2011 Master Mariners Regatta

In 1867, the Boatmen’s Protective Association made an impressive contribution to the Fourth of July celebration by staging a race between the large coastal schooners and the sailing scows of the San Francisco Bay Area. These rugged workmen of the bay came forth not for the trophy, but to put on a show for their city, display their proud boats, and exhibit their skills as seamen. Right-of-way encounters, and individual duels were usually settled by bare knuckles, the throwing of coal, or with buckets of sea water. Today, the annual race is known as the Master Mariners Benevolent Association Regatta and contested over the Memorial Day Weekend. As much a race as a parade of classic yachts, skippers and crews still enjoy spirited close quarter sailing. The post race raft up at the Encinal Yacht Club is a chance for old friends to gather, where the drinks are as strong as the boats, and the yarns as salty as those telling them. Here’s a small sampling of race and dockside images from the 2011 fleet of 75 classic woodies. Learn more about the Master Mariners here – http://www.mastermariners.org/

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