Big boat series imminent

Top international yachtsmen will descend on San Francisco next week

Saturday September 7th 2002, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: United States
Eager to return to the 38th annual Granddaddy of big boat sailing, over 1,000 competitors on 106 boats have registered for the St. Francis Yacht Club's Big Boat Series. Racing will take place on San Francisco Bay from 12-15 September and will be presented by Rolex Watch U.S.A. Racers will compete in 10 classes for class honors as well as a chance at taking home one of five historic perpetual trophies. Specially engraved Rolex timepieces also will be awarded to the winners of the perpetual trophies.

Over its 38-year-history, the Big Boat Series has attracted many world-calibre sailors, including two-time Olympic Gold Medallist and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Mark Reynolds of San Diego, Calif., who this year will sail with Brack Duker's Farr 40 Revolution. Another Olympic gold medallist and veteran of this event, Robbie Haines of San Diego, will call tactics for the Farr 40 Crocodile Rock, owned by Scott Harris and Alex Geremia of San Francisco.

John MacLaurin's Davidson 52 Pendragon 4 from Los Angeles, lists as crew Volvo Ocean Race winners (aboard illbruck) Mark Christensen and Richard Clarke. Clarke is a two-time Canadian Rolex Sailor of the Year. John Kostecki, also of illbruck, will be sailing aboard San Franciscan John Kilroy's defending Farr 40 champion Samba Pa Ti. Six-time champion Sy Kleinman of Saratoga, Calif, who has raced in the event 21 times, will be returning to the starting line aboard his Schumacher 53 Swiftsure in this year's event.

The regatta will be highlighted on ESPN's "Best of the West," hosted by Gary Jobson and Paul Page and scheduled for broadcast in the Fall.

The Big Boat Series presented by Rolex joins other prestigious Rolex-sponsored events including the Rolex Sydney-Hobart, Rolex Fastnet Race, International Rolex Regatta, Rolex IMS World Championship, Giralgia Rolex Cup, Rolex Commodore's Cup, and the New York Yacht Club's Rolex Transatlantic Race and Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex.

Founded in 1927, St. Francis Yacht Club, within view of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a year-round host of over 40 regattas on San Francisco Bay. The club was host to the 2000 U.S. Olympic Sailing Trials for the Soling and Star classes and is renowned for its expertise in running world and national championships.

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