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A guide to the Yacht Racing Association records, 1948-1986
HDC0644 (SAFR 5321)  
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication and Use Rights
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical or Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Content
  • Collection Arrangement

  • Title: Yacht Racing Association records
    Date: 1948-1986
    Identifier/Call Number: HDC0644 (SAFR 5321)
    Owner: Yacht Racing Association
    Physical Description: 42.2 linear feet
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The Yacht Racing Association records, 1948-1985 (SAFR 5321, HDC 644) is comprised of business records, meeting minutes, correspondence, race applications and results.The collection has been processed to the file unit level and is open for use without restrictions.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.


    This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.

    Publication and Use Rights

    Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

    Processing Note

    Note on Description: The descriptions in this collection guide were compiled using the best available sources of information. Such sources include the creator's annotations or descriptions, collection accession files, primary and secondary source material and subject matter experts. While every effort was made to provide accurate information, in the event that you find any errors in this guide please contact the reference staff in order for us to evaulate and make corrections to this guide. P lease cite the title and collection number in any correspondence with our staff.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], HDC0644 (SAFR 5321), Yacht Racing Association records, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    This collection was donated to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park by the Yacht Racing Association in 1990.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    In 1935, the Yacht Racing Association (YRA) was formed as an association of yacht clubs. In 1937, the Sun, Moon and Snipe dinghy fleets formed an association that was formalized in 1938 as the Small Boat Racing Association (SBRA). It provided racing for small one design dinghy and keelboat fleets on the protected waters of the Bay and the lakes of Northern California. The YRA and the SBRA provided programs of racing that satisfied the yachting community for the next twenty years.
    Then, in 1957, the International 110, Clipper, Mercury and Zephyr fleets, having tired of the SBRA traveling to so many distant lakes, organized seven races on the Bay. In 1958, this group formally organized itself as an association of yacht clubs calling itself the Small Yacht Racing Association (SYRA). The SYRA grew rapidly during its first few years and then stabilized throughout the 1960s with entries ranging between 130 and 160.
    In the 1960s, growing pains were caused by prosperity and fiberglass and created problems between the three associations. Even though the associations were comprised of the same yacht clubs, there was no method of coordinating the increasing demands for the same dates, places and sponsors for races.
    In 1966, the first major effort to solve the problem of rapid growth and the changing mood of the competitors was the formation of the Chartered Associations of the YRA. These groups were formed to represent the respective demands of one design, handicap and measurement racing rules. However, the YRA By-Laws and Standing Rules reinforced isolation from the other associations and prevented rapid response to changing needs. As the larger and senior association, the YRA exerted the most influence over the control of yachting activities and policies.
    In the early 1970s, conflict between the associations increased as they were operating in isolation from one another and other craft were competing for the water.
    In 1975, a small group of individuals accomplished what is now taken for granted. Accomplishments included the creation of one set of yacht club sailing instructions on waterproof paper, the establishment of definitive courses, an increase in the number of sponsoring clubs, the making of an inclusive Master Racing Calendar scheduling process, a merger of all offshore activities into the Offshore Yacht Racing Association, the arrangement of a signaling course system, a commitment to promptly mailing race results, increasing responsiveness to membership, formation of the Race Management Committee and the realization of sound financial status. Final steps in the unification process were revising the By-Laws and Standing Rules.
    The new YRA became an association of individuals, represented through their clubs by Delegates. These Delegates plus Charter Association Directors, elected the Board of Directors.
    Today, the primary role of the Yacht Racing Association (YRA) of San Francisco Bay is to organize and support competitive racing in Northern California. It promotes, coordinates and administers organized racing and functions as sponsor of nearly 30 races a year. The YRA ensures races happen in a fair, safe, fun and competitive way for racers at all levels. It records, coordinates and schedules over 800 individual races on the San Francisco Bay.
    In addition to race management, the YRA maintains buoys, addresses appeals through a committee, processes Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) Certificates and acts as the liaison for the United States Coast Guard and local government organizations.
    The YRA is a membership organization for individual sailors and businesses that serve and support the sailing community. The YRA acts as an advocate for sailing in the Bay and is responsive to the racing needs and desires of its members. It can organize lobbying efforts as necessary in the interest of all racing sailors. Members can also belong to one of four different charter associations each of which represents a specific type of racing or types of boats: Handicap Divisions Association (HDA), the One Design Class Association (ODCA), the Offshore Yacht Racing Association (OYRA) and the Wooden Boat Racing Association (WBRA).

    Collection Scope and Content

    The Yacht Racing Association records, 1948-1985 (SAFR 5321, HDC 644) is comprised of business records, meeting minutes, correspondence, race applications and results.The collection has been processed to the file unit level and is open for use without restrictions.

    Collection Arrangement

    This collection is arranged in chronological order.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Yacht clubs
    Yacht racing--California--San Francisco
    Yacht racing--records
    Yacht Racing Association
    San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)