September 6, 2023
Modern Sailing is excited to announce that we have entered a boat and team to compete in the 2023 Rolex Big Boat Series!
The San Francisco Bay is a world-class racing venue and the Rolex Big Boat Series is among the most iconic races, attracting top sailors from around the globe. Modern Sailing has made this elite competition accessible to club members with the desire to compete among the best sailors in the world.
J/88 Fly will be raced by crew who were selected by our Racing Program leaders based on their participation and contributions to the Modern Sailing Racing Program.
Meet the Modern Sailing Rolex Big Boat Series J/88 Team!
The crew will be lead by Captain Katie Cornetta, a Modern Sailing racing coach and an experienced professional sailor. As a member of high-performance race teams in countless races including several past Rolex Big Boat Series, Katie is ideally suited to lead the Modern Sailing team in an exciting competitive experience.Photo by John Erickson
Ron Clark - Bow
"Thanks to Katie Cornetta's individualized coaching, effective teaching style, and deep racing experience, this long-standing dream has been made a reality for the six of us participating in this year's Rolex Big Boat Series. If you have even the slightest curiosity about racing the Bay, do yourself a favor and come racing with Modern Sailing!"Photo by John Erickson
John Erickson - Bow
"I’ve been with Modern Sailing for 9 years and racing with Modern since 2016. I was very active in the race program pre-pandemic where we did well and made 'good mistakes.' Without the instructors' inspirational coaching I wouldn’t be on the Rolex Big Boat racing team. [Racing program coaches] Sean and Carmen were exceptional - they reawakened my sailing spirit. When we got the J/24 close-hauled, balanced, and lifted, I was hooked. Sean’s seamanship and Carmen’s boat handling skills specifically showed me a path forward. I am grateful. I look forward to our new boat and new team as we choreograph our way through the wind and the water."
Camille Moussette - Jib
"I started taking sailing courses with Modern Sailing in 2020, and got into racing in 2022 on the J/70 and J/105 in Puerto Vallarta and around the SF Bay. I recently participated in two distance races on the Great Lakes: Bayview to Mackinac in 2022 (first place in our category!), and Chicago to Mackinac in 2023 (finished second). I've really enjoyed joining Katie's racing clinics from Berkeley on the J/105 fleet. I've started double-handed racing on my own boat this year, and love the challenges of racing in the bay with a limited crew under difficult conditions. I'm very excited to be joining the Rolex BBS with Katie and Modern Sailing, and being able to learn and refine my racing skills with a great crew."
Barbara Briner - Spinnaker
"I am thrilled to crew on Fly for this year’s Rolex Big Boat Series. For the past few years, I have learned the ropes in Modern Sailing’s racing program and crewed in many beer cans and other casual races. Apart from the Three Bridge Fiasco, this will be my first big event. I am very excited to be part of this team!"
Tom Richman - Helm and Owner of Fly
"Taking classes from Katie has opened a much bigger racing world. The J/88 is a rocket. Flying the kite in 28 knots through Golden Gate with the boat planing at 18 knots really focuses the mind! You can't worry… you’re simply alive. There aren’t many places where you can get that feeling! Competing in the Rolex Big Boat Series will be a big challenge and adventure for all of us."Pictured from left to right: Tom Richman (yellow hat), Tim Kordas, Camille Moussette. Photo by John Erickson.
Tim Kordas - Mainsail
"I got involved with racing through Modern’s racing program some years ago. I really enjoy the structure of having a particular day/time to get out on the water with a group of sailors all trying to improve our skills, but in a slightly different context than a sailing class.
"My favorite summer races have been the Corinthian Beer Cans: the challenging currents and courses' wind-shadowed start/finish make for really interesting, if humbling, sails.
"When Modern brought the racing program to the J/105s in Berkeley, I was very excited for the more sporty boats and convenient location (I live in Berkeley).
"I’ve sailed a few summer seasons out of Sausalito on the Catalina 320s, and now two summers out of Berkeley on the J/105s. Recently, I have also crewed for a handful of J/105 Fleet-1 races.
"I have sailed aboard the J/80, but never aboard a J/88. I am very excited to crew the Rolex Big Boat Series, and expect to learn a lot through the practices and race days on a boat that is new to me."
Does the idea of racing appeal to you? Yes, it's exhilarating - and one of the best ways to build your sailing skills fast! Learn More about Modern Sailing's Racing Program.