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2024 sailing events in san francisco, california.

yacht racing san francisco

Sailing Save-the-Dates for San Francisco Bay 2024

Known as a sailing mecca the world over, San Francisco is home to hundreds of sailing events every year. From community boat parades and regattas to the latest innovations in the yacht racing world, you can see it on the Bay. Check out this list and mark your calendars to experience these sensational events that bring the local sailing community together on land or onto the Bay. Some of these event dates are "TBD" (to be determined), but we will continually update this page as event dates are announced.

To experience or participate in some of these events aboard our sailing yachts, keep an eye out for Club Sails on event dates at our two locations in Sausalito and Berkeley.

  • View the Modern Sailing Club Sails schedule  here . 

Three Bridge Fiasco  - Saturday, January 27, 2024

The Three Bridge Fiasco hosted by the  Single-Handed Sailing Society  takes place right outside of the  St. Francis Yacht Club . Racers compete single- or double-handed to round three buoys or temporary marks representing the three major bridges of the San Francisco Bay; the Golden Gate Bridge, East Bay Bridge, and Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. This race is an annual event regularly attracting more than 300 yachts and teams from all over the Bay Area. 

Enjoy this video clip of Modern Sailing School & Club's owner and CEO, Captain Leigh Hunt and sailing instructor and Captain Jimmie Marquez as they attempted the 2020 socked-in, strong-ebbed regatta. 

Destination Chartering and Sail Tahiti 2024 Information Session - Thursday, February 8, 2024

Join Modern Sailing Global Destinations in our Sausalito conference room for antipasto, fine wine, craft beer, and refreshments while your trip leader, Captain Robert Bivin, presents detailed information on the exciting Sail Tahiti 2024 - The Society Islands of French Polynesia itinerary, boats, travel considerations, and more.

Thinking about an international charter vacation of your own? Consider yourself invited and come pick our captains' brains! At the end of the presentation, there will be a Q&A session during which you'll have the opportunity to ask questions of our expert captains about chartering out of the Society Islands or just about any sailing destination worldwide.

We invite anyone who is considering a sailing vacation or destination charter to attend. In addition to learning about sailing Tahiti, you will have the rare opportunity to learn from the experts about chartering abroad and ask questions of captains who are familiar with many popular worldwide charter destinations!

There is no cost to attend, but please RSVP so that we can ensure there will be enough seating and refreshment for everyone.

DATE: Thursday, February 8, 2024, 5:00 - 7:00pm LOCATION : 2330 Marinship Way, Suite 100, Sausalito, CA 94965

Latitude 38 Crew List Parties - Spring and Fall

Check for updates on  Latitude 38's virtual crew list page . 

These parties, hosted by our favorite maritime news outlet,  Latitude 38 , occur twice annually . Hosted by the  Golden Gate Yacht Club  from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, the event is a meet and greet for Bay Area Sailors (crew and boat owners), featuring stunning views of the Bay, and a live life raft launch from Sal's Inflatable Services. $10 cash at the door or $5 for ages 25 and under with ID.  Learn more . 

Advanced First Aid/CPR for Mariners Course , April 6 - 7 and October 5 - 6 (Sausalito)

Maritime Medical Guides is coming to Sausalito June 10-11 and Oct 14-15th, at the Spaulding Center, to offer Advanced First Aid/CPR for Mariners. Cost is $375. The class is US Sailing Accredited, meets World Sailing Offshore Special Reg. (OSR 6.5) and is also valid for USCG Merchant Mariner credentials.

International Ocean Film Festival  - April 12 - 14 (Cowell Theatre, Fort Mason Center, SF)

Learn about the ocean, its inhabitants, the people who play in it, and people who work on it at the International Ocean Film Festival. Each year the IOFF aims to save the oceans one spectacular film at a time by inspiring viewers to become the voice of Earth's largest organ. 

Svendsen's Spring Fling Show - April 12 - 13

In Alameda at Svendsen Marine's third annual Spring Flow Show, you'll meet top sailing and boating brand representatives and explore Svendsen's 20,000 square-foot store for the best deals of the year on your boating and sailing gear! There are also raffle giveaways happening all day long. Download free tickets to claim your show swag bag. Visit for information and tickets.

