USA. The Big Sail: Stanford and Cal sailing teams to compete on San Francisco Bay November 28

Friday, 17 November 2006

Stanford University and the University of California Berkeley sailing teams will compete on San Francisco Bay Tuesday, November 28 with the first race beginning at 12:00 p.m.  Racing will take place in 35-foot yachts on City Front between the St. Francis Yacht Club and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The format of the regatta will be match racing, with two boats competing one-on-one as in the America’s Cup.  The main event will be varsity teams competing in two-out-of three races.  Interspersed between the varsity heats, alumni teams from each school will compete in separate races. 

“The Big Sail has quickly become an exciting part of Big Game Week since its inception two years ago,” said Jim Mullen, co-developer of the regatta and Cal alumnus. “It’s the sailing version of the Big Game, Big Splash, Big Spike, and all the other Bigs.” 

Chris Wenner is scheduled to skipper the Cal varsity boat this year. A sophomore from Los Angeles, Wenner recently led the Bears to a top ten finish at the single handed nationals. Stanford All-American sailor Brian Haines will skipper the Stanford boat again this year as he tries to repeat his 2-0 victory over Cal in last year’s regatta. 

Not to be outdone, the alumni teams will showcase their own stars including Liz Baylis and Malin Burnham.  Baylis, who currently resides in San Rafael, will helm the Cal boat.  The 2002 Women’s Match Racing World Champion and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, Baylis is also a four-time Pacific Cup class winner.  Burnham, a former world champion in the Star class, will lead the Stanford boat. 

“The St. Francis Yacht Club is proud to make Big Game Week an even greater event.” said Jaren Leet, a Stanford alumnus and Rear-Commodore of the St. Francis Yacht Club.  “Its great fun to have the Cal and Stanford bands plus Oski and the Tree on hand for the festivities.  We look forward to hosting the Big Sail in perpetuity.”

The teams will compete in identical J/105 sloops, (10.5 meters/35 feet), much longer than the typical boats sailed in collegiate regattas.   Fast boats for their size, the J/105s sail with a crew of six using a mainsail, jib, and an asymmetric spinnaker.  The yachts have been generously provided by mmbers of the San Francisco J/105 Class Association.

Spectators can get a great view of the racing from the walkway along the Marina and from the St. Francis Yacht Club.  The St. Francis Yacht Club will be open to Cal and Stanford alumni & staff, and to members of PICYA yacht clubs for lunch and viewing of the regatta.  Lunch is at 12 noon and is by reservation—call (415) 563 6363.

Jaren Leet / David Wiard

Last Updated ( Friday, 17 November 2006 )