Crew You Regatta

Five years ago, Northern California resident Jasper Van Vliet, a sailing instructor at that time, was lamenting the lack of opportunities for non-boat-owning enthusiasts to drive during a race. So he invented a regatta, then turned to his favorite San Francisco fleet—J/24, number 17. What he and peers developed is the Crew You Regatta sponsored by OPB-YC (Other Peoples’ Boats Yacht Club). This group staged the fifth annual regatta on Sunday, November 19. It’s a simple-no frills parade of fun for sailboats of length 24 feet and less, and the owner is disqualified from touching the tiller—the crew must drive. Courses are short windward-leeward loops, and there’s a "beer duck" placed mid-course; come within proximity and try to grab a longneck from the net (but subtract one point from your day’s total). "The premise is to permit more sailors the opportunity to helm during race conditions," says Van Vliet. "This year, we were able to run several back-to-back starts. And I hear that the beer duck was next to empty. Either that equates to an extra degree of navigation and boat handling skills from our ranks, or a higher level of exertion and thirst on the course." This year, courtesy light winds and flat water, the fleet was scored for five official starts. Coming out on top with 2017 accolades was Downtown Uproar owned by the Melissa Litwicki/Darren Cumming combo. In second was Valentin Lulevich’s Shut Up and Drive, Randall Rasicot’s Flight took third, Jasper and Robin Van Vliet’s Evil Octopus nabbed fourth and Brandon Whitney’s Backwards claimed fifth. Read more about the Crew You Regattas at https://www.renegadesailing.com/blog/small-boat-winter-racing.

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