Looking for an opportunity to take your racing skills to the next level by being part of a cohesive racing crew aboard a competitive one-design racing boat? Look no further!
This November, Modern Sailing introduces a new racing program known as “MSC Club Race Teams.” Teams will be formed for specific race series, beginning with the 2023 SYC Chili Midwinter Series, BYC Midwinter Sunday Series, and BYC Sunday Chowder Race Series sailing the exciting J/105s Chao Pescao and Resolute and J/99 Mymble.
As a member of a Club Race Team participating in a series of races, you'll get to know your role, your teammates, skipper, and boat, giving you and the team the opportunity to advance and excel in competitive racing.
These teams will be led by a "Club Race Skipper" rather than one of our USCG-licensed Race Instructors (aka "racing coaches"). Our Club Race Skippers will be Paolo Juvara, owner of J/105 Chao Pescao; David Morris, owner of J/105 Resolute; and Stuart Strickland, owner of J/99 Mymble. All three are experienced racers.
Starting Sunday, November 5th, Paolo will lead Team Chao Pescao in the Sausalito Yacht Club Chili Midwinter Series. The SYC Chili Midwinters Series races continue Sundays December 3, January 7, February 4, and March 3.
Starting on Sunday the 12th, David will lead Team Resolute in the Berkeley Yacht Club Sunday Midwinter Series. The BYC Midwinters Series race dates continue Sundays December 10, January 14, and February 11.
Beginning on February 4, Team Mymble will race in the BYC Sunday Chowder Series. The remaining Chowder races will be February 18 and 25, March 3 and 10.
In addition to participation in the races, the Club Race Skipper will lead the crew through race practice before and after the race, time permitting. After races, the Race Team will dock at Modern Sailing, put the boat away, and head to Sausalito Yacht Club or Berkeley Yacht Club to join the post-race socials and awards celebrations.
- Meet Your Club Race Skippers
- MSC Club Race Teams FAQs
- Club Race Series Cancellation and Rescheduling Policy
Meet Your Club Race Skippers for the 2023/2024 Winter Season!
Paolo Juvara - Team Chao Pescao, Sausalito
"I grew up sailing dinghies as a kid on the lakes of northern Italy. After many years of hiatus, I restarted sailing as an adult in 2015, completing the US Sailing and ASA curricula, first at OCSC and then at Modern Sailing, where I have been a member since 2020 and a Club Skipper since 2022.
"As a cruiser, I have chartered boats in Saint Lucia, Croatia, Greece (twice), Italy (twice), Tahiti and Belize with friends and family. In 2022 I had my first exposure to racing, taking a couple of racing clinics at Modern and participating in the Berkeley Midwinter series. Wanting to progress beyond that led me to the decision to purchase Chao Pescao in March of this year, form a team and race her in the very competitive Bay Area J/105 Class series, culminating in the participation in the Rolex Big Boat Series in September.
"I am very excited to be part of the Club Racing Program and to help provide an avenue for people to progress in their racing experience. Looking forward to racing with you!"Paolo and Chao Pescao raced in the 2023 Rolex Big Boat Series with a crew of Modern sailors who were organized by Paolo.
David Morris - Team Resolute, Berkeley
"I started sailing at 14 years old on Sunfish in the Adirondacks. During my college years at the University of Rochester, I continued 'club racing' Lasers in Irondeqoit Bay/Lake Ontario. Over the years have sailed and raced on the Chesapeake, Boston Harbor, and the San Francisco Bay both as skipper and crew. I have been lucky to have also sailed internationally in Ireland (Bantry Bay), Switzerland (Lake Leman), the UK and Greece. I have enjoyed being certified multiple times through ASA and US Sailing and continue to take advantage of all the training offered through Modern Sailing in racing, cruising, and long-distance sailing.
"While I currently work in biotech as a physician-scientist, I’m also working toward USCG and divemaster certifications and looking to maximize my time on the water. I am also a volunteer crew member on the Pegasus Voyages program helping expose our local kids to the Bay and all it has to offer. My hope is to eventually retire to teaching sailing (which I already love to do) and leading sailing and diving expeditions around the world, but in the meantime I try to do as much as I can in my 'spare' time!
"I feel fortunate to be part of the Modern Sailing fleet because of the great sailing culture and community that it creates. I am grateful for the opportunities for continued learning from great sailors and crew members. I look forward to meeting more aspiring sailors, racers, and teachers as we sail in this most amazing place!"
Stuart Strickland - Team Mymble, Berkeley
"My sailing career began over twenty years ago in the fog-bound and heavily congested tidal waters along the South Coast of England. There I learned to sail on a Contessa 32 and earned my initial certifications through the Royal Yachting Association. Over the following decade, my sailing adventures included a single-handed voyage across the North Sea, holiday charters with my wife through the Greek Islands around the Peloponnese, navigating offshore cross-Channel races, and learning how to keep afloat a long-keel wooden sloop we eventually brought with us to Berkeley.
