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Registration open for Dutch Shoe Marathon: The best sight on the bay is back

by Casey Coffin 11 Jul 11:44 PDT July 22, 2022
Dutch Shoe Marathon © San Diego Yacht Club

Registration is now open for San Diego Yacht Club and Coronado Yacht Club's summer Sabot staple: the Dutch Shoe Marathon!

A tradition spanning 49 years, the Dutch Shoe Marathon (DSM) features nearly 150 junior and adult sailors every July, sailing from San Diego Yacht Club down San Diego Bay, under the Coronado Bridge, and finishing in Glorietta Bay. This year's race will be held on July 22, 2022.

For many of our youngest sailors, this will be the longest race they've participated in so far. From day one of program, these juniors (and some seniors!) have been preparing for the trek down the Bay. They review boat handling, strategy, wind, safety, and course management by the Club's dedicated group of coaches.

"For some, the simple goal is to have fun and finish the race. Our more experienced racers are prepared for serious competition as they push to join the illustrious list of Dutch Shoe Champions, several of whom have gone on to become Olympians, College Sailing All Americans, and World Champions. Several sailors are also excited to compete against their parents in one of the rare regattas where Senior and Junior Sabot sailors compete on the same course," started Junior Program Director Erik Hallback.

When you ask these ambitious junior sailors what they're most excited about for this annual regatta, you'll find answers like downwind competition, experience on the boat, sailing in a big group, and of course...snacks! All these factors combined makes the Dutch Shoe Marathon one of the most anticipated events of the summer.

"SDYC juniors have been training consistently throughout the year and pick up the tempo during summer, practicing five days per week and spending time sailing out to the Shelter Island Shoal and San Diego Bay to practice in chop and current that contribute to the challenge of this event," added Hallback.

The regatta is split into four divisions: A, B, and C fleets, and Seniors. The current Dutch Shoe Marathon champion title is held by Clare Steinemann, who was in C Fleet for the 2021 regatta. Finishing close behind Steinemann was Olympia Barelli in second and Steven Ashton in third, both also in C Fleet.

Waterfront Director Jeff Johnson explained, "Following along with the procession, young sailors this year will experience a friendly, moderate flood tide that will give them a subtle push towards the iconic Coronado Bridge which they pass under on their way to the finish line in Glorietta Bay. Challenges will include boat wakes from passing commercial and recreational traffic that can push out brief but steep and disruptive waves 2'-4' high. Then there are the large commercial vessels that cannot alter course and have ultimate right of way. While it is too far out still to anticipate what the winds will be like, sailors will need to be prepared for their 3- to 4-hour sail with snacks and liquids to keep them fueled up."

This year, similar to prior editions of the event, the Awards Ceremony and post-race social will be held at the Coronado Yacht Club, where sailors will be awarded the classic red Dutch shoes for the following categories: 1st-5th place of Senior, A and B fleets; 1st-10th place of C fleet; 1st Doublehanded; 1st to Finish; 1st to Weather Mark; 1st to Capsize; Predicted Log aka Juan Rodriguez Award; and the Secretary of the Navy award. Sailors, family members, and spectators will enjoy a BBQ paired with a live band.

Spectators are encouraged to come out on the water for this one-of-a-kind event and cheer on the colorful fleet of sailors as they complete this junior sailing rite of passage. The race is set to begin in La Playa Cove at 1200.

Visit here for more information or to register for the race.

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