Opening Day on the Bay - Sunday, April 28

Celebrate the official beginning to the San Francisco Bay sailing season with fellow sailing enthusiasts! 2024 marks the 107th annual celebration kicking off the start of the boating season in the Bay Area. From the blessing of the fleet in Racoon Straits to the parade of decorated boats, Opening Day on the Bay is one of the premier sailing events of the year. Dating back to 1917 and organized by the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association , the parade sails from the shadows of the Golden Gate Bridge to just past Pier 39. Any vessels can take part as long as they register beforehand. The procession regularly features tug boats, clean-up boats and tour boats, with visitors and spectators onboard. Judges are on hand to dish out prizes for the décor and imagination of the colorful vessels.

Remain subscribed to the Modern Sailing weekly newsletter email for Opening Day on the Bay Parade Club Sail announcements so that you can join in and participate in this spectacular event. If you're not already subscribed, subscribe to our weekly newsletter here .

Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show  - May 16 - 19

The Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show is one of the West Coast’s premier boat shows, featuring new sail and cruising power boats, gear, hardware, seminars, and interactive workshops. It will be held in Redwood City at Westpoint Harbor.

Jazz and Blues by the Bay  - Friday Nights this Summer

Enjoy late summer nights and the smooth tunes of jazz on land or from the water. Hosted by Sausalito Parks and Recreation, Jazz and Blues by the Bay is a community event focused on park enjoyment and music appreciation. During the summer, these weekly Friday night concerts occur in Gabrielson Park overlooking Richardson Bay and the Sausalito Yacht Club mooring balls. Modern members can book a boat to enjoy the tunes and sunset, or join one of our Jazz and Blues by the Bay Club Sails .

The Master Mariners Annual Regatta - Memorial Day Weekend

Hosted by the  Master Mariners Benevolent Association , a San Francisco yacht club that dates back to 1867, the Master Mariner's Regatta is an exquisite event showcasing wooden tall ships from all over the Bay Area. In contrast to the modernity of SailGP, regatta boaters and spectators will have the opportunity to experience the historic heritage of sailing innovation at its finest.

One Ocean Film Tour on  World Oceans Day - June 8

The One Ocean Film Tour is a world-class series of ocean-loving films focused on adventure, the aquatic environment and inspirational stories.  The tour was created in 2020 with the vision to increase awareness about ocean protection and conservation by sharing films made by people who have dedicated their lives to the ocean and all her glory. One Ocean Film Tour is a spectacular visual journey in itself. Join us! Immerse yourself in the mighty power of One Ocean!

Summer Sailstice  - June 22

Celebrate the year's longest day and the start of summer on the "Sailstice." Organized by Bay Area sailor John Arndt, this event is a global affair that brings sailors together to celebrate their favorite pastime - sailing. Participation in the Summer Sailstice event is free. All you have to do is slip the lines, hoist your sails, and head out to your favorite body of water on a sailboat. Modern Sailing members can participate in Summer Sailstice by chartering a boat or joining a Club Sail.  Share your Sailstice plans for a chance to win epic prizes from sponsors such as North Sails, Navionics, American Sailing Association, US Sailing, and more!

Master Mariner's Wooden Boat Show at Corinthian Yacht Club - June TBD

The Annual Wooden Boat Show is one of the highlights of the San Francisco sailing season, and one of only a few West coast wooden boat shows.

Open to the public and generously hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, this unique event is an once a year opportunity to enjoy one of the most beautiful Yacht Clubs in the world, and dozens of the most elegant and delightful traditional sailing boats from the Bay and beyond. We'll let you know as soon as show dates are announced.

Independence Day Celebration - Tuesday, July 4

Celebrate America's independence on the water! Charter a sailboat or join a Club Sail to watch the multitude of fireworks shows around the Bay Area from the water. See our Member Resources article Best Places in SF Bay to See Fireworks by Boat .

SailGP San Francisco   (F50 foiling catamaran races) - July 13 - 14

There are a few ways to witness the exciting action of F50 foiling catamarans zipping and splashing around the Central Bay: (1) watch the race from shore by buying  tickets from SailGP . Modern Sailing club members can (2) charter a boat or (3) join a Club Sail to watch from the water.

