The Shields one-design sailboat is arguably one of the most beautiful to watch in competition. The smooth lines and tall sails of the boats seemingly perform a ballet on the water as they angle for their marks. Downwind, the beautiful spinnakers color the horizon of the Monterey Bay.
This year, the 52nd Shields National Regatta will take place on the Monterey Bay for the first time in 30 years. The event is a rare opportunity to see the best teams from both coasts compete on the water. While much of the competition course is off shore, there are still opportunities to see these beautiful yachts and their teams. Typically, crews will depart Monterey Harbor on race days (Thursday, September 29 -Saturday, October 1) between 9:30 to 10:30 in the morning. As Shields boats have no motors, the crews must capture the wind and tack from their slips to the open water. Fisherman’s Wharf near Princess Whale Watching provides an excellent vantage point to see these beautiful sailboats and their crews up close as they enter and exit the harbor. Look for teams to return between 4:30 and 6:00pm each day. Some teams will also navigate along Monterey Wharf #2 upon returning from the races. Wharf #2 and Del Monte Beach can also provide a vantage point as the teams prepare for competition and also boast great options for recreation and dining.
Saturday, October 1st is the final day of racing at the regatta. Between 4:30 and 5:30, the championship will be awarded to the the winning crew in the harbor along the docks of the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club. Don’t miss the celebration and jubilation from the rails along the marina. The best spots are adjacent to the club (look for the flags) in front of Sapporo Restaurant and the London Bridge Pub, which both offer excellent views of the harbor and the bay.
Shields Nationals is a great addition to your visit to the Monterey Harbor and all it has to offer including world-famous Fisherman’s Wharf, the Wharf Marketplace and Municipal Wharf attractions like LouLou’s Griddle in the Middle, the Sandbar and Grill, Monterey Fish, and Robbie’s Ocean Fresh Seafood.
Figueroa and Del Monte
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Old Fisherman’s Wharf
Race Start/Finish (approximate)