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Wet Wednesdays at Santa Barbara Yacht Club

During our trip north, we received as warm a welcome as possible during a pandemic from Santa Barbara Yacht Club. Dining at the club was understandably limited to members only, but we did order takeout from their kitchen to enjoy in our guest slip. We were also able to spectate from the breakwater for a sunny, warm Wet Wednesday race. There was no after-racing revelry, but there were plenty of good times for boats headed out of the harbor for a classic Santa Barbara evening.

Mike Papa Santa Barbara Yacht Club
Mike Papa grew up doing Wet Wednesdays at Santa Barbara YC and reading Latitude 38.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Santa Barbara Yacht Club
The breakwater in Santa Barbara is spectator-friendly.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Santa Barbara Yacht Club
The Melges 24 fleet jams it up at the pin.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Santa Barbara Yacht Club
The yellow Richel Pugh 70 Taxi Dancer takes up a safe leeward position against the J/111s and J/125s.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / john
Santa Barbara Yacht Club
Some fortunate clubs, like Santa Barbara YC, can conveniently run their racing right off their deck.
SBYC Wet Wednesdays
Like beer can racing everywhere, you bring what you have. Modern boats mix it up with classics.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The start line is right off the race deck of the club, with the windward mark typically to the west toward Point Conception. The challenging call is whether to head out toward the breeze or in toward the shore for current relief while avoiding the kelp. Courses and conditions vary, so racers scratch their heads as they consider covering their competitor, making a break for the beach, or just searching for clear air after the crowded start at the pin end. There were smiles in the harbor as they headed out to the start line and smiles when they all returned from the finish, so it must have gone well again.

We look forward to getting back to Santa Barbara when people can mix and mingle on land as well as on the water. Until then, it’s great to see people finding relief on the water and boats strutting their stuff off the sunny beach in Santa Barbara.



  1. Paolo Sheaffer 3 years ago

    Taxi is not a ‘Cruz 70. Reichel/Pugh design.

  2. Chris R 3 years ago

    I’m pretty sure Taxi Dancer is a Reichel/Pugh

  3. John Arndt 3 years ago

    Of course, right you are. Thanks to Chris and Paolo for setting us straight. We’ve corrected our mistake.

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