Sailboat Racing in San Francisco | Modern Sailing

Sailboat Racing on San Francisco Bay

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.

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. 


This two-day clinic is for qualified sailors to learn the fundamentals of sailboat racing. We will work on starts, marks, windward-leeward courses, optimal sail trim, and the basics of racing rules, strategy, and tactics. The majority of instructional time will be on the water but we will include classroom sessions on these topics. Practice races will be conducted with white sails only to help students focus on the fundamentals of racing.

When paired with the Asymmetrical Spinnaker Clinic, the Racing Clinic meets the prerequisite to enroll in the Berkeley BYC Midwinters and Friday Night Races and the SYC, CYC, and GGYC races out of Sausalito.

Price: Members $495 / Non-members $595
Prerequisites: Silver or Sportboat Fleet Rating
Duration: 2 days, 9:00am - 4:00pm


Aboard one of our fully outfitted J/105s (Berkeley) or a Catalina 320 (Sausalito), this clinic focuses on all aspects of asymmetrical spinnaker handling. We will practice a number of different sets, jibes, douses, and crew overboard recovery maneuvers with a spinnaker.

When paired with the Racing Clinic, the Asymmetrical Spinnaker Clinic meets the prerequisite to enroll in the Berkeley BYC Midwinters and Friday Night Races and the SYC, CYC, and GGYC races out of Sausalito.

Price: Members $495 / Non-members $595
Prerequisites: Silver or Sportboat Fleet Rating
Duration: 2 days, 9:00am - 4:00pm

Enroll now and be ready to join the races for the upcoming season!

View the Schedule of Clinics and Enroll Online 

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.


Berkeley Yacht Club (BYC)

  • Friday Night Beer Can Races - Friday evenings April through September.
  • Midwinter Series - Second Sundays of the month November through February. These are competitive races that require a commitment from team members to participate in all races in the series. 
  • Chowder Races - Sundays October through March. (The only prerequisite to join a Chowder is a Basic Keelboat certification (ASA or US Sailing). These casual drop-in races are a great opportunity for new sailors interested in giving racing a try!) Participating in 4 "winter chowders" is one way to fulfill the prerequisites for joining the summer Friday Night Beer Can Races.

Sausalito Yacht Club (SYC)

  • Chili Midwinter Series - First Sunday of every month during the mid-winter season.
  • Summer Sunset Series - Every other Tuesday evening from May to September.

Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC)

  • Midwinter Series - First Saturday of every month November through March.

Corinthian Yacht Club (CYC)

  • Friday Night Series - Every Friday during summer months.

View the Race Schedule and Enroll Online 

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.


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. 

Learn More

Race Pricing

Drop-In Races

  • 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.


We're happy to help! Please feel free to reach out to our friendly customer support team. Representatives at either location can answer questions for both locations. 

Berkeley and Sausalito Contact Information

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.



Share This Page


  • Warren Leiden, Member

    I try to get out on the water every week: out the Gate, around Angel, up Raccoon - I love it all. After 18 years as a member of OCSC in Berkeley, I learned to sail the bigger boats at Modern by taking ASA 103 and 104. My ASA 104 instructor Dave Russell was terrific. Also, Captain Bill Moreland has been very generous in giving informal advice whenever I’ve asked him. Thanks to Bill, I no longer have any anxiety about docking!

  • Casey Bishop, Corporate Regatta

    WE LOVED IT! The whole team was so honored and thankful. Thanks so much for all of your team's hard work and excellence in organizing our party. Of the 22 of us, only 4 had ever been sailing and not in the Bay. The guys had an incredible experience, the skippers were all really great, allowing each of us to be at the wheel. They were kind and empowering. Plus the weather and wind were perfect! It was definitely one of the top 3 experiences that we have shared as leaders in the past 5 + years. We couldn't have asked for a better day!

  • Danny Collins

    The office staff was very accommodating in meeting my availability.

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Modern Sailing School & Club

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Modern Sailing School & Club

Sausalito Location
2310 Marinship Way, Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 331-8250
(800) 995-1668

Berkeley Location
1 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley, CA 94710
(415) 331-8250
(800) 995-1668

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