Please select your home edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

St. Francis Yacht Club announces Felix Weidling to lead Race Department

by St. Francis Yacht Club 1 Mar 18:54 PST
Felix Weidling to lead STFYC's Race Department © St. Francis Yacht Club

St. Francis Yacht Club has selected Felix Weidling to lead its Race Department and serve as Race Director. Weidling comes to San Francisco from Kiel Yacht Club, where he served for a decade as Race Secretary and organized various world and continental championships in addition to Kiel Week, an annual nine-day sailing event that draws 4,500 sailors, 1,800 boats and 300,000 spectators, plus millions of visitors to the city for the festivities.

During his time in the role, Kiel Week became part of the Sailing World Cup, in addition to serving as an Olympic Sailing qualifier and a championship event for German and European teams.

With over 140 days of activity on the St. Francis Yacht Club sailing calendar, Weidling will now helm one of the busiest regatta programs in the world, at a venue internationally recognized for its impeccable sailing, exhilarating conditions and best-in-class regatta management. His ten years managing the complex operations at Kiel Yacht Club should translate well to San Francisco Bay.

Sir Ben Ainslie, one of the most accomplished sailors in the history of the sport and who is currently leading the British team in the 2024 America's Cup Challenger Selection Series, said of Weidling, "The size of Kiel Week is noteworthy and it attracts some of the biggest names in sailing. Compared to other venues, Kiel Yacht Club has consistently been the best organized and has provided the best experience for all athletes."

Every year, St. Francis Yacht Club welcomes thousands of sailors racing all types of craft, from large ocean-going yachts, to PHRF sportboats, to one design classes, to dinghies and foil boards. In addition to annual regattas and weekly racing series, in 2023 the club will host the Women's World Match Racing Tour, the 5O5 World Championships, the inaugural Wingfoil Pacific Coast Championships and Rolex Big Boat Series — the West Coast's pinnacle regatta.

"For a club of our standing, the position of Race Director requires an individual of extraordinary ability who can rise to the occasion of managing an internationally-recognized organization," said Beau Vrolyk, 2023 Commodore of St. Francis Yacht Club. "Only the best of the best is qualified to maintain the level of detail, planning and excellence that St. Francis Yacht Club requires for its regattas. To that end, it has taken nearly a year to find a suitable candidate. We were searching for an individual who has worked at the highest levels of competitive sailing with experience organizing world-class regattas consistently and professionally. The pool of qualified candidates is quite small and our patience has paid off. We're looking forward to welcoming Felix Weidling to our shores."

In addition to bringing top notch skills in regatta planning and logistics to St. Francis Yacht Club, Weidling will also be exporting his expertise in working with a team to develop and launch app-based technologies for registration, race monitoring and management used at Kiel Week. An app for race information tracking systems that improved and expedited race operations during Kiel Week is now used by hundreds of yacht clubs throughout Europe.

"This interest in and ability to innovate is what set Mr. Weidling apart from other candidates and fits within our club's own tradition of leadership and innovation in the sport of sailing," said John Meagher, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of St. Francis Yacht Club. "We were looking for someone who's capable of turning the traditional challenges of race management into opportunities to excel and bring a new level of professionalism."

A native of Kiel, Germany, Weidling grew up competing in dinghies, eventually graduating to larger ORC boats and crewing an IMX 38, Farr 40 and 12-meter. During his racing career, he competed in the 2007 America's Cup in Valencia for United Internet Team Germany, crossed the Atlantic from Newport, RI to Hamburg, Germany, in the HSH Nordbank Blue Race, was Vice European Champion in 12mR class in Barcelona and was world champion in the X-99 one design class. After a decade as Kiel Yacht Club's Race Secretary, in 2019 he took a position in the real estate industry to try something different and have more free time on the water. He enjoys cruising and sailing recreationally, often with his family, who will all be relocating with him to San Francisco. "I've participated in and managed regattas all my life and I'm looking forward to the challenge of doing what I do well in a new city, a new country and at a club with such an exciting history and future," he said. "I am very thankful for the Executive Race Committee at Kiel Yacht Club. Without their support I would not have the opportunity to be here."

