Harken Derm

The Rescue of a Regatta

Published on July 11th, 2019

Hosting a major championship is no small undertaking, and when all competitors are 21 or younger, and many much younger, the task grows. St. Francis Yacht Club had taken on the mission, but when a situation out of their control threatened the event, it was a test of a community to right the ship. Former StFYC commodore Kimball Livingston explains:


We witnessed something beautiful this week on the San Francisco city front. No less than 102 boats showed up for the C420 North Americans and that, my friends, is news, a huge number for the West Coast. But then it went wrong, ugly wrong, when 16 boats failed to meet class standards because of unapproved construction by one builder.

Two days to First Warning and our people were experiencing emotions from shock to confusion, anger, despair and, on the part of one former commodore of host St. Francis Yacht Club, incredulity that something so promising and so long in the building could be sabotaged.

Then the “let’s do this” hormones kicked in. Picture friends and family driving overnight to tow boats from afar. Phone calls left and right to source boats from other Bay Area clubs. And with one day to go, the sun bright, a seabreeze building, the tribe pitching in wherever needed to get all those raceboats ready to go out and tune up.

I walked the dinghy park and talked to proud parents (we did this; we rescued the regatta) and happy kids – even the kids who had been through the stress mill. The mood was upbeat. The voices in the air said, we’re doing this. It’s going to be alright.

I love my tribe.

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