The earliest staging of the race to Santa Cruz, now hosted as Windjammers, was quite the spectacle for San Francisco and Santa Cruz alike!
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Yacht racing in San Francisco has a history that dates back as far as that of The Chronicle – 75 years ago. A book by J.S. Anderson, published by H.S. Crocker and Sons, and illustrated by G.J. Denny, tell of a race as ally as 1876 and mentions regattas before that. But the big event of the time was the Pacific Yacht Club’s race to Santa Cruz in July of 1884. Denny’s illustrations above show three of the boats – the Annie, Ariel and Fleur de Lis crossing the line off the Cliff House (left). Center the Pacific Yacht Club’s grounds at Sausalito, and (right), the winner of the Santa Cruz, Aggie. The Aggie’s winning time was 7:01.17 (corrected) and 7:24.18 (actual). Says Author Sanderson of the flurry created by the Lurline’s amateur crew, which finished third: “Captain Adolph Speckles may be justly proud of the striking appearance of his amateur crew made. I dare no write all the compliments that I heard the ladies shower so liberally upon the captain and his min. Several of them are young, and it might awaken some latent vanity which had better not be disturbed. But in the case of Captain Archer Harloe and William Center there is no risk in saying the young ladies united in rating them the handsomest pair of gentlemen in the fleet…” Of the fashions of the day Sanderson says: “The sailors appeared in white flannel shirts with blue facings, the dark silk fez showing off the ….. of the wearers to fine advantage.”