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Rolex Big Boat Series on hold until 2021

by St. Francis Yacht Club 28 Jul 03:43 PDT
Rolex Big Boat Series © Sharon Green / Rolex

Due to the ongoing global pandemic, the 2020 Rolex Big Boat Series hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, California, has been canceled.

"These are difficult times, and this was a difficult decision, but as a socially responsible member of both our local community and the greater sailing community, it was the right decision for St. Francis Yacht Club and all involved," says Commodore Ken Glidewell.

The premiere West Coast regatta draws sailors from around the country and was scheduled for September 17-20, 2020, with four days of racing for invited one-design classes, ORR boats greater than 30 feet and a Classics division for boats built prior to 1955 and at least 48 feet in length.

"Up until the final decision was made, we were fully vested in planning to safely race in 2020," says Rolex Big Boat Series Regatta Chair Susan Ruhne. "We were encouraged by the 51 skippers who had registered to compete and we had plans in place to mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19. We weren't giving up, but reality is not something we can avoid."

The event was also to serve as the J/88 North American Championships and the Express 37 Pacific Coast Championships. "This would have been the 30th anniversary for the Express 37s, a class that's been incredibly competitive on our racecourse," said Ruhne. "We're sorry we won't see them this year, but we look forward to next year."

The next Rolex Big Boat Series is scheduled for September 15-19, 2021.

Since 1964, Rolex Big Boat Series has been canceled only one other time: in 2001 after the attack on the World Trade Center, which occurred two days before the start of the regatta. Competitors flying in from New Zealand were turned around midair with no explanation until they landed back in Auckland. That year would have been the biggest field of boats competing in the regatta's history.

"The St. Francis Yacht Club and Rolex Big Boat Series have been around for a long time and we will be here well past the era of COVID-19. We can take a year off in the name of safety for our sailors, our members and our community," said Commodore Glidewell. "We look forward to seeing you in 2021."

For more information, please visit rolexbigboatseries.com.

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