Rolex Big Boat Series  and J/88 Nationals - September TBD

The Rolex Big Boat Series is a four-day regatta founded by the St. Francis Yacht Club in 1964. The annual event attracts competitive racing teams and big racing boats from all over the state, nation, and world. Thousands of racers and hundreds of boats take to the Bay each day of the race, competing for first place and the Rolex watch that comes with it. MSC club members can bareboat charter or join a Club Sail to witness the excitement from the water.

Island Yacht Club Women's Sailing Seminar - September TBD

IYC's 3 days of sailing, learning and fun includes in-person and streaming seminars and keynote speeches, food, drink, and no-host cocktail hours, giveaways including t-shirts and totes, and an amazing raffle drawing! Stay tuned for more details as we approach September.

Fleet Week  - October 2 - 8

The grand finale to summer in San Francisco, Fleet Week, celebrates the United States Navy allowing civilians to tour warships while their sailors tour the city. The week begins with a parade of ships progressing to free concerts, educational events, and family fun. Fleet Week's grand finale is a two-day air show over the Bay featuring the Blue Angels of the United States Airforce, the F-35 Demo Team, a demo from United's largest airplane, and several internationally known performance flight teams. The best seat in the house for these shows is from a boat on the Bay - keep an eye out for our Club Sails that weekend. 

Fleet Week Boating Safety

Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade - December 7

Spark the spirit of the season with holiday lights, music and fireworks on the water! This special event is a holiday tradition in Sausalito and across the Bay Area. Every year, we enter two of our club boats in the parade and our hard-working fleet staff decorate them for our members and guests to participate in this magical experience. With the sounds of holiday music and cheering spectators, you and your guests will be dazzled by the spectacle of decorated boats and fireworks. An enchanting and memorable event to kick off the season, even the grinchiest of sailors will be unable to resist the holiday cheer.

Do you know of any other San Francisco Bay Area sailing events? Let us know and we'll add it to this list!

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Since many, many years, I had the dream to sail underneath the Golden Gate bridge. On October 14th last year, my dream became true. Thanks to our dear friend Aaron Fritz who made it possible and organized this cruise for us. With this adventure I was able to achieve one more milestone on my sailing career.

Finally on the water, it was great! Full moon made the flows even stronger and it was like sailing in a washing machine.

I did my sailing education in the English Channel, where the situation with the wind and flows is comparable to the San Francisco Bay. So I felt pretty much "at home" being on the helm in the Bay.

I hope our skipper Stan Lander enjoyed this day cruise too. We, definitely did! It was an unforgettable experience for all of us.

A very big thank you to all of you who made it possible, that my dream became reality! Also thank you for the MSC flag I got at the end of the day. It found it's place in my study, where I can see it daily.

Rolf Zingg

I love sailing in the San Francisco Bay and greatly appreciate everything that MSC has to offer, the classes, clinics, club sails, racing and charters. I enjoy our supportive sailing community and use every opportunity to spend time on the water. After obtaining the certifications from MSC I did my first charter in Croatia in 2022 with my family. It was amazing and we’re looking forward to returning soon!

David Dolenc

I've taken two classes at MSS&C and was very happy with the program. This is also a great club with lots of opportunities for camaraderie and practice on the water. The boats in the fleet are fantastic and kept in tip-top shape. I highly recommend for all sailors and would-be sailors!

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Modern Sailing School & Club

Modern Sailing School & Club

Sausalito Location 2310 Marinship Way, Sausalito, CA 94965 (415) 331-8250 (800) 995-1668

Berkeley Location 1 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley, CA 94710 (415) 331-8250 (800) 995-1668

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How Australia’s SailGP Team Won a Nail-Biting Championship in San Francisco

The $1-million finale in sailing's fastest, most exciting league was australia's to lose. it almost did., michael verdon, michael verdon's most recent stories, superyacht sales dropped 17% last year. here’s why..

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Australia won the SailGP Grand Finale Cup and $1 million prize in San Francisco.

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But he didn’t: The Australians kept a narrow lead—a matter of seconds—and squeaked across the finish line in front of the Kiwis, with Great Britain finishing a distant third.

Australia won the SailGP Grand Finale Cup and $1 million prize in San Francisco.

Yesterday’s racing completed the third season of SailGP , a performance-based race league styled after Formula One, with teams from nine countries competing last season in 11 venues around the world.

The circuit traveled from Bermuda to Great Britain, Dubai, Australia and New Zealand and six other locations, playing to large crowds in each venue—but more importantly to the television and online audiences that founders Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison and SailGP CEO Russell Coutts, who led multiple America’s Cup campaigns for Ellison, hope will become a successful business model for sailing.