Weidling will commence his new role in March, just in time for the start of the 2023 regatta season at St. Francis Yacht Club, which typically averages a race every two days and culminates in the Rolex Big Boat Series, scheduled for September 13-17 when conditions on San Francisco Bay are ideal for multiple days of racing across multiple fleets.

"Rolex only sponsors the most prestigious regattas in the world," commented Mounia Mechbal, Vice President of Marketing at Rolex. "As the biggest regatta on the West Coast, the Rolex Big Boat Series needs to be planned meticulously, and properly organized to reflect the international caliber of the talent participating in the event and the prestige of the prizes being awarded. It is not an easy role to undertake and it is not for the uninitiated. We are confident that St. Francis Yacht Club's pick for Race Director, Mr. Felix Weidling, is an individual of extraordinary ability. His experience with world-class events shows he is one of the few people in the world that can take on the mantle of such a prestigious organization and successfully maintain the prestige of the Rolex brand associated with the Big Boat Series."

For more information visit

Related Articles

Women's World Match Racing Tour Normandy day 2
Megan Thomson brings the Kiwi magic Megan Thomson and her 2.0 Racing Team from New Zealand have qualified to the final at the Normandie Match Cup in Le Havre, Stage 3 of the 2023 Women's World Match Racing Tour, after a close semi-final match against Sweden's Anna Östling/ WINGS Sailing. Posted on 29 May
Women's World Match Racing Tour Normandy day 1
A fresh breeze in Le Havre tested the eleven teams A fresh breeze in Le Havre Normandy tested the eleven all-women international teams yesterday competing at the Normandie Match Cup, Stage 3 of the 2023 Women's World Match Racing Tour. Posted on 28 May
Love Moms at J/105 Women Skipper Invitational
The teams were led by women skippers who had been invited by boat owners to take the helm On "Mothers' Day Eve" on Saturday, May 13th, eight boats of J/105 Fleet 1 on San Francisco Bay rallied for the second running of the J/105 Women Skipper Invitational, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club. Posted on 20 May
Casa Vela Cup overall
Celia Willison and the Edge Women's Match Team take the win Celia Willison and the Edge Women's Match Team from New Zealand secured a hard-fought victory today at the inaugural all-women Casa Vela Cup hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. Posted on 29 Apr
Casa Vela Cup Day 3
Final four advance to semis Day 3 of the all-women Casa Vela Cup at the St Francis Yacht Club today finished the double round robin qualifiers and advanced the top four teams to the semi-finals Posted on 28 Apr
Casa Vela Cup Day 2
Local sailor Nicole Breault and her Vela Racing team remain undefeated Day 2 of the Casa Vela Cup at the St. Francis Yacht Club finished with the ten competing all-women's teams all vying for a valued spot in the semi-finals. Posted on 27 Apr
Casa Vela Cup Day 1
2023 Women's World Match Racing Tour underway in San Francisco Nicole Breault (USA) and her Vela Racing team of Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer, Dana Riley Hayes, and Maggie Bacon are undefeated on Day 1 of the 2023 Casa Vela Cup, the opening stage of the 2023 Women's World Match Racing Tour. Posted on 26 Apr
Spring Wingding & Pacific Coast Wingfoil
Johnny Heineken wins on San Francisco Bay St. Francis Yacht Club hosted the Spring Wingding & Pacific Coast Wingfoil Championships, the first-ever wingfoil regatta of its kind on San Francisco Bay. Posted on 20 Apr
Registration opens for 505 Worlds
Moved to San Francisco due to harbor access issues in Santa Cruz Registration is open for the 5O5 World Championship and North Americans, to be held September 21 to October 1 at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, California. Posted on 13 Apr
St. Francis YC announces Offshore Mixed Doubles
A single distance race approx 24 hours stretching across San Francisco Bay The Notice of Race is posted and registration is open for St. Francis Yacht Club's inaugural Offshore Mixed Doubles Race, scheduled for July 29-30, 2023, and open to doublehanded crews of mixed gender. Posted on 11 Apr
Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - SW FOOTERJ Composites 2022 - J45 v4 FOOTERZhik 2023 May SW FOOTER