For the fifth consecutive year, San Diego Yacht Club will host the International Masters Regatta, from October 21-23, 2016. Originally established in 1975 by St. Francis Yacht Club member Don Trask, the regatta was previously sailed in the San Francisco Bay for a number of years until SDYC began hosting the prestigious event in 2012. Invited skippers must be over the age of 60 and crew members must be over the age of 45.
The regatta is sailed in a round robin format using equalized J/105 boats. The intended race area will consist of typical windward-leeward courses set on San Diego Bay with plenty of viewing opportunities for spectators along the waterfront. Sunday will feature a change in the racing format with an around the bay random leg race to finish up the regatta. There will be a practice day on Thursday, October 20.
Historically, this invitation-only international race has united several of the best master sailors from around the world including Paul Elvstrom, Bill Buchan, Malin Burnham, Don Trask, Peter Harken, Lowell North, Ron Holland, George Hinman and Chris Dickson. World Champion sailor, Malin Burnham, who was recently inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame, was skipper of the 2015 team- the defending champions of the regatta.
Twelve teams from all around the world will compete in this year’s regatta. Skippers Dick Tillman, David Irish, Douglas Rastello, Tom Webster, Richard du Moulin, John Andron, Don Martin, Chuck Nichols, Bob Fisher, Tom Ehman and Bill Menninger are seeking a chance to bring the 2016 Masters Regatta title home.
Many of these sailors have been invited to participate in this regatta before, including skipper Dick Tillman from Melbourne Yacht Club. Among other accomplishments, Tillman was member of the 1976 Olympic Team and was a 1965 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year recipient. The last time Tillman raced in the Masters Regatta was nine years ago.
For the seventh consecutive year, skipper Bob Fisher from the Royal Lymington Yacht Club in the United Kingdom will race the Masters Regatta. Fisher expressed that he keeps coming back to sail this event because his opponents "provide good sport afloat and great companionship ashore."
This event will feature three days of competitive sailing with a dockside social on Friday night and a Saturday night banquet for competitors and guests after racing. The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday after racing on the front deck.
In conjunction with the Masters Regatta, SDYC’s Taste of Point Loma will take place on Thursday, October 20 on the Sail Wash Lawn. Masters competitors, guests and SDYC members are invited to sample signatures dishes and beverages from almost 30 local restaurants in the Point Loma area.
Tim Fuller, co-chair of the 2016 regatta, is looking forward to the race. "International Masters Regatta is a special event and it’s an honor to host so many greats from the sport of sailing in one place. Every year, we look forward to this event."
The International Masters Regatta would like to thank its sponsors: Ballast Point, Helly Hansen, North Sails, & Pacific Gate San Diego.