It is well known that Santa Cruz is the birthplace of the modern ULDB, but there were a ton of other boats built there over the years: From El Toros to Merlin to 5o5s to the mighty D Class Catamaran Rocket 88. The list is extensive!
To celebrate this heritage, long-time Santa Cruz sailor Bret Gripenstraw spearheaded the task of organizing an event that would bring together all of these different boats. Though the name is not official, ‘Santa Cruz Race Week’ is being planned for the summer of 2013, which of course is going to be a busy time in the NorCal sailing scene.
This and countless other sailing events are being scheduled in order to take advantage of the buzz that the America’s Cup has created in NorCal. The made in Santa Cruz idea isn’t an original, Bret explains, “A lot of people had the idea, but we finally just want to get it done. There were a lot of boats built here, big boats, little boats, Jester dinghies, a lot of PHRF racers.” Brainstorming emails were sent out in an attempt to try and recall all of the boats that were built in Santa Cruz over the years. The list started with one page and went to 3 pretty quickly. So if you own a Santa Cruz, Moore, Antrim, Ultimate, Olson, Wilderness, or any other boat that was built in Santa Cruz, get that sucker polished up for the Concours d’Elegance, style boat show.
Bret’s love for the SC ULDBs runs deep. He owned and raced a SC 27 back in the 80s, and he’s sailed countless other famous SC designs since. Bret’s reasoning is simple, “Santa Cruz sailboats have been famous, and they’re kind of getting old, so it will be nice to have the whole fleet come back here, have a big party, and race.” Sounds good to me!
The event is very early in its planning stages, but the energy and excitement behind it is strong. Bret explains the plan, “We’re going to have a two week race week, we’ll let the fleets decide how many days that they want to race. We’re going to start it off with a race down the coast from San Francisco and finish off with a couple of weeks of racing off of Santa Cruz. We’ll set a tent up in the parking lot, and have parties every night.”
2013 is the 85th anniversary of Santa Cruz Yacht Club, so bringing the boats that were built there back home will be a epic way to celebrate. If you have a boat that was built in Santa Cruz, keep your ear to the ground for developing news about the ‘Made in Santa Cruz’ regatta, or the ‘Santa Cruz Race Week’ or whatever the name becomes.