SAN DIEGO — The 41st running of the International Masters Regatta returns to San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) Oct. 20-22. This year’s slate of 12 competitors brings together an international cast of Master skippers from Canada, Germany, Mexico and the U.S. Over three days of racing, teams will compete using chartered J/105s in a round-robin format in South San Diego Bay.
Historically, this invitation-only regatta has attracted some of the world’s best master sailors, including iconic names like Elvstrom, Buchan, Burnham, Tillman, Trask, Irish, Harken, North and Holland (to name a few). This year is no exception.
2023 International Masters Regatta Roster:
This year’s line-up includes many returning skippers and fresh faces, too. William Abbott, Nigel Cochrane, Alan Field, Scott Harris, Don Jesberg, Gary Jobson, and Tad Lacey are returning to the regatta.
One of the most decorated skippers, Jobson, has participated in the regatta three times over the past decade, earning two fourth places and a fifth place finish. His last run was the 2019 edition of the regatta. Jobson returns for another opportunity to secure a podium finish.
“The Masters Regatta is a good test of how my skill level is these days,” said Jobson in a press release. “It’s challenging to change boats every race and adapt to San Diego’s tricky sailing. While preparing, I’m thinking back to past experiences racing in this regatta, recruiting good crew and actively sailing through the summer.”
Brand new to the Masters, Wolfgang Schaefer is traveling to San Diego from Germany. He has sailed at SDYC twice before for the Farr 40 Worlds and another SDYC signature regatta, the Yachting Cup. Unfortunately for Schaefer, the J/105 is not established in Northern and Central Europe – a potential handicap. Nonetheless, the team is confident in their experience.
“We have 2-3 hours on Thursday before the regatta to create a friendship with this boat. That is a handicap and not too easy, but we will do our very best,” said Schaefer.
Some of Schaefer’s most significant accomplishments include winning silver at the 2019 Farr 40 Worlds, gold at the 2018 Farr 40 Worlds, fourth place in the 2018 Sydney to Hobart (Class One), gold at the 2010 Sardinia Cup, gold at the 1983 Admirals Cup, and first place at the 1983 Fastnet Race (Class One).
In addition to his on-the-water success, Schaefer has served for more than 30 years as the German Sailing Federation’s chairman of the Offshore Committee, 25 years as vice chairman of the Offshore Racing Congress and is a founding member of the Offshore Committee inside ISAF, later World Sailing.
Also familiar with the Farr 40s is new Masters skipper Yon Belausteguigoitia. He has been sailing and training on the Farr 40 and J/70 with his crew consisting of his wife, Eliane Belausteguigoitia, Hector Guzman, Tomas Rosenberg and Marc Rosenberg. His biggest accomplishments include silver in the Laser at the Central American Games and 15th at the J/24 Worlds in San Francisco. Eliane brings her Olympic experience from the 1988 Games, where she raced in the 420.
Speaking of successful women in sailing, the only female skipper on the list is Cory Sertl. Sertl first sailed in the Masters as crew in 2019. She is sailing with her husband, Mark Sertl, Jody Starck, Meg Myles, Suzy Leech, Chris Snow and John Rudderham. Recently, she has been sailing in the Farr 30 in Jamestown, R.I., as well as team racing in Sonars, Lightnings and racing in the PanAm Trials this past May.
“I am looking forward to a chance to go sailing with some friends who are awesome sailors in a fun format,” said Sertl.
Sertl has an accomplished sailing background, including first places with Team NYYC at the Grandmasters Team Racing 2023 and at the IC37 North American Championships in 2021. She is a two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year.