“It’s all about the eyeballs,” Jimmy Spithill, CEO and lead driver of the US team, told Robb Report, referring to developing a global fan base large enough to attract sponsors, advertisers and franchise owners for each team.

“This really does give us confidence in the property we are creating and shows the importance of developing a fan-centric broadcast offer with innovative technology,” said Coutts after the event.

But as it moves towards the season 4 opener in Chicago on June 16, the fledgling league will be facing a pivotal year. Ellison made a five-season commitment to bankroll SailGP’s original teams for about $5 million each per year, with the understanding that they be financially independent.

That means the teams will need to become profitable in the next two seasons—which could be a challenge, since billionaires typically finance sailing’s largest races like the America’s Cup. For the first time ever, the captains are also chief executives, responsible not only for racing but also the business side of each team.

“We’re focused right now on growth,” says Ben Johnson, SailGP’s commercial director for the Americas when asked about profitability. “We see a lot of promise. There’s nothing like SailGP from an experiential or family-friendly brand—and we’re tapping into America’s growing love of race sports. We see tremendous potential in our fan base here.”

Whether the league can grow the US fan base fast enough to turn the numbers into sponsors and revenue remains to be seen. The US team currently has Red Bull as a sponsor, and SailGP recently signed a ten-year agreement with Rolex as a league sponsor. SailGP has also added Los Angeles to New York, Chicago and San Francisco as a season-4 venue, giving the US the largest number of races. Canada will also have a race weekend, giving North America five out of 12 global events.

Australia won the SailGP Grand Finale Cup and $1 million prize in San Francisco.

“We basically built the brand from the ground up that year,” he says. But since then, the team has been “rotating through athletes” mostly because of injuries. That has led to inconsistent performance, says Spithill, especially considering training is limited to a single session before each race weekend. The team had only 20 total hours to train together last season. Such a limited time makes it challenging for any new sailor trying to learn these fast, technical raceboats. “Our future plans have to involve some sort of a training program,” says Spithill.

That’s echoed by new teams like Spain and Canada. “It’s actually really difficult to get quality time on the water,” says Phil Robertson, Canada’s driver and CEO, who has nonetheless had a decent season.

The league has coalesced into three to four teams at the top, mostly from countries with strong sailing cultures, with the newer, less experienced teams like Switzerland and Spain stuck at the bottom. A team from a new country will be announced later this year, according to SailGP officials, bringing the total to ten.

Since SailGP started, the roster has been fluid. Teams from Japan and China have dropped out, while others have signed on. At Friday’s press conference, the driver/CEOs from Spain and Canada were asked if they will have the financial means to continue next season. (Both politely dodged the question, saying they were focusing on this season.)

Despite the internal growth pains, the season finale in San Francisco was electric. The near-shore racing played to full bleachers of cheering crowds along the Golden Gate Yacht Club’s waterfront, while on large video screens, SailGP used a fast-paced feed of live shots from helicopters, photo boats and cameras on the raceboats, along with speed statistics, to capture the action. The league excels in presenting the racing visually, gearing it to a younger audience.

Over the weekend, there was also the drama that came with the racing: Great Britain’s Ainsley, arguably the most accomplished sailor in the league, versus France’s upstart driver Quentin Delapierre, both trying to secure a spot in the final.

Then there were Team USA’s struggles, New Zealand’s lackluster performance until the last day of racing and Australia’s dominance over the rest of the league. Along the way came crashes, near-misses and plenty of tactical maneuvering on the fast, flying raceboats. “The level of aggressiveness has really stepped up,” noted one commentator.

In the final, winner-takes-all $1 million race, it came down to the nail-biter finish between New Zealand and Australia. At one point, the Aussies had a 200-yard lead over New Zealand. “They just kept gaining and gaining,” recalled Australia’s Slingsby.

But in the end, with not much open water between them, Australia crossed the finish line ahead of New Zealand, setting up next season’s rivalry.

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2024 fill-in (side)

5O5 Pre-Worlds and North American Championship at St. Francis Yacht Club

yacht racing san francisco

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yacht racing san francisco

San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay has been called the ultimate sailing coliseum by many of the worlds greatest voyagers and sailors. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and a striking city skyline, the Bay boasts some of the best sailing conditions in the world. The summertime breezes which visit the Central Basin almost daily from April to October are world-renowned for their consistency, and the winters are filled with crystal clear days and some spectacular sailing opportunities.

