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CHICAGO BEER CAN SERIES

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Columbia Yacht Club is proud to serve as the host club for Chicago Beer Can racing. Each Wednesday night, from May through September, racers can participate in the Beer Can Series to:

  • Introduce sailboat racing to those who are new to the sport in a positive, casual atmosphere
  • Encourage established and entry-level racing teams to rotate crew positions for skill development
  • Build team confidence for more competitive weekend races and regattas
  • Create an opportunity for sailors from area clubs to meet and mingle
  • Present a viable alternative to Wednesday night bowling

Eligibility

The regatta is open to all sailboats 20 feet or longer which are equipped with a GPS and VHF radio capable of broadcasting and receiving on VHF channel 69 and meet US Coast Guard safety requirements for nearshore sailing at night.
*Must provide a rating or fill out a rating certificate application.

Getting Started

For first time Beer Can Racers, we have Beer Can College on May 17 starting at 1840 (6:40pm), hosted on the aft deck of Columbia Yacht Club. The college  goes over all aspects of the Beer Can Series including rules, race course, sections, and everything else you need to know! Beer Can Racing is about having fun in a less intense competitive environment. You don't need a spinnaker or the latest, lightest hardware to join the fun! There are two sections of JAM (jib and main) and several spinnaker sections.  Plus, it is a great party!

The Races

Races start on Wednesdays between 6:45 and 7:10pm depending on your section and most races are completed by 8:30pm.The race course consists of a 2.5 miles diameter racing circle with the start and finish line in the center.  The length of the courses are between 3.5 and 5.5 miles. Boats are divided into sections and classes depending on which sails are being used and the handicap rating. The sections are Green (new to Beer Can), JAM (jib and main) and spinnaker boats divided into sections according to their handicap. Tartan Tens race in their own section.  

After the Race

After each race, crew and friends meet at Columbia to get acquainted, have a few drinks, and enjoy the fireworks. At the end of the season, series awards are given to the boats placing in each class.
Helping the Race Committee

If racing is not for you but you would like to be involved with the series, consider joining the Beer Can Race Committee.Working on the Race Committee is an excellent opportunity to meet new people. Each week a different boat from the racing volunteers to be the Race Committee boat. As a member of the Race Committee, you will learn all about sailboat racing and all the in's and out's of running a race.

No Boat? No Experience? No Problem!
Columbia Yacht Club and other clubs are always looking for new people to join the Race Committee!  This is a FREE way to get on the water; learn a new skill, marine education, make friends, enjoy the community, etc.  If you volunteer for Race Committee, what you put into it you will get out of it, and we will do our best to make sure you have every opportunity along the way.  If you are interested, SIGN UP HERE!