A Celebration By Women, For Women
Published on October 18th, 2018
When the 2018 Red Bra Regatta is held October 20, it will be the 7th edition of this all-women’s event that began in unlikely fashion on San Francisco Bay.
Its origin began years earlier when a small group of women set out to compete against each other in the Jazz Cup, a notable offwind race in the Bay. At the start, one of the women skippers jokingly decided to make a protest about another boat having a professional racer (and therefore unfair advantage), but lacking a red flag to make it official, one industrious female crew whipped off her red bra and flew it from the back stay in protest.
Not only was the protest registered, but the laughter from everyone created a distraction that helped the protesting team win the race. The friends continued the tradition for the next two Jazz Cups, after which it inspired the idea to have a free standing all-women’s race—a regatta in which only women could compete, elevate their skills, and have unsurpassed fun.
Chaired by sailors Joan Byrne and Winnie Kelley, these two women have successfully brought together skippers and crew members from the greater Bay Area to create the largest all-women’s regatta in Northern California. This regatta is an unforgettable celebration of women’s sailing in the San Francisco Bay Area; it is a local racing event created by and for women.