The city of San Francisco is one of the truly great cities of the world. With culinary delights at every turn, world class shopping, international entertainment, and unique neighborhoods gracing the rolling hills, there is something here for everyone. San Francisco is also the center of numerous outdoors activities, including hiking, cycling, skiing, kayaking, surfing, windsurfing, and – of course – sailing!

  • The Bay of San Francisco hosts a variety of sailing conditions on a regular basis. From calm micro-climates, perfect for getting a hang of the sport, to the moderate breezes and chop of the South Bay, on up to the wildness of “the slot.” On a typical summer day, you can generally find what you want, when you want it!
  • San Francisco is a hotbed of grand prix level yacht racing. From America’s cup yachts to one-design dinghies, the Bay is the proving ground for many skippers. Constantly challenging, always a bit enigmatic, and regularly humbling, there is nowhere in the world quite like it.
  • For cruisers and day-sailors, the Bay boasts many wonderful destinations. The “Baja-ribbean” Belvedere and Angel Island; Richardson Bay with the village of Sausalito and backdrop of Mount Tamalpais; the infamous “Rock” of Alcatraz; the broad reaches of the San Pablo Bay; the Napa and Petaluma Rivers winding into wine country; the hot and humid channels of the Delta waterways. You name it, it is here.
  • Outside the Golden Gate lie wonderful cruising grounds capable of challenging the most seasoned mariners. Both the coastal community of Santa Cruz and the sea-life saturated Monterey Bay are within easy striking distance. Closer to home, we have Half Moon Bay. Farther along are Morro Bay, the stunning Santa Barbara, and Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary. We offer cruising courses which keep us close to home, and courses which bring out our adventurous spirits, heading all the way down the West Coast to our wintertime base in Puerto Vallarta!

Whether you want to cruise casually in flat water to a lunchtime destination, or pursue some serious surfing on the afternoon ebb-chop, San Francisco provides it all.

yacht racing san francisco

J/World San Francisco

The J World San Francisco Sailing School operates out of Marina Village Yacht Harbor in Alameda, California.  The protected waters between Alameda and Oakland (often referred to simply as “the Estuary,” but technically known as the Oakland Inner Harbor) are ringed with numerous marinas, boatyards, and marine related businesses.  Beyond the current status as the Bay Area’s boating center, it is also an area truly steeped in maritime history.

Our prime location gives us access to a truly wide range of sailing conditions on a typical San Francisco sailing day.  The calm inner harbor opens up on the South Bay of San Francisco, which regularly sees 12-14 knots with small chop.  The wide-open waters provide a perfect venue for many of our learn-to-sail courses and intermediate sailing classes, and the scenic San Francisco city front provide a fabulous backdrop.

For introductory level sailors who have raised their ability levels, or for our more advanced sailing courses, we have immediate access to the central bay, the venue world-renowned for the consistent breezes.  Where better to take your sailing classes with the best sailing school in the country?

Travel Information & Accomodations


Waterfront Plaza Hotel

10 Washington Street, Jack London Square Oakland, CA 94607 800-729-3638 (510) 836-3800

There are various accommodation options within walking distance of J World.  Please contact us for the latest information.

Oakland International (OAK) is about 6 miles from our office, and San Francisco International (SFO) is about 24 miles.

Public Transportation

J World is accessible by the SF Bay Ferry Services and BART rail system (however both these options will involve a short taxi ride), as well as MUNI Bus Service.

There is plenty of free parking in the large lots in front of our office.

yacht racing san francisco

J/World Sailing

San Francisco Bay San Diego Puerto Vallarta

(800) 910-1101 (510) 271-4780 [email protected]

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J/World Performance Sailing School is the preeminent source for sailing skills development.

J World Performance Sailing

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yacht racing san francisco

Regional Sailboat Races in the USA

By: Zeke Quezada, ASA Destinations , Sailing Races

Let’s set sail into the thrilling world of regional sailboat races! These competitions offer a unique and exciting twist on the traditional sailing experience.

