Long Meadow Ranch Winery’s Bright Star
Overall Winner In Historic San Francisco Yacht Race
June 1, 2004, San Francisco, CA
The classic yacht, Bright Star, won the coveted Deadeye Trophy for the fastest elapsed time among all entrants at the historic Master Mariners’ Regatta on Saturday on San Francisco Bay. Sponsored by Long Meadow Ranch Winery and skippered by owner, Ted Hall, Bright Star is a 58-foot cutter-rigged sailboat designed by Edson B. Schock and built in 1935 in Long Beach, California.
On Saturday sixty-two classic wooden boats - all built prior to World War II – competed for honors in 12 different classes. Forty-two commercial sponsors supported boats in this traditional fund-raising event featuring historic boats ranging in size from 25 to 100 feet. Long Meadow Ranch Winery’s entry, Bright Star , won the Deadeye Trophy by beating boat-for-boat all participants around the approximately 15 nautical mile course. In addition to the perpetual trophies and the traditional champion’s red, white and green banner decorated with a strutting gamecock, each class champion received a magnum (1.5 liter) bottle of 2000 Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon.
“We were proud to represent Long Meadow Ranch Winery in one of the last great yacht races,” said Bright Star owner and skipper, Ted Hall. Hall is the President of Long Meadow Ranch Winery as well as being an accomplished competitive sailor, having skippered his own boat in races such as the Long Beach-to-Honolulu Transpac Race. “Our traditional approach to winemaking and farming make an excellent match with the tradition of classic wooden sailboats.” Bright Star ’s victory marked the fourth time that she had won the Deadeye Trophy since Hall took the helm in 1999 – and combined with a previous win in 1994 - she has the most wins ever by a single boat.
The Master Mariners fleet includes many well-known boats, including the Alma, an 88-foot hay scow schooner built in 1891 now owned by the United States Park Service, and the 1924 schooner Brigadoon designed by the legendary Nathaniel Herreschoff and formerly owned by actor Sterling Hayden. Bright Star , which was formerly owned by movie actor Dana Andrews, narrowly beat the schooner Santana by a mere 79 seconds for the fastest elapsed time and the historic Deadeye Trophy. Santana, now owned by boatyard owner Paul Kaplan, is one of San Francisco’s best-known yachts having been formerly owned by movie star Humphrey Bogart.
The historic regatta was first staged in on the Fourth of July in 1867 by the Boatmen's Protective Association as a race between the large coastal schooners and the sailing scows of the San Francisco Bay Area. Highly successful in its first years, the race was reorganized in 1869 under the title of the Master Mariners Benevolent Association to benefit the widows and orphans of working seaman. San Francisco businesses provided stipends for the entrants to carry “house flags.” The sponsors of the winning boats received substantial cash prizes and prominent local recognition while the overall proceeds benefited the benevolent fund. Winners also gained custody of a silken, gold-tasseled, red, white and green banner decorated with a strutting gamecock and the word "champion" emblazoned across it. The annual event continued until 1891 when only 13 vessels showed up for the start as engine-powered boats began dominating the working waterfront in San Francisco Bay.
In 1965, the Master Mariner's Regatta was revived in honor of National Maritime Day. Where the competing boats in the 19th century races were big lumber schooners, hay scows and other workboats, today’s racers are mostly traditional wooden pleasure yachts, including legendary local designs such as Bird and Bear boats. Today’s version of the Master Mariners Benevolent Association is now striving to preserve the heritage of wood boats on San Francisco Bay by promoting local sea-going traditions and by continuing the practice of soliciting race sponsors for the each entry. Instead of benefiting working seamen’s families, the proceeds today fund educational programs for young men and women pursuing careers in traditional boat building and sailing.
In this year’s race, after starting off the St. Francis Yacht Club on the city front, the fleet sailed to Harding Rock near Angel Island before crossing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge to Blackaller buoy off Crissy Field. After a turn at the light at South Hampton Shoal in the North Bay, the racers turned south and finished behind Treasure Island. Post race festivities were held at the historic Encinal Yacht Club (founded in 1890) in Alameda where the fleet docked together in the largest annual gathering of historic yachts on the West Coast.
Long Meadow Ranch is an innovative organic farming operation that produces grapes, olives, beef, eggs, and vegetables as well as ultra premium wines and olive oils, under the Long Meadow Ranch Winery, Prato Lungo, and Napa Valley Select labels.
Long Meadow Ranch has been known as such since 1872 when it was established as an original "patent grant" ranch signed over by President Ulysses S. Grant. Having been home to a variety of uses during its long history, Long Meadow Ranch continues to grow and prosper through Ted, Laddie and Christopher Hall's stewardship. Long Meadow Ranch is an integrated farming system that relies on each part of the Ranch contributing to the health of the whole.
The Halls continue to restore and preserve the historic olive groves, as well as add new plantings of olive trees and vineyard. They produce premium wine and olive oil, organic vegetables and eggs, plus free-range, grass-fed Highland beef. Appaloosa horse breeding, along with an extensive composting operation, round out the integrated activities at the Ranch.
"Excellence through responsible farming" is the motto of Long Meadow Ranch, bolstered by the belief that world-class products can be produced using simple sustainable farming methods. Long Meadow Ranch does not use herbicides or pesticides and its products are organically grown and certified by the California Certified Organic Framers.
Contact: Monty J. Sander