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St. Francis Yacht Club announces action-packed 2024 Regatta Season

by St. Francis Yacht Club 22 Dec 2023 22:08 GMT
St. Francis Yacht Club Regatta Season © ROLEX / Peter Lyons

Mark your calendars and make your plans to compete at one of the top sailing venues in the world in 2024. St. Francis Yacht Club has released a 2024 regatta schedule that's comprehensive in its inclusion of various types of sailing—from board sports and dinghies, to keelboats and classic yachts, to team and match racing. Local, national and international sailors will have a plethora of opportunities to test their skills on the challenging waters of San Francisco Bay.

"Our mission is to be a leader in yachting and inviting the most talented sailors in the world to our shores and to our club is our highest calling. We're looking forward to another stellar season of racing on San Francisco Bay," said Chris Perkins, incoming Commodore of St. Francis Yacht Club.

While sailors of various disciplines will have multiple opportunities to challenge each other in weekly series and seasonal regattas, St. Francis Yacht Club will also host several high-profile events, such as the US Sailing Wingfoiling Championship (August 2-4), the International Knarr Championship (August 31-September 7) and the 60th anniversary of their signature Rolex Big Boat Series (September 11-15). The club will also host stops for the US Match Racing Championship (October 4-6), the Women's World Match Racing Tour (May 1-5) and SailGP (July 13-14).

"With over 100 days of racing on the calendar, we run a very busy racing schedule, and from a race management perspective, we are always looking for ways to improve. In 2024, we're focusing more on quality versus quantity, by combining some events to deliver a top-level experience from the moment a sailor arrives at St. Francis Yacht Club, through their time on the water and after racing, enjoying the parties and amenities ashore. We want an outstanding experience at all points," said Felix Weidling, Race Director of St. Francis Yacht Club.

World-class race management includes ensuring all events meet or exceed international standards. "We spend a lot of time in the off-season liaising with officials at US Sailing, the Offshore Racing Congress and other organizing authorities to ensure our race management aligns with top industry standards and that we continue to be a leader in the space," said Dave MacEwen, incoming Chair of St. Francis Yacht Club's Executive Race Committee. "We also aim to foster sailors from youth through grand masters in the many disciplines of our sport, which is why we invest in such a diverse and dynamic regatta season."

Dinghies

Small-boat sailors can look forward to Spring Dinghy (May 18-19) and Fall Dinghy (October 26-27) running repeated courses during both events to provide an opportunity to improve on the same playing field as the year progresses. The Elvström/Zellerbach Regatta will be combined with Spring Dinghy to draw a larger pool of competitors in the invited one design classes. The club's popular Opti Heavy Weather Slalom & Regatta also returns (June 21-23) to test the smallest boats in the big summer winds of San Francisco Bay.

Board Sports

After the success of the inaugural Wingding Regatta in 2023, the event will return in early August of 2024 as the Wingding US Sailing Wingfoiling Championship, the first national wingfoiling event in the United States for this board sport. Foiling enthusiasts will enjoy the weekly Thursday racing series, which began decades ago when windsurfing was the hot new sport, and which now draws a loyal following of foiling kites, wings and windsurfers. For those looking for a full-send experience, Ronstan Bridge to Bridge is scheduled for August 29, when the westerlies are typically strong enough to sail a foilboard from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge faster than a bird flies—will someone make it in under 10 minutes this year?

Keelboats

Keelboat enthusiasts will be busy this season, beginning with Spring Fest & Stone Cup (April 6-7) and the start of California Race Week's CA 500 (May 25) and Spinnaker Cup (May 26). IODs, Folkboats and Knarrs can look forward to the Woodies Invitational (June 28-30), and the Knarrs play again August 31-September 7, at the 52nd International Knarr Championship, just ahead of Rolex Big Boat Series, which also hosts a Classic Yachts division.

In past years Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta and Aldo Alessio were held the same weekend, to serve as a tuneup to Rolex Big Boat Series. This year, the two events will split, with Swiftsure remaining in the tuneup position (August 17-18) and Aldo Alessio held as an offshore return race for Rolex Big Boat Series competitors (September 21). J/Boat fleets will be busy all year, and the J/105 Women's Skipper Invitational (May 11) will be run for the third time, encouraging greater helm time for talented female sailors.

The J/105 class will likely be the largest fleet competing at Rolex Big Boat Series (September 11-15), which will celebrate its diamond anniversary with a week of world-class competition and stellar post-race celebrations. Various one design classes, ORC-rated boats, and classic yachts will be invited to compete, with registration opening in early 2024.

Match Racing

With its fleet of J/22s now expanded to 13 boats, St. Francis Yacht Club remains a prime host for match racing events, including stops of the California Dreamin' Series (March 16-17) and the Women's World Match Racing Tour (May 1-5). The US Match Racing Championship also returns to San Francisco Bay (October 4-6).

Team Racing

A highlight in the 2024 season will be the Cornerstone Cup (August 23-25), a four-way international team racing event between New York Yacht Club, Royal Yacht Squadron, Royal Thames Yacht Club and host St. Francis Yacht Club. Last run in San Francisco in 2015, the event features top-level competition and interclub camaraderie. Team racers can also look forward to an inaugural San Francisco Sailing League Regatta (June 8-9), which will import a popular European format to the West Coast for the first time.

Make your plans to compete at St. Francis Yacht Club this upcoming regatta season.

View 2024 regatta schedule here.

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