The SCYA Midwinter Regatta’s history is packed with legendary sailors and their boats from the early days to the present. The event began in 1928, when SCYA and the LA Junior Chamber of Commerce teamed up to promote Southern California as the sports “paradise” of sailing venues. As hoped, the event attracted boats from the Great Lakes, Atlantic Coast and the rest of the Pacific Coast and some of the best known yachtsmen in America.
Los Angeles Harbor was the only venue for many years. The first venue expansion added Alamitos Bay then Marina del Rey and King Harbor. New venues continued to be added through the years until races were being held from Santa Barbara to San Diego and as far east as Arizona and Nevada. Some changes in venue and classes occur from year to year to keep current with class interest. Today 25 or more host clubs and 100 classes participate in the Midwinters.
A few little known facts:
• The Regatta was put on hold during WWII and resumed again in 1946.
• The Star Class is the only one-design class that has sailed in every Midwinter Regatta held.
• The Naples Sabots raced for the first time in 1946 and for 57 years was one of the largest classes. The class quickly grew to huge numbers and it was still the largest class raced 57 years later in 2003.
• Humphrey Bogart raced his yacht Santana in the event in 1947 and lost to Ed Witte.
• In 1954 Mitzi Gaynor was Queen of the Regatta.
• Cal 40s, one of the first fiberglass boats raced for the first time in 1964.
• The1967 Midwinters had 996 entries and 20 one-design classes over 25feet.
• The largest number of entries was in 1977 at over 1,200.
The Southern California Yachting Association’s 82nd Annual Midwinter Regatta 2011 is gearing up for the weekend of February 19th and 20th. The Regatta will be hosted at yacht clubs and associations from Channel Islands to San Diego and all ports in between. Several inland lakes from the Pacific Coast to Arizona will also see racing. Races will be held for dinghies, cruisers, one design sailboats, PHRF racers, multihulls, radio-controlled models, land yachts, powerboats and outrigger canoes (did we miss anyone?).
Regarded as a season opener, the Midwinter Regatta is a community event that unites over 600 boaters throughout Southern California and Arizona. D.I.S.C, spine, orthopedic and sports medicine specialist, supports the competitive spirit and body and wouldn’t miss a chance to partner with SCYA for this grand event; don’t you either! Rain or shine – the Midwinter races will be run. Sign up at www.discmdgroup.com/sailing