Sail Salem Pursuit Regatta

The Sail Salem Pursuit Regatta is an annual sail race held on Labor Day and sponsored by the Boston Yacht Club. All net proceeds go to support Sail Salem’s summer sailing camps that combine sailing lessons with STEAM educational programs for children.

A pursuit race is one in which each boat is assigned a starting time, with slower boats starting before faster boats, based on handicaps determined by Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF New England). This approach facilitates competition among boats of different types. During the race, participants know how they are doing: if a boat is ahead of you, it is beating you. The challenge for faster boats is overcoming the handicap of starting later than slower boats. Since the handicaps are baked into the starting times, the boat that first crosses the finish line is the winner.

The race has two divisions (classes) according to whether the boats utilize or do not utilize spinnakers: SPIN (spinnaker) and JAM (Jib and Main) divisions. Boats are scored in their finishing order in their respective division, and trophies are presented to the first through third places in each division.

This race qualifies for the Mass Bay Sailing Association (MBSA) Pursuit Series.

Each year, details regarding entry and registration are posted on the Boston Yacht Club Website. The entry list and race results for the 2023 Sail Salem Pursuit Regatta are posted on the Clubspot Website.

2023 Sail Salem Pursuit Regatta

Overcoming their handicap, Bump Wilcox, Jud Smith, and Cindy Smith of Boston Yacht Club sailed Africa — a modified Tripp 41 — to a first place finish in the Spinnaker Division. Photo courtesy of JuLee Colella.

Todd Barbera, skipper of Tramontana, placed second in the JAM Division—but second place has its perks. Photo courtesy of Patsy Wiswell.
JuLee Colella and Karen Tenenbaum, of Sail Salem, presented Bump Wilcox with the first place award on the deck at Boston Yacht Club.
Tramontana, skippered by Todd Barbera, Eastern Yacht Club. Photo courtesy of Bruce Durkee.
Man of War, skippered by Christopher Lubeck, Eastern Yacht Club.
Tramontina accepting their award. Pictured (left to right): Betsy Mooney White, Heidi Herlihy, Karen Tenenbaum, and JuLee Colella. Photo courtesy of Patsy Kane Wiswell.

2023 JAM (Jib and Main) Division Winners

1st Place: Goldeneye, Peter Engel, Dolphin Yacht Club

2nd Place: Place: Tramontana; Todd Barbera, Eastern Yacht Club

3rd Place: Man of War, Christopher Lubeck, Eastern Yacht Club

2023 Spinnaker Division Winners

1st Place: Africa, Bump Wilcox, Jud & Cindy Smith, Boston Yacht Club

2nd Place: Escape Velocity II, Ben Chigier, Jubilee Yacht Club

3rd. Place: Virgo, Dan Rabin, Jubilee Yacht Club

Thank You, BYC

We at Sail Salem want to thank the Boston Yacht Club for hosting another successful Labor Day Sail Salem Pursuit Regatta, and for your membership’s continued support of our mission: “to leave no kid on the dock.” — Paul V. McLaughlin, President