California Offshore Race Week Showcases Premier Racing

The upcoming California Offshore Race Week (CORW) will showcase some of the best offshore sailing on the West Coast. The series, hosted in partnership by Encinal Yacht Club, St. Francis Yacht Club, Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, Santa Barbara Yacht Club, and San Diego Yacht Club, will take place May 27 – June 3, 2023, and will consist of four races: Spinnaker Cup, Coastal Cup, SoCal 300, and CA 500.

Competitors are encouraged to register for the entirety of the CORW series, but also have the option to opt into any of the individual legs. Register by April 30 to avoid the late fee. 

Ivan Batanov, a SoCal 300 regular, is returning for the 2023 race and sailing his newest boat, a 2009 Reichel-Pugh 51, Zero Gravity 51. The boat was built in Australia by Hart Marine as “Secret Mens Business 3.5” and won Sydney-Hobart overall in 2010.

Batanov said, “I raced most if not all SoCal 300 events since 2016 on different boats. It is my favorite West Coast coastal race – long enough for the crew to get into a routine but short enough to fit within a long weekend. It offers great scenic views of the islands, things you can’t see from land. The course requires precise navigation and can get tricky with the wind shadows of the islands. The organization is fantastic, from the hospitality to the awards ceremony. If I were to race one coastal event a year, it would be SoCal 300.”

Michael Moradzadeh, skippering his Santa Cruz 50 Oaxaca, sailed the original Coastal Cup in 1999 in his Passport 40, Cayenne. Moradzadeh is now taking on the full series.

Moradzadeh said, “The Santa Cruz 50 loves that coastal reach, and we saw our fastest ever speed of 29 knots under plain sails off the mid-California coast. With a stellar crew in 2019 and 2021, we collected first in division honors.

“I’m looking forward to the race being a great opportunity to spin up my mostly new to the boat crew, with expert navigation by the legendary John Jourdane. Our challenges, as on most boats, will be sleep management and picking the right lane to get optimum wind. That, and picking out Santa Barbara’s harbor entrance!”

Sailing Westerly, a Santa Cruz 70 from Canada, and sticking around for the Transpac Race this summer, is Stuart Dahlgren. Dahlgren and his crew are sailing the series for the first time. “It is always a challenge in this type of racing to keep the momentum going. Also other than Cory, our watch captain, no one is very familiar with the race. I think some of the finishes can be tricky with local conditions.”

The CORW takes place before the popular biennial classic, the Transpac Race to Hawaii, June 27 – July 15.

The CA 500 course from San Francisco to San Diego is for larger and faster yachts who meet minimum size and speed requirements. The race was last offered in 2019. This year it will feature a MOD 70 trimaran class who expect to finish the race in just over a day. Additionally, the MOD 70s are racing inshore races on San Francisco Bay on Thursday and in San Diego on Sunday.

Chris Ray will be photographing the starts in San Francisco Bay, and Sharon Green and Ultimate Sailing will be capturing starting and aerial photos of the SoCal 300 in Santa Barbara, out to the islands.

The California Offshore Race Week is sponsored by Quantum Sails, Helly Hansen, and SD Boatworks.

Spectators can track the race through the YB Tracker HERE >>.