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Legendary Skippers vie for the International Masters Regatta champion title

by San Diego Yacht Club 5 Oct 2018 06:36 PDT 19-21 October 2018
2017 International Masters Regatta day 2 © Cynthia Sinclair

The International Masters Regatta will return to the San Diego Yacht Club on October 19-21, 2018 for a regatta with some of the greatest names in sailing. Legendary skippers from across the country are invited to a round-robin battle in supplied J/105s and will be vying for the title in the stadium of San Diego Bay.

The International Masters Regatta is one of SDYC's signature events, adopted seven years ago from St. Francis Yacht Club member Don Trask in honor of his father. For many years prior, the world's greatest Master sailors raced in this international sailing competition in San Francisco Bay and after a several year gap, relocated to San Diego. Sailors with iconic names including Elvstrom, Buchan, Burnham, Tillman, Trask, Irish, Harken, North and Holland (just to name a few) have competed in this prestigious event.

This regatta boasts high level competition as well as high level camaraderie. These skippers are old friends reunited for a fun weekend of intense racing. Five-time U.S. Match Racing Champion Dave Perry states, "I enjoy these kinds of events that are among my friends and counterparts in the sport. The Masters hosted by the SDYC is a class event, the racing is fun, and I get the chance to spend time with old friends while making some new ones as well." Listen to Dave Perry talk about the Masters on the San Diego Yacht Club Sailcast.

The winner of the 2017 International Masters Regatta was SDYC's very own Bill Campbell. Quoted as the "powerhouse" of the regatta, Bill Campbell earned his first place finish by 23 points, skippering in the Masters Regatta for the first time. Campbell offers his advice to this year's competitors. "I think it is important to be able to gather a good crew and let them do their jobs on the boat. My job was to get good starts and steer. I had a tactician to point me in what he thought was the right direction. The trimmers and pit and bow guys didn't need any input from me except for timing at starts and mark roundings. Too often the skipper tries to do too many jobs on the boat other than his own. As a result the skipper's job suffers and the results suffer as well. I was able to handle positioning at the starts, steer fast, after which the crew got us around the course."

International Masters Regatta Chair Alli Bell, who also Chairs the following week's San Diego Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup, explains how crucial volunteers are to executing the event. "These two regattas are a huge undertaking that cannot be successful without the commitment of an army of volunteers and the 13 J/105 owners who generously charter us their boats for almost three weeks. On behalf of the San Diego Yacht Club, I'd like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make this event thrive and who will not stop working until long after the trophies have been awarded."

Anyone interested in watching the races can find them in San Diego Bay. The schedule of events for the sailors begins on Friday with breakfast, followed with racing and a dockside social in the evening. After Saturday Night's racing, there will be a regatta banquet for participants and after racing on Sunday, the awards will be presented.

In 2013, the perpetual trophy for the International Invitational Masters Regatta was gifted and dedicated by Malin and Roberta Burnham at the regatta banquet. The trophy is a beautiful original art piece created by Don Freedman of Nantucket Island and features a nautical inspired clock detailed with ships' instruments.

SDYC Commodore Michael Dorgan voiced his excitement for the regatta. "As Commodore of SDYC, I can say we are extremely proud to be the host of such a prestigious sailing event. Brought here from San Francisco only seven years ago, we are very pleased to have many incredible sailors coming to our Club to race at a very high-level, yet friendly environment. One of the successful things we are able to offer is a very closely matched fleet of J/105s, with identical Club owned sail inventory and couple this with competitors rotating boats between every single race which creates a very level racing field. In the end, the best team will win, not the best boat!"

The 2018 International Masters Regatta confirmed skippers are:

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