“This is inspired by the great crew list party you organize in the fall, and focused more on getting more folks out sailing during the summer racing season. We have a ton of boat owners who want to do more racing but struggle to find crew. We wanted to create a chance for people to meet and find a possible match on dry land before the season really gets going. It’s the same time and place as our Friday night series, so we’re hoping it will attract a crowd who can regularly make it to the East Bay, but we’re keeping it open to all regardless of experience, club or location. More details here:”

Berkeley Yacht Club start
A start in Berkeley YC’s Midwinters Champion of Champions Race on Sunday, February 25.
© 2024 Glen Garfein

Thanks to Daylight Saving Time (starting on March 10), BYC’s Friday night races will begin on March 15 this year. Sunday afternoon’s Chowder races will wrap up Sunday, March 10.

More Northern California Events

Richmond YC’s Big Daddy Regatta invites one-design fleets and PHRF boats to compete on three East Bay buoy-racing courses on Saturday, March 9. Shark Sandwich will rock the clubhouse on Saturday night. Sunday’s pursuit race will take sailors around Angel Island and Alcatraz — skippers’ choice of direction. The theme is Blue Skies.

The next race in the Singlehanded Sailing Society season will be a third Bay tour, this time Round the Rocks, for singlehanders and doublehanders on March 16.

A rounding of “The Rock” in last year’s SSS Round the Rocks Race.
© 2024

Sequoia YC’s Wednesday Night Summer Pursuit series will begin on March 20 (registration is open on Jibeset). In preparation, Sequoia will host a seminar on Wednesday, March 6; Philip Meredith will discuss the Racing Rules of Sailing. The Redwood City club’s Singlehanded/Doublehanded series will start on March 10.

On March 23, Santa Cruz sailors will race in the Doublehanded Buoy Fiasco, loosely inspired by San Francisco Bay’s Three Bridge Fiasco. See

Island YC’s Sadie Hawkins Regatta is coming up on Sunday, March 24. It’s open to all skippers who identify as female. Everyone is welcome to crew. Racing is entirely on the Estuary. Sign up here. The Sadie Hawkins kicks off Latitude 38’s Unofficial Women’s Circuit, as listed on page 55 of the 2024 Northern California Sailing Calendar (but note the date change).

Second on the list of women’s races is the Anne McCormack Invitational Cup at San Francisco YC on March 30. In this one, everyone on board must be female.

Oakland YC’s Rites of Spring will sail on the Central Bay, also on March 30. This race offers divisions for singlehanders, doublehanders, full crews and multihulls.

Our Friends South of the Tehachapis

Los Angeles Yacht Club is pleased to host the 16th running of The Port of Los Angeles/Cal Maritime Harbor Cup Regatta,” announced Tom Trujillo, Harbor Cup race chairman and principal race officer. The intercollegiate POLA Harbor Cup will take place on March 8-10. “This is one of our favorite regattas of the year,” continued Trujillo, also a staff commodore at LAYC. “This event brings 10 sailing teams to Los Angeles to compete in oceangoing Catalina 37 keelboats.”

The lineup includes defending champion University of Hawaii and eight-time victors Cal Maritime Academy (the host team, based in Vallejo). Other past winners returning are College of Charleston, Maine Maritime Academy, US Naval Academy and the University of Southern California. California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (aka Cal Poly), US Coast Guard Academy and US Merchant Marine Academy will also compete. The new UC San Diego offshore sailing team will make their debut. Roy P. Disney, owner/skipper of Pyewacket, will serve as keynote speaker at the Saturday night dinner.

This regatta has so many names that we couldn’t fit them all into a two-line entry in the Calendar coming out in the March issue. It’s the Olympic Development Program Midwinters West, aka the ILCA, 29er and I420 Midwinters West. It’s also the Youth Sailing World Championship Qualifier for ILCA 6, 29er and I420, the SCYYRA Ullman Frost Series for ILCA 6 and 7, and the SCYYRA Hamlin Series for 29er skiffs. Whew! Catchy name! Alamitos Bay YC will host in Long Beach on March 21-24. See

Our Friends South of the Border

As we write this post, the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race is underway. MEXORC will follow hot on the heels of the PV Race. The 46th edition will race in Banderas Bay on March 2-6. Marina Vallarta will host, with support from Acapulco Yacht Club, San Diego YC and the PV Race. The ratings rule will be ORR. Racing will consist of windward/leewards with 20- to 30-mile coastal courses on a couple of days. Look for coverage from our correspondent, Martha Blanchfield, in an upcoming issue of Latitude 38.

PV Race start
Saturday’s start of the fastest boats in the PV Race wasn’t looking too fast.
© 2024 Bob Betancourt

The good times will roll at Vallarta YC, at Paradise Village Marina in Riviera Nayarit, for the 31st Banderas Bay Regatta, for racing and cruising boats, on March 19-23. This year’s theme is Mardi Gras.

As usual, these are but a sample of the varied events available to yacht racers on the West Coast. For many more, check out the March Calendar, coming out in Latitude 38 on March 1, and the 2024 Northern California Sailing Calendar. Did we miss mentioning your favorite March regatta? Feel free to promote it in the Comments section below.

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