2018 marks the seventh year of the Red Bra Regatta, for the first time sponsored by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. The Red Bra Regatta is a local sailing race chaired by sailors Joan Byrne of Los Altos and Winnie Kelley of Santa Rosa (SBYC ERC and PRO). 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.
The event first began when a small group of women set out to compete against each other in the Jazz Cup several years ago. As the gun went off and the boats tactically maneuvered to the starting line, one of the women skippers jokingly decided to make a protest about another boat having a professional racer (and therefore unfair advantage). In sailing, protests are usually made by waving a red flag, but when the crew looked around and realized that they did not have a red flag, one industrious woman 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.
Byrne and Kelley’s tireless efforts have been instrumental in making the Red Bra Regatta a success and an annual tradition for not only women, but for men to enjoy spectating. Byrne, a tremendous racer herself, is well-connected around the Bay and works hard on outreach and encouraging participation. Kelley takes care of management on the background side of things with race registration and work with the Regatta Network, NOR, and the Race Committee.
The South Beach Yacht Club invites all interested ladies to join the seventh annual Red Bra Regatta, sponsored by Taiwan Tourism Bureau, on Saturday, October 20, 2018. Weather permitting, two races will be run. All participants are encouraged to enjoy drinks and food for a nominal fee at the South Beach Yacht Club. Bring your boat or join a crew, but definitely don’t miss out on this fun women-empowering event! www.redbraregatta.com
WHAT: The 7th Annual Red Bra Regatta
WHO: All women sailors can register; men are welcome to spectate the race
WHERE: South Beach Yacht Club, 40 Pier Ste 5, San Francisco, CA 94107
WHEN: October 20, 2018
TIME: 11:00 AM – Skippers’ Meeting; 12:30 PM – First Race Begins
COST: Registration is $35 until October 16; Registration is $40 from October 17 through October 19
INFO: www.redbraregatta.com for information and registration