Registration Opens For The 2024 Rolex Big Boat Series At St. Francis Yacht Club

You’re invited to race in the 60th Anniversary Edition of this legendary West Coast regatta.

The Notice of Race is posted, and registration is open for the 60th Anniversary edition of Rolex Big Boat Series, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club.

Scheduled for September 11-15, 2024, when conditions are sporty on San Francisco Bay, this legendary regatta attracts the highest level of competition, with perpetual trophies and Rolex timepieces awarded to select fleets.
The following are invited to compete in this year’s Rolex Big Boat Series:

  • One-design boats of the J/88, J/105, Cape 31, Melges 24 and Express 37 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.

The event will also serve as the 2024 ORC West Coast Championship, with the top three positions in each ORC Class awarded titles and trophies.

Additionally, entries are invited to compete for the Storm Trysail Team Trophy, to be presented to the top-scoring three-boat team from the same yacht club and comprised of one ORC boat, one one-design boat and one boat from any other class.

This year marks the 60th edition of Rolex Big Boat Series and organizers will be showcasing its rich history and celebrating the many legendary yachts, crews and skippers who have participated since 1964.

“My first Big Boat Series was in the mid-1980s aboard Bill LeRoy’s Blue Blazer,” said Chris Perkins, 2024 Commodore of St. Francis Yacht Club. “Those were the IOR days and, yes, we did fly a blooper—or at least we tried! I have raced in so many Big Boats since then, including many on my J/105. Last year, I enjoyed sailing with Shepard and Ellen Kett aboard their Santa Cruz 50 Octavia, which won the ORC A fleet. I’m not sure what I will sail this year, but like many sailors who have raced in it over the years, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. On behalf of St. Francis Yacht Club, I invite you all to participate in our most spectacular regatta of the year.”

Regatta Chair and 2024 Rear Commodore of St. Francis Yacht Club, Susan Ruhne, said, “You only turn 60 once and St. Francis Yacht Club will be pulling out all the stops for our skippers and sailors. In addition to world-class racing, expect lively post-racing socials and parties.”

The parties begin on Wednesday evening, September 11, when boats and sailors arrive for the Competitors’ Briefing. Competition commences Thursday with two races per day for most fleets through Saturday. On Sunday, all fleets will race one long “Bay Tour” course. The Classics will race once per day for all four days.

“Our goal is always to provide the best experience possible for sailors, both on the water and ashore when the racing is over,” said Felix Weidling, Race Director of St. Francis Yacht Club. “We’re working on incorporating new courses for the Classics and refining our race management based on feedback from last year. We have an outstanding team of race professionals joining our talented volunteers who have decades of experience on the busy and complex waters of San Francisco Bay. We are especially excited to welcome multihulls back to the competition and to see such enthusiasm from the Cape 31 fleet.

Indeed, the growing International Cape 31 Class is coordinating a mass turnout on the West Coast to compete in Rolex Big Boat Series. “San Francisco is an amazing place to race these boats as they plane so easily and the conditions will make it an absolute blast,” said Drew Freides, owner of Cape 31 Pacific Yankee. “It’s a great venue to showcase the fleet and we’re working hard to have all the Cape 31s in the US on the starting line. It’s the preeminent West Coast event and our entire season is gearing up for it.”

Freides has sailed in different classes at previous Rolex Big Boat Series, but this year is going to be special, he says. “It’s been a dream of mine to sail my own boat in Big Boat Series and I’m psyched to do it. It’s the premier event. Trust me, this has been in the works for a few years. We’re going to have some fun!”

Don’t miss the fun—register today!