Regional races center around sailboats vying for supremacy in specific corners of the world, be it a coastal paradise or a cluster of enchanting islands. These events serve as a rallying point for local racers, as sailors hailing from nearby towns and yacht clubs come together to showcase their skills. 

What’s particularly enticing about regional races is their inclusivity. Whether you’re piloting a nimble dinghy or commanding a majestic yacht, these races often welcome boats of all types and sailors of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned sea veteran or a novice setting sail for the first time, there’s a class tailored to your needs at most of these local sailing races.

It’s not all about the competition! Regional races transform into grand sailing events, where communities burst to life for multiple days of festivities while showcasing their local flavor. Sailors gather, forge new friendships, and revel in their shared passion for this incredible sport.

Moreover, these races often offer affordable entry fees, ensuring accessibility to aspiring racers of all backgrounds. Some races may be shorter and less arduous than epic ocean crossings, making them ideal for sailors looking to refine their skills. Regional sailboat races are all about honoring the sport of sailing and the remarkable community it nurtures.

yacht racing san francisco

  • Website: Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race
  • Description: The Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race is an offshore yacht race that takes participants from Marblehead, Massachusetts, to Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s a challenging long-distance race across the North Atlantic.
  • Website: Figawi Race Weekend
  • Description: Figawi Race Weekend is a popular sailing event that includes both a race and a weekend of festivities. It starts in Hyannis, Massachusetts, and ends on Nantucket Island.
  • Website: Block Island Race Week
  • Description: Block Island Race Week is a biennial event that takes place on Block Island, Rhode Island. It features a series of races over the course of a week and is known for its lively social scene.
  • Website: Vineyard Race
  • Description: The Vineyard Race is an offshore race that starts and finishes in Stamford, Connecticut, with a course that takes sailors around Martha’s Vineyard. It’s known for its scenic course and challenging conditions.
  • Website: Newport to Bermuda Race
  • Description: The Newport to Bermuda Race is a classic offshore race that starts in Newport, Rhode Island, and finishes in Bermuda. It’s one of the most prestigious ocean races on the East Coast.
  • Website: Ida Lewis Distance Race
  • Description: The Ida Lewis Distance Race is a coastal race that starts and finishes in Newport, Rhode Island. It offers a variety of courses, including offshore and overnight racing.
  • Website: Camden Classics Cup
  • Description: The Camden Classics Cup is a regatta held in Camden, Maine, that celebrates classic and vintage sailing yachts. It’s a showcase of timeless sailboat designs.
  • Website: Nantucket Race Week
  • Description: Nantucket Race Week is a week-long sailing event held on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. It includes a variety of racing classes and social activities, making it a family-friendly event.
  • Website: Boothbay Harbor Regatta
  • Description: The Boothbay Harbor Regatta is an annual regatta held in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. It features a mix of sailboat racing, social events, and onshore activities.
  • Website: Annapolis to Newport Race
  • Description: The Annapolis to Newport Race is a classic offshore race that starts in Annapolis, Maryland, and finishes in Newport, Rhode Island. This classic race takes sailors between two of the USA’s sailing epicenters.
  • Website: Charleston Race Week
  • Description: Charleston Race Week is a premier sailing event held in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s one of the largest regattas in the United States, featuring a wide range of sailboat classes and competitive racing.
  • Website: Around Long Island Regatta
  • Description: The Around Long Island Regatta is an annual offshore race that circumnavigates Long Island, New York. It’s a challenging race known for its variety of conditions and scenic views along the course.
  • Website: Around Martha’s Vineyard Race
  • Description: The Around Martha’s Vineyard Race is a sailing race that circumnavigates Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. 
  • Website: Conanicut Yacht Club
  • Description: The Around Jamestown Island Race is organized by the Conanicut Yacht Club and takes place in the waters around Jamestown Island, near Newport, Rhode Island. It’s a local race with stunning views of the Newport area.
  • Website: Atlantic Cup
  • Description: The Atlantic Cup is a premier Class 40 offshore racing series held along the East Coast of the United States. It features multiple legs and attracts international competitors. The race promotes sustainability and ocean health.

