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Belvedere Classic and Great Schooner Race 1 in 3 Part Series

Aug 2, 2023 | Classic Boats, Editorial, Sailing

Belvedere Classic and Great Schooner Race in San Francisco is one event in a three-part series for classic yachts. This event was held July 15 and hosted by San Francisco Yacht Club. The non-schooner division attracted 16 entrants; four boats competed in schooner division. Schooners crossed the line individually based on ratings. Vessels followed a Bay Tour course.

Belvedere Classic report appears in August Latitude 38 magazine, starts on page 79.

Belvedere Classic Regatta on Herreshoff Brigadoon

Father-daughter team Terry and Lindsey Klaus took a first on 50-foot Brigadoon. The vessel has sailed all but one year of this regatta. The sole time unable–she still graced the race docks with a visit. A 99-year-old classic, Brigadoon looks as wonderful as the day she was launched. She’s the first design of L. Francis Herreshoff, son of Nat Herreschoff. Earning a second place was Jakatan, Jeff Hawkins at the helm. Having done every one of this race, “Jakatan” can be observed engraved on the trophy several times.

For the non-schooner division, Jock MacLean revealed Oriole (Bird boat) had a late start–one minute–but found a great line to Sausalito. “She sailed away at 12, held her own going to Blossom Rock, then kicked-in to Alcatraz.” This skipper tacked under the other boats, running the bird closer than most aside guano island. “She can perform like a bat outta hell upwind.” In 2022, Bill Claussen on Bird boat Cuckoo had the ride of his life fighting to earn first; this year he sailed to second. Special recognition was given that day to Freda, one of the West Coast’s oldest ladies on the water. She was built in Belvedere, 1885.

A Young Classic Boats Sailor

A youngest to sail was James Conrad Borger III, grandson of Jim Borger, owner of the Lapworth-designed Dasher 32 Neja. His first race, Conrad proved indispensable during prep with a twice hoist up the mast to check anemometer. He also assisted “putting stuff into the sides so they would not slide out.” After a brief pre-race stint on foredeck, he slid below and unabashedly stated that most time was spent playing video games and mastering how to stand middle of cabin without touching anything as the boat heeled. “I just go with the flow.” After a tack, family yelled to check on things: “Now we’re leaning the other way” was his response. Neja came in fifth, classic yacht non-spinnaker

While SF Bay inland temps hit more than 100-degree marks, folks on the water reveled in cool winds and intermittent douses. On the calendar since 2008, this regatt a was initially limited to schooners. However, the number of local schooners is dwindling says race chair John Swain of SFYC, so in 2019 registration was expanded to include non-schooners. “We are pleased to see things grow. 2023 brought a great turnout of vessels–from Birds to Knarrs, three Farallone Clippers and various other classics.”

The Belvedere Classic and Great SF Schooner Race Series

The Belvedere Classic and Great SF Schooner regatta is one in a series that includes the Master Mariners regatta and Jessica Cup. The trifecta was established by SFYC, StFYC and MMBA. Yachts of classic design, built in wood or steel, as well as glass reinforced plastic (GRP) boats designed more than 50 years ago may be entered. For entrants that have two or more masts, the foremast must be equal to or smaller than mainmast.

Want more master mariners beyond the Belvedere Classic? See the annual regatta report for 2019.

Belvedere great schooner regatta 2023 Neja in waves Renegade Sailing for album

View results: https://theclubspot.com/regatta/qhLbGrEVw8/results


2.1. The Master Mariners Regatta is open to boats that are active MMBA Members.

2.2. The Belvedere Classic Regatta is open to yachts of classic design, built in wood or steel, and GRP boats designed over 50 years ago. The Great SF Schooner Race is open to all sailing vessels with 2 or more masts, with the foremast equal to or smaller than the mainmast.

2.3. The Jessica Cup is open to boats of traditional design and construction with a minimum of 30 feet on deck and other fleets as described in the Notice of Race.

2.4. The SF Bay Classic Championship Series is open to vessels competing in at least two of the regattas listed above.

2.4.1 Final classes will be determined for the Championship at the completion of the Series.