ROLEX BIG BOAT SERIES NEWS


It’s hard to find a purer form of sailing than a lineup of polished teams on identical platforms, all with an equal shot at racecourse glory. This is precisely what makes One Design racing the heart and soul of the St. Francis Yacht Club’s annual Rolex Big Boat Series. From September 12-16, top teams will race in at least seven different One Design fleets, as well as several highly-competitive handicap fleets, making this the West Coast’s most competitive regatta. J/88s, J/105s, J/111s, Express 37s, J/120s, Farr 40s and Pac 52s have all met the NOR requirement of six or more entrants.

While the St. Francis Yacht Club’s annual Rolex Big Boat Series has been offering the West Coast’s most competitive fleet racing since 1964, a highlight of the 2017 regatta was the sight of five brand-new Pac52s tearing around San Francisco Bay at speeds well north of 20 knots. Given the superb sailing conditions that the Pac52 class enjoyed during their inaugural Rolex Big Boat Series, it’s not surprising that this West Coast-bred Grand Prix class plans to return to this year’s regatta (September 12-16) with additional numbers on their starting line and with added incentive to sail fast.

While there’s no question that strategy, tactics and boatspeed ultimately win sailboat races, onshore preparation also pays handsome dividends, especially when you’re going up against the West Coast’s best sailors. The St. Francis Yacht Club’s Rolex Big Boat Series (September 12-16, 2018) is widely considered to be the Left Coast’s most competitive regatta.

Racing concluded today at the 53rd edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series (September 13-17), hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club on the wind and tide-torn waters of San Francisco Bay. After seven races spread across four days of on-water action, winners were crowned in eleven classes, including six perpetual trophies. 

When it comes to natural sailing amphitheaters, San Francisco Bay is virtually impossible to beat, especially during the Rolex Big Boat Series hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, in San Francisco, California. Not only does the Bay present great geographical features for sailors to race around, but the late-September winds have a reputation for greeting each day with relatively calm velocities that climb into the high-teens to mid-20s as the racing unfurls.

Good wind is almost never in short supply on San Francisco Bay during the Rolex Big Boat Series, and day two of racing at the 53rd edition of this legendary big-air contest (September 13-17, 2017) was no exception, even if it required a one-hour shore-side postponement to allow the breeze to build.

While it’s tough to win a high-level regatta on Day One of racing, it’s possible to lose the series right away, especially in a highly competitive fleet racing on a challenging body of water.

Burgees flutter and spectra halyards slap against carbon-fiber and aluminum masts on 89 highly tuned raceboats assembled at the St. Francis Yacht Club for the 53rd edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series (September 13-17, 2017).

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