SDYC’s Islands Race to Kick-Off 2018 SoCal Offshore Racing Season

San Diego, CA (January 4, 2018) Back for its ninth year, San Diego Yacht Club will host the 130nm Islands Race on February 16-17, 2018. The Islands Race is one of SDYC’s signature offshore races, and the first of the 2018 racing calendar for most boats. Following the Islands Race will be the Puerto Vallarta Race in March, the SoCal 300 in May, and the Rum Runner Race in October.
The Islands Race brings San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club together when the race starts in Long Beach Harbor. From there, competitors will head west of the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands before finishing in Point Loma. This scenic course showcases Southern California’s gratifying sea breezes and profound ocean swells.
With registration now open, a fleet of over 25 boats is expected to compete in 2018, similar to past years. In 2017, the smallest boat entered was Steve Campo’s Hobie 33, Bazinga, while the largest boat entered was Roy Disney’s Andrews 70, Pyewacket.
As the Islands Race defending champion, Pyewacket will be a boat to watch in the 2018 race. In addition to winning the 2017 Islands Race, Disney’s Pyewacket was also a class winner in the 2016 Puerto Vallarta Race.
Similar to many competitors, Disney plans to sail the Puerto Vallarta Race right after the Islands Race. “Every year the Pyewacket Team treats the Islands Race as our prelude to the big races we have, especially the Mexican races that come so close after the finish in San Diego. We always put together our best team and best effort for the Islands Race because we know our competitors are too. Certainly one of the best races of the year for us.”
Mighty Merloe, the 60’ ocean trimaran, was the first boat to finish last year with an elapsed time of 10 hours, 47 minutes.

SDYC Staff Commodore Wayne Terry and Daniel Geissmann from NHYC will again co-chair the 2018 running of the event. For those sailors who enjoy an assortment of conditions within 130nm of offshore racing, Geissmann recommends you register.

“The Islands Race is great because it gives sailors a real taste of what offshore racing is like in Southern California. For some racers this may be the longest offshore race they do and for others it is a great tune-up for the PV or Cabo races that follow. Being early in the season also allows for a wide variety of weather scenarios to keep navigators busy. I enjoy being the chair to help promote and grow west coast offshore racing.”

Additionally, Terry provides a summary of the 2017 Islands Race and what to expect in 2018.

“The normally well-attended Islands Race, co-sponsored by the San Diego and Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs, will soon enjoy the 9th year of this annual event. The race normally draws 25+ competitors, many of whom will use it as a tune-up to SDYC’s semi-annual running of the Puerto Vallarta Race, which is scheduled to commence on March 2nd. Over the years, the Islands Race has experienced weather conditions ranging from mild to extreme, while usually fun and always challenging. While nice to see Mighty Merloe roll in with line honors, the 2017 race was on the mild side, with the 70’s (Pyewacket, Grand Illusion, and Holua) filling the top three spots on corrected time. The Islands Race is one of those many events where the respective sailing offices do most of the work, and deserve a big thank you for doing so. On behalf of the organizing authority, we hope everyone participating in this year’s event has a fun, fast and most importantly, safe race to San Diego. As always, refreshments will be on the front deck awaiting your arrival at the prize giving ceremony.”

SDYC will host the award ceremony on the clubhouse main deck on Saturday, February 17 with food and drinks for competitors beginning at 3pm or later depending on when the majority of boats complete the race.

Friends, family, and the sailing community can follow the race by tuning in to the YB Tracking website at
For more information or media inquiries, please contact Emily Willhoft.