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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Commit to the 2024 Rolex Big Boat Series

by St. Francis Yacht Club 8 Jul 16:40 PDT September 11-15, 2024
Rolex Big Boat Series © Sharon Green / Rolex

Lock in our special hotel deal for competitors, book your dock space + skip the late entry fees of August.

For many skippers there's no hesitation when it comes to registering for Rolex Big Boat Series, now in its 60th year at St. Francis Yacht Club. "San Francisco Bay with its challenging conditions and beautiful scenery, is a combination that makes this one of the best regattas in the world in terms of venue and activities," said Barry Lewis, owner of the J/120 Chance, which he's raced in every Rolex Big Boat Series held since 2002.

Though everyone loves the podium and Lewis has won more than a few times, he's stopped keeping track because the regatta is more than just a race. "We give it our all every time, regardless. A bunch of my crew have moved out of the Bay Area, but they still come back for Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta and Rolex Big Boat Series. Part of the fun of those regattas, Big Boat in particular, is these people have been with me for 20+ years."

"Rolex Big Boat Series is about good friends getting together to race, which makes it special." - Barry Lewis, J/120 Chance

For those who are dawdling at the registration line, now is the time to commit to avoid the $250 late entry fee that kicks in after July 31. Considered the most prestigious regatta on the West Coast, with a history of legendary competition since 1964, Rolex Big Boat Series draws sailors from around the country and the world for four days of high-test competition and highly fun social events.

Scheduled for September 11-15, 2024, the following are invited to compete in this year's regatta:

  • One-design boats of the J/88, J/105, Cape 31, Express 37 and Melges 24 classes. Other classes with a minimum number of boats can be considered with application to the Organizing Authority.
  • ORC Monohulls with a LOA = 30'. Boats with an APH of 500 or lower are required to have an ORC International Certificate. Boats with an APH higher than 500 may compete using either an ORC International Certificate or ORC Club Certificate.
  • Classic boats built prior to 1955 with a LOA = 48' and a current ORRez rating certificate.
  • Multihull boats with a valid 2024 OMR certificate issued by the Bay Area Multihull Association with a rating of between 0.89 and 1.22. Trapezes are not permitted.
"It's literally my favorite event of the year." - Marc McMorris, Cape 31, M2

While stately Classics honor the regatta's six decades of racing traditions and big crews, sport boats like Cape 31s bring big speed to the show. Easy to sail yet stable in the higher winds typical of San Francisco Bay, M2 owner Marc McMorris is thrilled to return for the second consecutive year on his Cape 31. He started the season racing outside of California in Ft. Lauderdale, St. Thomas and Tortola, but returns to St. Francis Yacht Club for the Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta, August 17-18, as a warm-up to Rolex Big Boat Series.

"Last year was great, we enjoyed it and won our class which always helps but that's not the only reason to do Rolex Big Boat Series," McMorris said. "We're super excited because we'll have four Cape 31s racing. We'd love two more so we can have our own start but regardless, Rolex Big Boat Series is such a great event, the competition is good, and StFYC does a fantastic job of hosting. It's literally my favorite event of the year."

"I thought this regatta would be the perfect event for her—I just had to build up the skills and courage to participate." - Peter Rostas, Swan 47, Typon

Growing up in Finland, Peter Rostas sailed on Vagspel, one of the last 8mR boats built in Finland. The big wooden classic sparked Rostas' interest in older boats and in 2019 he purchased Typon, a 1976 Finnish-built Swan 47 cruiser-racer designed by Sparkman & Stephens. The boat had been part of the Puget Sound racing scene for over 30 years but was outfitted with new standing rigging, sails and safety equipment in preparation for last year's Rolex Big Boat Series. It was the first time for Rostas and crew, which consists mainly of his Finnish friends, and they've been practicing hard to improve their efficiency around the racecourse this year.

"After buying the boat, I was eyeing Rolex Big Boat Series. The boat was built to ocean race and given the conditions on San Francisco Bay, I thought this regatta would be the perfect event for her—I just had to build up the skills and courage to participate," Rostas laughed. "Our expanded crew for inshore racing includes experienced locals who have helped us learn how to race on the Bay, which is a fascinating place to sail as it is so complex. The wind doesn't bother us as she's a big boat that handles breeze well.

"We had a great time racing Rolex Big Boat Series last year; we have been improving and learning how to make the boat go faster so we're looking forward to coming back for both the racing and the fun social events."

Click here to register now.

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