San Francisco, CA — Every year, Rolex Big Boat Series reestablishes itself as the premier west coast sailing regatta. In 2016, St. Francis Yacht Club welcomed the regatta’s biggest fleet in history with 125 competitors. This year, from September 13–17, 2017, the club is prepared to host another great event, this time welcoming the new glamour class of the Pacific 52s as it arrives on the international racing stage.
In 2016, Victor Wild’s (San Diego, Calif.) Pac52 Fox made her Rolex Big Boat Series debut and dominated in ORR A, besting her seven-boat class with four first-place finishes and a low score of 12 points. The Pac52, which features the hull of a TP52 with a slightly taller mast and lighter engine, turned heads at that regatta both for her good looks and her superior performance. On the final day of the 2016 Rolex Big Boat Series, StFYC member and the owner of the Rio sailing program, Manouch Moshayedi, revealed plans for expanding the Pac52 Class, announcing that more boats were in build.
The Pac52, Fox made its Rolex Big Boat Series debut in 2016 where she won ORR A and the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy. In 2017, the regatta is expecting to welcome four Pac52s.
Since then, three additional Pac52s have been built: Frank Slootman’s Invisible Hand has just completed sea trails in New Zealand and is currently aboard a cargo ship en route to Oakland, CA; Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio is sailing in Dubai and Tom Holtus’ Bad Pak is in New Zealand. These boats are undergoing speed tests and the final stages of rigging and development, after which they will be off to the races.
“The Pac52 class is unlike anything sailing on the West Coast right now,” said Frank Slootman, owner of Invisible Hand. “These are grand prix one-design race boats with complete offshore capabilities that will make for intense in-shore and long distance ocean racing. We are looking forward to officially launching the class and showing the racing public what these thoroughbreds are capable of.”
In addition to the Pac52 class, the 2017 Rolex Big Boat Series expects to welcome several classic Santa Cruz 50s and 52s, a variety of PHRF and ORR rated boats and multiple one-design classes including J/105s, J/120s, J/70s, Express 37s and California 40s.
Whether you are a repeat competitor or a first-time San Francisco Bay racer, the 52nd Rolex Big Boat Series is an unbeatable way to cap off your season. The event NOR has been posted and registration is open. Deadline to enter is August 1.