yacht racing san francisco

  • Website: Rolex Big Boat Series
  • Description: The Rolex Big Boat Series is a prestigious sailing event held in San Francisco, California. It’s known for attracting top sailors and a wide range of sailboat classes, making it a highlight of the West Coast racing calendar.
  • Website: Pacific Cup
  • Description: The Pacific Cup is a biennial offshore yacht race that takes participants from San Francisco, California to Kaneohe, Hawaii. It’s a challenging race known for its long-distance and unpredictable conditions.
  • Website: Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race
  • Description: This is one of the largest international yacht races, starting from Newport Beach, California, and finishing in Ensenada, Mexico. It features a wide range of sailboat classes and attracts sailors from around the world.
  • Website: Baja Ha-Ha
  • Description: The Baja Ha-Ha is an annual cruisers’ rally that starts in San Diego, California, and ends in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. While not a traditional race, it’s a popular event for sailors looking to cruise along the Baja California Peninsula.
  • Website: Swiftsure International Yacht Race
  • Description: The Swiftsure International Yacht Race is held in the waters off Victoria, British Columbia. It offers a variety of race courses, attracting both local and international sailors for a challenging competition.
  • Website: Round the County Race
  • Description: The Round the County Race is a sailing race that takes place in the beautiful San Juan Islands of Washington State. It offers a picturesque and challenging course for sailors.
  • Website: Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race
  • Description: This race starts in Santa Barbara, California, and finishes in Redondo Beach, California. It’s a popular offshore race along the Southern California coastline.
  • Website: Southern Straits Yacht Race
  • Description: The Southern Straits Yacht Race is a challenging overnight race that begins and ends in Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s known for its strategic and tactical sailing.
  • Website: Long Beach Race Week
  • Description: Long Beach Race Week is a multi-day regatta held in Long Beach, California. It features a variety of racing classes and attracts sailors of all levels.

yacht racing san francisco

Gulf of Mexico

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yacht racing san francisco

Published on December 21st, 2023 | by Assoc Editor

St. Francis Yacht Club’s 2024 Season

Published on December 21st, 2023 by Assoc Editor -->

San Francisco, CA (December 21, 2023) – 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.

yacht racing san francisco

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.


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Photo of Bruce Kessler

Birth: 1936

Death: 2024

Bruce Kessler Obituary

Bruce Kessler, an international racing driver, Hollywood film and television director, innovative boat designer and global circumnavigator, died April 4 at his home in Marina del Rey, California, after a brief illness. He was 88.Beginning in 1953, when he was 17, with the help of a fake ID, he earned the nickname “Little Lead Foot” racing illegally as an amateur, soon advancing to the top ranks of drivers in a variety of sports and formula cars in California before turning professional and drivingand often winning or setting track recordsat major road-racing venues across the United States. At 21, in 1957, he began working in Europe as test driver before co-driving for Ferrari the following year with fellow American Dan Gurney in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where, in the dark of night, in the rain, he crashed into the wreckage of another car, escaping death by bailing out of his before it burst into flames. After surviving two more crashes in the following years, he retired from racing at 26 in 1962. That year he directed his first film, “The Sound of Speed,” a 19-minute short subject that earned its place as the United States entry in its category at the Cannes International Film Festival. Without dialogue, with only the sound of the engine, and with the camera mounted on the car for many shots to show the driver’s point of viewa technique he invented that was later adopted by countless other directors”The Sound of Speed” portrayed the intense drama of the testing of a Formula 1 racecar, the Scarab, on the track at Riverside Raceway. In the film the car is driven by his friend Lance Reventlow, collaborator with Kessler and a team of designers, engineers and mechanics to build and race it. This pathbreaking short film led to his being hired as a technical adviser on racing and chase sequences for Hollywood action movies, then as a script supervisor, and soon enough as a second-unit director for Howard Hawks on the stock-car racing film “Red Line 7000.” Hawks became his mentor and opened doors that led to his long career as a director of movies for television and hundreds of episodes of dozens of series including “The Rockford Files,” “McCloud,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Mission: Impossible,” “The A-Team,” “The Flying Nun,” “CHiPs,” “Baretta,” “The Fall Guy,” “To Catch a Thief,” “The Monkees,” “The Commish” and many others. His reliability in bringing projects in on time and on budget brought him continuous employment for four decades as a hardworking director in an industry known for its relentless deadlines and unforgiving production pressures.A lifelong sport fisherman, while still directing, Kessler began his third career, as a boat concept innovator, using the hull of a fishing vessel to build a yacht, the Zopilote, on which passengers and crew could live comfortably and fish for marlin from a custom deck at the stern. He and his wife, the actress Joan Freeman Kessler, spent many years cruising and fishing in various waters all around North America and beyond. They circumnavigated the globe from 1990 to 1993, making port in 34 countries as one of the first trawler power yachts to complete such a round-the-world voyage. In their travels they clocked a total of some 100,000 nautical miles. In Kessler’s later years he was something of a legend in the boating community as his innovative hybrid concept of a yacht built on the hull of a commercial fishing trawler revolutionized the industry. Delta Marine, the fishing-boat builder that had to be cajoled into building the original Zopilote, is now a major producer of such yachts. He received many awards and gave frequent talks on the subject, which he once described as not unlike the modifications he and his friends made on their hot rods as teenagers in the early 1950s, changes that he called simply “logical” for improved performance. Bruce Michael Kessler was born March 23, 1936, in Seattle to parents Jack Kessler, a sportswear salesman, and Nina (Ifland) Kessler, who managed the household. In 1946 his parents, Bruce and his two younger siblings, Ricky and Mimi, moved to Los Angeles where the Kesslers founded a ladies’ swimwear company in partnership with the fashion designer Rose Marie Reid. Rose Marie Reid Swimsuits was so successful in the postwar economic boom years that in 1950 the Kesslers moved to Beverly Hills, where Bruce had the privilege to embark on his racing career amid a circle of close friends including such Hollywood legends as James Dean and Steve McQueen. He had no way of knowing at the time that he would have a longer and more prolific presence in that world than either of them, or that his innovations in boat design would make that arguably the most consequential of his three careers. He is survived by his wife, Joan, partner and first mate for 54 years; his brothers Rick and Stephen; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Miriam Kessler Warshow. Despite his many accomplishments and his renown in all three of his unusual pursuits, Kessler was without any pretense of his importance or elevated sense of his own celebrity. He was always just doing his own thing in his own way, learning from and collaborating with partners of complementary skills and expertise, and following instincts that seemed to him completely natural. Not long after a social event where he was asked for his autograph by an admirer, he said to his brother Rick, “Why would anyone want my autograph?” A scale model of his pioneering trawler yacht, the Zopilote, is displayed in a glass case in the lobby of the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey.

