What are the critical elements needed to transform a fine sailboat race into a world-class regatta? Rather than pontificating on which finer points inspire sailors to commit time, resources and sailing bandwidth to a given regatta, we reached out to some of the skippers, tacticians and industry professionals who are participating in this year’s Rolex Big Boat Series to get their pulse on what makes this storied regatta hum.
Sitting in the Main Dining Room, sipping your Sauvignon Blanc, you look out into the Bay and see a boat with three bright white lights, all in a row on the masthead. Do you know what it means? The Seamanship Committee breaks down a handful of helpful ways to remember light configurations.
Michael first caught the sailing bug in college, sailing on Lake Lagunita on Stanford’s campus. Since then, he has sailed bigger and faster boats and now competitively races the Santa Cruz 50, Oaxaca, inshore and offshore.
Last weekend, 138 boats competed in the popular Delta Ditch Run, where they encountered some of the windiest conditions the regatta has seen in years. For some boats, that spelled disaster. But for kitefoilers Johnny Heineken and Riley Gibbs, that spelled an opportunity to set a new course record.
This past weekend marked the 38th running of the SF Classic, the longest continuously run long-distance board race in the world. Over the years, much has changed about this San Francisco Bay race—the regatta format, the boards under foot, the sails over head—but one thing remains the same: the competitors keep getting faster.