Take your sailing skills to the next level and learn to race sailboats! The San Franciso Bay is known as a sailing mecca and racers from around the globe come to test their skills under the Golden Gate Bridge. The Bay's famous winds and significant currents test every team’s expertise, strategy, and mettle year-round.
Join our Racing Program and you will join an inclusive community of sailors while adding depth and dimension to your sailing knowledge.
Explore the topics below to discover Racing Program details and the wide range of opportunities that Modern Sailing has made available for you to learn, practice, and compete.
- Racing and Asymmetrical Spinnaker Clinics
- Sailboat Races and Regattas in the SF Bay Area
- A Three-Tiered Yacht Racing Program for Beginning to Advanced Racers
- Race Pricing
- Cancellation Policies
Wondering if racing is for you? Check out our Member Resources article Five Reasons to Race with Modern Sailing.
San Francisco Bay Area Sailboat Racing Clinics
Prior racing experience is required to join our teams in the local yacht club races. However, if you're new to racing, our Racing Clinic and Asymmetrical Spinnaker Clinics will fulfill this requirement and prepare you to be a solid crew member on any Modern race boat.
With locations in Berkeley and Sausalito, Modern Sailing is able to offer the widest range of opportunities to learn and experience the excitement of yacht club racing on San Francisco Bay.
The Racing Clinic is a 2-day clinic held on a Catalina 320 (Sausalito) or a J/105 (Berkeley) that will teach you performance sail trim, efficient maneuvers, and the basics of the race course. After spending a portion of the clinic honing these skills, you will enjoy hands-on experience racing against another Modern boat!
The Asymmetrical Spinnaker Clinic will teach you all the ins and outs of flying this beautiful light wind sail. You will spend two days getting familiar with all the crew positions to hoist, trim, jibe, and douse an asymmetrical spinnaker.
Enroll now and be ready to join the races for the upcoming season!
Sailboat Races and Regattas in the SF Bay Area
Once you've completed the Racing Clinic and Asymmetrical Spinnaker Clinic, you are eligible to join the races!
The Bay’s many yacht clubs take turns hosting regattas year-round, giving sailors ample opportunity to partake in thrilling races all over the Bay Area. During races, our participants rotate through different roles (skipper, helm/driver, spinnaker trimmer, jib trimmer, foredeck crew, midship/mastman, tactician) in order to gain skills and confidence in each role. Each team will have one of our USCG Captains on board to give expert advice and coach racers across the finish line.
Below are some of the Bay Area yacht club races that we typically enter our teams in.
A Three-Tier Yacht Racing Program for Beginning to Advanced Racers
When signing up for races online, you will encounter some different types of races. Here's how to distinguish between them and know which you are eligible for.
|TIER ONE: DROP-IN RACING
|TIER 2: CLUB RACE TEAMS
|TIER 3: PERFORMANCE RACE TEAMS
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. Members and non-members are invited to sign up.
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.
In Sausalito Yacht Club races, drop-in teams race aboard Catalina 320s. In Berkeley Yacht Club races, drop-in teams are typically racing J/105s.
The prerequisites for most Drop-in Races are completion of the Racing Clinic and Asymmetrical Spinnaker Clinic. However, the only prerequisite to join a BYC Chowder race is a US Sailing or ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing certification.
Club Race Teams give racers the opportunity to develop skills both individually and together to become a cohesive and competitive team. Racers are required to sign up for all races in a local yacht club series.
Club Race Teams are usually skippered by a Club Race Skipper who is an experienced racer. Teams sail a J/99 or J/105.
After completing the Racing Clinic, Asymmetrical Spinnaker Clinic, and three (3) Drop-In Races, Modern Sailing members are eligible to join a Club Race Team. Stay tuned to our weekly email - we'll announce when we are building new teams before the start of a series. Learn about club membership.
Club Race Teams also serve as training grounds and feeder for our Tier 3 Performance Race Teams.
Tier 3 Performance Teams have the opportunity to participate in international regattas and elite racing events on San Francisco Bay such as the Rolex Big Boat Series.
Racers will train together on multiple occasions in advance of the event to get well-prepared to put in their best possible performance for the event.
For the class-level spring and summer series, the prerequisites for crew are a minimum of 12 days of racing experience, preferably in the Modern Sailing Racing Program.
Participation in the Rolex Big Boat Series is by Modern Sailing invitation only. Preference is given to members who have participated in the Spring and Summer Series J/88 Performance Program, or who have had frequent participation in past races with Modern Sailing.
- Race Pack 5 (a discounted bundle of 5 races): Members $625; Non-members $725
- Single Race: Members $150; Non-members $175
After purchasing your first Race Pack 5, you have the option to purchase single races separately.
Club Race Teams
- BYC Sunday Midwinters Series (4 races aboard a J/105): $795
- BYC Sunday Chowder Race Series (5 races aboard a J/99): $995
- SYC Chili Midwinter Series (5 races aboard a J/105): $895
Drop-in and Club Race Team prices are subject to change by season or series.
Berkeley and Sausalito Contact Information
- (415) 331-8250
Drop-In Race Cancellation Policy
- If you cancel your reservation in a Drop-in Race with notice more than 72 hours (24 hours in winter) prior to the Race, you will receive a full refund.
- If you cancel less than 72 hours (24 hours in winter), there is no refund.
Club Race Team 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.