South Bay Family Sailing Series welcomes novice racers

South Bay Family Sailing Series welcomes novice racers

SAN DIEGO – Families searching for a race that will allow everyone to play a part, are invited to join in the South Bay Family Sailing Series held on the third Saturday of each month.

Sponsored by Pier 32 Marina in National City, the sailing series is open to all south bay boaters interested in getting out on the water.

“The reason we started this ‘racing’ series is because if anyone in the San Diego south bay wanted to race they needed to sail, or motor two hours to participate in a race usually in San Diego north bay,” said Ted Bowler, the race series co-coordinator who slips his vessel in Pier 32 Marina.  “Of course there is the two hour return sail to the south bay so racing makes for a long day.  San Diego North Bay is congested and the winds are usually very light.

“In San Diego south bay the wind is always present and there are fewer boats to disrupt the race,” Bowler continued.  “It is an ideal place to sail.”

Bowler, along with Ralph Masters, Mike Collins and Don Johnson initially thought up the racing concept and followed through with the idea.

The races are designed for beginners with no protests or race committee. There is a handicap system that grants the first race boat 1,000 extra points so that they will be in first of second place in that monthly race. With each race the handicap is recalculated, so essentially you are racing against yourself.

There are kudos for first, second, and third across the finish line, but final monthly honors go to the first, second and third on corrected handicap time. Two race courses are offered: a short course for boats 28 feet and under; and a long course for boats more than 28 feet in length.

Bowler estimates there are at least four to six boats at the starting line each month, which begins at noon between south bay buoys 32A and 34. Racers follow the course outlined in the Notice of Race and report their time to the statistician. Courses are usually 1.5 to 2 hours long and ends back at the marina.

There are only three rules that racers need abide by:  (1) Avoid contact with other boats,  (2)  Keep it safe and (3) Keep it fun.

At the end of the year Pier 32 hosts a party for the races complete with trophies, awards, and prizes and raffles for all in attendance.  The marina also provides special rates for racers who want to visit the area.

There are no fees to join the South Bay Family Sailing Series, simply get on the mailing list by emailing or, show up at the starting line, finish the race and report your time.

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