“By Andrew Matheson, Santa Cruz Sentinel and Jim Seimas, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Thirteen boats, including defending champion Rick’s Place, will set sail in the Santana 22 National Championship Regatta beginning Saturday off the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor.

Hosted by the Santa Cruz Yacht Club, the annual event will include a maximum of five races, conditions permitting, with three races constituting a regatta. Three races are scheduled to begin Saturday at 1 p.m., while another two will be held Sunday beginning at noon.

Racing will be around inflatable buoys in an area 3½ miles from the harbor’s west jetty. 

It is the 50th year of the Santana 22 National Championship, although the design — which is said to have had the choppy waters of the San Francisco Bay in mind — is in its 51st year. 

Perennial favorite Rick’s Place, skippered by Bob Comstock, will look to defend its 2015 title. Comstock manned Rick’s Place to two victories in four races last year at the Corinthian Yacht Club of San Francisco, scoring a regatta-low of eight points to win the title.

Mark Langer’s Hot Tuna, which is also expected to compete this weekend, finished second with 12 points last year.

Other boats listed to compete include Bridget Binko’s Schock Therapy, Deb Fehr’s Meliki, and Maybe, which is skippered by Phil Vandenberg.”

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