"Since 2015, I’ve been an active member of OCSC, Inspire Sailing, and now Modern Sailing, building skills and gathering local knowledge through the US Sailing program and chartering a wide range of sportboats and cruising boats. While working towards a Passagemaking certification, my interests steadily drifted towards racing. In recent years, I’ve crewed in many local races and joined in most of the club’s performance sailing clinics. Inspired by sailing with Paolo and David, our family acquired Mymble in 2023 with the explicit aim of bringing her into the Modern Sailing sportboat fleet.
"The J/99 stands out as a remarkably fast and versatile boat, suited to everything from a casual day cruise to long-distance offshore racing. This year, we will focus on the BYC winter and summer series, learning together in a relaxed environment but with a deliberate plan to get the most out of ourselves as a team and the new boat. I’m very grateful for the support of the Modern Sailing community and thrilled to contribute to the Club Racing Program. I look forward to sharing this experience with you and to our development together as a crew."
MSC Club Race Teams FAQs
Q: What are the prerequisites to join a Club Race Team?
A: Crew Prerequisites:
- Modern Sailing or Inspire Sailing 2-Day Racing Clinic + Modern Sailing or Inspire Sailing 2-Day Asymmetrical Spinnaker Clinic; or Modern Sailing 3-Day Race Clinic which included Asymmetrical Spinnaker training.
- A minimum of three previous races.
Want to try out racing or gain more experience so you can join a future Club Race Team? Sign up for casual BYC Sunday Chowder drop-in races. The only prerequisite to join a BYC Sunday Chowder Race is the US Sailing or ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing certification!
Q: How does the Club Race Teams format differ from the usual "drop-in" racing format?
A: Drop-in Races are perfect for those who are just getting started with racing, or those who want to occasionally race and cannot commit to regular attendance in a full series. Drop-in Races are also skippered by a Modern Sailing instructor who serves as a race coach. There tends to a wide variety of crew members and coaches participating in the various races within a series.
With the Club Race Teams, racers are required to sign up for all races in a series. Also, Club Race Teams are usually skippered by a Club Race Skipper who is an experienced racer. Club Race Teams give racers the opportunity to develop skills both individually and together to become a cohesive and competitive team. Club Race Teams also serve as training grounds for our Tier 3 elite racing teams.
Q: Does the Club Race Teams format replace our “drop-in” racing?
A: No, the goal of these teams is to be in addition to our drop-in racing. New Race Clinic graduates would be expected to do several drop-in races to build experience prior to enrolling in an MSC Race team.
The BYC Sunday Chowders are an example of races in our drop-in race program.
Q. What if I have race experience outside of Modern Sailing’s Racing Program?
A. Racing experience outside Modern’s Racing Program can be used to meet the prerequisites of the Race Team. We ask that you submit a sailing resume detailing the experience. Please contact us to learn more about this.
Q: What is the difference between Club Race Teams and our Performance Racing Programs?
A: Club Team Races are for a specific series and are led by a Club Race Skipper, typically casual “beer can” races at the local yacht clubs. Consider this the middle tier of our Racing Program. Drop-in racing is the entry-level tier, and our Performance Racing Program will be the top tier of our Racing Program. Top tier racing involves a mix of Race Instructor-led practice sessions and class-level races (such as in the Rolex Big Boat Series).
Q: Can I sign up for only one or some of the races in a Club Race Team series?
A: No, this enrollment is like a course or a multi-day clinic. You will sign up for every race in the series. If you know in advance you will need to miss up to one race in the series, you can still enroll. If you need to miss more than one race, we encourage you to try drop-in racing rather than join a Club Race Team.
Q: Will I be assigned a specific role in the team for the whole series?
A: Roles will be assigned during the pre-race session. Team members will be encouraged to fill the same role through the series to develop strong proficiency in the specific role.
Q: Are MSC Club Race Teams for Modern Sailing club members only?
A: Yes, Club Race Teams are for Modern Sailing club members only. Learn about the many benefits of club membership.
If you're interested in becoming a member, check out our Black Wednesday Special, a special offer which runs from November 2 to 22, 2023. You'll save 50% off the Membership Initiation Fee and skip monthly dues for December and January!
Q: What is the cost to join?
A: The SYC Chili Midwinter Series are 5 Sunday races for the total rate of $895. The BYC Midwinters are 4 Sundays for the total rate of $795. The Team Mymble BYC Chowder Series are 5 Sundays for $995.
Ready to sign up? Yes, you can sign up online!
Do you have questions or need some help signing up? Please contact us. We're happy to assist!
Club Race Series Cancellation Policy
- If you cancel at any time before the start of the series, you are eligible for a 50% refund.
- If you cancel any of the races during the series, there is no refund. Participants are expected to attend all sessions.
- Your position will be filled permanently if you miss more than one race in the series.