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Northern California PHRF

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The Northern California Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (NCPHRF) Committee is a Standing Committee of the Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay. Its sole function is to determine the speed potential of monohull yachts racing in Northern California. If you are interested in getting a rating for a multihull, please visit the  Bay Area Multihull Association . NCPHRF rating values will be in seconds per mile and assume a mixture of around-the-buoy and windward/leeward racing on San Francisco Bay and the surrounding area. The NCPHRF Committee recognizes that the handicaps will be used in a variety of races ranging from protected bays, estuaries and lakes, to open oceans. Therefore, the Committee has no responsibility for the seaworthiness or safety of yachts rated, but cites the US SAILING Fundamental Rule 4 part 1: “It shall be the sole responsibility of each yacht to decide whether or not to start or to continue to race.”

NCPHRF Rating Criteria

The NCPHRF Committee establishes performance ratings for sailboats that:

  • have ballast and are single hulled,
  • have a canoe body of nineteen feet LOA or greater,
  • have minimum solid ballast of 400 pounds,
  • have submitted a properly completed application and supporting information to enable the Committee to understand the shape, size, and speed-producing factors of the boat, and
  • any custom/non-production boat must provide current measurement certificates (IMS, Americap II, MORC); and a VPP for the exact configuration in which she will be sailed.

The Committee may decline to handicap any yacht for which it feels unable to determine a potential speed. For boats new and or unfamiliar to the Committee, initial ratings will be considered provisional in nature, and may be reviewed and perhaps changed after one season or a series of races has transpired. It is a NCPHRF Committee policy that all documentation must be submitted to the YRA office prior to issuance of a rating. No ratings shall be given over the phone or without full documentation having been made available to the entire Committee. The Committee may invalidate a certificate at anytime, where cause is in evidence, such as incorrect dimensions or other than declared equipment is used. Due process will be exercised to allow the owner to be heard and corrections made if the owner in the view of the Committee provides justification. Further recourse resides in U S Sailing’s appeals process.

The NCPHRF committee only rates monohulls. If you are interested in ratings for multihulls please visit the  Bay Area Multihull Association .

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