News

CA 500: New Coastal Race, Perfect Transpac Race Qualifier

The CA Offshore Race Week - Spinnaker Cup, Coastal Cup, SoCal 300 – is adding another course that will energize and excite the fastest boats in the Transpac fleet: the California 500. Run concurrently with the SoCal 300, this race will offer an extended race course that will give challenging oceanic conditions to fast monohulls over 45 feet in length with Transpac ratings over 1.06 and multihulls with Transpac ratings over 1.40 – a perfect training race for Transpac.

“Manouch Moshayedi and I are proud to introduce the California 500,” said Manny Gomez, chairman of the SoCal 300 and CA 500. “This race is designed for large, fast boats with deep drafts that cannot access shallow harbors, such as Monterey and Santa Barbara. Our intention is to host this race from San Francisco to San Diego biennially on Transpac Race years, and for the event to “merge” with the SoCal 300 as the fleets make their way down the coast. All yachts will finish just outside the San Diego Bay, with a party the evening of June 1st.

“Since 2019 is the 50th running of the Transpac Race with a spectacular turnout, we look forward to welcoming boats from all over the globe into all the races of our event!”

Already there is interest for the Cal500 from Manouch’s Bakewell-White-designed RIO100, Steve Maheen’s Botin 80 CABRON, and Christian Doegl’s Swan 461 FREE, as well four trimarans: three MOD 70’s  – Jason Carroll’s ARGO, Giovanni Soldini’s MASERATI and Peter Cunningham’s POWERPLAY - and Jeff Mearing and Peter Aschenbrenner’s Nigel Irens 63 PARADOX.

Veteran designer, boatbuilder and offshore racer Bill Lee (the renowned Wizard from Santa Cruz) has high praise for this race course, one he knows well.

“This race course from San Francisco, past Ano Nuevo, Points Sur and Conception, and then a finish in Southern California is one of the best ever,” said Lee. “I have raced this course six times, and have sailed it several more times on deliveries. Many days have very strong northwest breeze and big swells for great rides.

“Some of my most memorable rides were off of Point Pinos in huge swells and the right amount of breeze to catch very long rides.  A few years ago, one of the rowers in the rowing race from Monterey to Hawaii described “waves as big as houses.” And the scenery is spectacular if you are close to shore.   

“Finishes of various races from San Francisco have been as far north as Santa Barbara, and as far south as Ensenada, Mexico, that being the MORA Long Distance Race in 1970. A finish that allows the option to go outside the Channel Islands permits staying in the breeze and good swell much longer. Finishing at San Diego gives the most navigator options including outside of San Clemente Island.  Lastly, the San Diego Yacht Club does a great job at the finish venue.”

Manouch Moshayedi agrees. “I think this race will be the most fun race on the West Coast. Virtually 500 miles of downwind sailing going with the waves, free of island lees, open ocean sailing. We are very much looking forward to this race onboard RIO100. If the winds cooperate, we might even see speeds of 30+ onboard.

“The setting for the start couldn’t be any better, right in front of Saint Francis Yacht Club, with crowds on the race deck cheering every competitor on. We still hold the record for SoCal300 and we hope to set a new record for Cal500.

“I would like to see competitors with ocean going sailboats participating, especially if they are going to bring their boats down from San Francisco to Long Beach for this year’s Transpac Race.”

FACTS

  • Eligible Boats: open to monohulls with an ORR rating of 1.06 and higher and multihulls of 45' LOA and an ORR-MH rating of 1.4 and higher
  • Hosted by San Diego Yacht Club
  • Start in front of St Francis Yacht Club on May 30th
  • Using YB Trackers
  • Finish in Point Loma at Zuniga Jetty, same as SoCal 300
  • Awards ceremony at SDYC with SoCal 300 and CORW competitor

Notice of Race and Online Registration available at www.offshoreraceweek.com.