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YRA Calendar Coming Together

Is September too early to nail down next year’s Northern California racing schedule? With so many races in the mix, the answer is a resounding "No!" The crews at the Yacht Racing Association and Latitude 38 are already hard at work putting together the 2019 calendar.

The Great Vallejo Race is one of several big regattas that draw more than 100 entries from around the region each year. Boats pack the VYC harbor between the race up on Saturday and the return race on Sunday.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"Now is the time to begin compiling the 2019 calendar," says YRA chairman Don Ahrens.  "Our goal this year is to complete the calendar process earlier than we have in the past in the hope that we can further minimize race conflicts and deliver a more enjoyable season to San Francisco Bay racers. Finishing the calendar process by mid-October will give yacht clubs the advantage of working with race and flag officers who have run races over the last year or more. This way we can avoid issues like the changing of flag officers. New flag officers need time to learn and digest information about a club’s racing activities." Once they leave the flag, officers who have given so much of their time and energy over the past few years often need a well-earned break from club responsibilities.

Another reason we can’t leave the process until November and December: They are short months with a completely different focus and demands on everyone’s time. "The holiday season impacts all of us," points out Ahrens.

"The YRA and Latitude 38 will publish a set of deadlines in the next couple of weeks. We will include deadlines for the clubs’ racing schedules and deadlines for the advertising that will be included in the Northern California Sailing Calendar and YRA Master Schedule.

"There’s a lot of competition for racers with more than 800 races each year. It’s important that yacht clubs work with the YRA and with each other to minimize conflicts. Some clubs have worked at thinning their race schedules, removing races that have fallen out of favor and are no longer well attended. All clubs could benefit from analyzing their races to see if any thinning can be done. Try to think more broadly about the race season and discuss not only the club’s needs but the needs of racers, especially members who race consistently." Active racers compete in regattas put on by their own clubs, other clubs and organizations like BAMA, SSS and the YRA.

Don points out that "Running too many races can result in race committee fatigue." Flag officers and race committee volunteers can get burned out and lose interest. "We’ve seen this happen at a couple of clubs this year.

"We’ve seen racer participation increase in the last couple of years after many years of decline. We’d like to see this trend continue, and to do so we all have to work at building a great season for San Francisco Bay racers. Please consider finalizing your racing plans a little earlier this year and working more closely with the broader racing community."

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There are a lot of good reasons to head out sailing on the Bay or to sail out the Golden Gate to Mexico.
If you’re a sailor in the Pacific Northwest, then be sure to check out the Wooden Boat Festival starting today and running through Sunday at the Northwest Maritime Center.
Late one Friday, we poured ourselves a cold beverage and got cozy with the laptop for the new episode of Delos.