This Spring 7 staff-commodores, 5 gybes, 3 sail changes, 1 boat, & a great deal of trouble. 

Seven staff commodores of the Santa Cruz Yacht Club will show-off their skills in the first of it’s kind Foredeck Showdown. The commanding voices of the stern will now have the opportunity to ‘get it done right’ as they scurry forward to hoist, gybe, dowse, and reset at the will of their commodores at the rear. From the spectrum of Santa Cruz Yacht Club sailing skills, only one will rise to the top as champion, hailed by crew, passengers, and fellow skippers alike as “Still havin’ it.”


The Registration:

Any staff commodore of the Santa Cruz Yacht Club is eligible to register or to be nominated by a club member. From the pool of applicants, the Commodore’s Showdown Committee will select, at random, the seven-participants.

Register/Nominate Here


The Scoring:

Commodores will be judged throughout several rounds with respect to competency, completeness, speed, and attitude. The categories are as follows:

“GET IT DONE RIGHT” – Performance Section

Competitors will be required to successfully complete a number of scheduled tasks within a specific time frame. Competitors will not be judged on failures and corrections made. Only completeness will be judged at the end of the round.

“GET IT DONE NOW” – Speed Section

Competitors will be judged by the speed in which they are able to complete each task.

“THAT’S NOT WHAT I SAID” – Freestyle

Competitors will be judged by their ability to respond quickly and appropriately to free-style commands (murmurings) from the cockpit, interpreting boat movements, sail trim, and other non-verbal factors contributing to the tasks they must prepare and execute in order to maintain a jolly skipper, tactician, and trimmer(s). 


Competitors will subject themselves to the ‘compliment sandwiches’ of criticisms regarding their performance as provided by all ‘crew’ aboard the competition boat. Competitors will be judged on their ability to withstand the harshest realities of their personal existence without the freedom to self-sooth through cold beer, or other substances.

Scores are assigned on a sliding 0-10 scale, with zero representative of a non-performing participant and ten representative as a professional participant. Each portion of the competition is weighted equally.

The Awards:

The Commodore’s Showdown committee will provide awards to only the most successful participants, all other’s will be provided a “You did a good job” certificate, a list of books to read, and prohibited from participating in future Commodore Showdowns for a period of two-years.


Participants are required to provide their own safety equipment, including, but not limited to:

  • 1 correctly sized and operational PFD,
  • sun protection (as required by their physician),
  • lunch,
  • water,
  • 1 bottle of wine for their skipper,
  • 1 copy of the SI’s,
  • hand bearing compass,
  • foldable knife,
  • appropriate weatherproof clothing,
  • closed toed shoes,
  • gloves,
  • ATIS enabled hand-held radio,
  • 2-flares,
  • rigging harness,
  • rigging tools,
  • 1 spare halyard,
  • sail tape,
  • sail ties,
  • diagonal pliers (wire cutters),
  • plastic waterproof tape,
  • binoculars,
  • hand-held GPS,
  • one timing watch synchronized to Atomic time (UTC−08:00),
  • 6-pack of chilled beer for the boat.

The Boat:

The Commodore’s Showdown Committee will select a suitable keelboat based on size to accommodate the participants and Committee observers & judges. The boat will utilize common sail deployment, management, and capture mechanisms. The Committee shall retain the right to change the boat up until 24 hours before the competition.

The Commodore’s Showdown Committee

The Commodore’s Showdown Committee retains all rights to make changes to the event as they deep responsible for the good of yachting. For press inquires, questions, or comments please contact the SCYC Commodore’s Showdown Committee

We’re looking forward to a great competition this year! See you on the water.