The 52nd Shields National Championship Regatta
This September a new national champion will be crowned at the Shields Nationals in Monterey, California. Hosted by Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, this prestigious competition returns to California for the third time in the class’ 52-year history and the first time since 1984. The event pits the finest yachtsmen from Shields fleets throughout North America vying for the title of National Champion.
The Shields “one design” is a fast, and elegant sloop considered by many to be a compact version of the popular 12-meter common for decades in the America’s Cup competition. The design vision of Cornelius Shields, himself a long-time America’s Cup yachtsman and supporter, offers a practical and affordable alternative to large-scale yacht racing and is designed for crews of three to five. The concept of “one design,” long supported and promoted by Shields touts competition between crews on yachts with near identical hulls, spars and sails to identify the most skillful skipper and crew.
The class national championship, governed by the Shields Class Association, has been held annually since 1965 to crown a class champion. Monterey hosted this important regatta for the first time in 1975. The event returned in 1984. Skippers from the host fleet MPYC took the championship in both regattas, Dick Clark in 1978 and Michael Polkaba in ’84. This year, crews from the host fleet will fight to continue the streak.
Shields Nationals provides a beautiful ballet of sleek hulls, bright white sails and colorful spinnakers. This year’s course on the Monterey Bay is ideally suited for spectators with much of the course close to shore and visible from key vantage points like Monterey Beach, Municipal Wharf #2, the Coast Guard Pier and many others. Official spectator cruises will also allow fans a premium view amid the action.
The regatta consists of multiple daily races Thursday, September 29 through Saturday, October 1. Practice races and special events mark the opening day of the event on Wednesday, September 28.