SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

A sailing race tradition, known as Wet Wednesday, was postponed for a week due to sand buildup in the Santa Barbara Harbor. The sand was moved around by a recent storm that prevented sailboats with deep keels from getting out to sea.  Several days of dredging solved the problem.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday the first Wet Wednesday sailboat race of the season began. About 45 sailboats took part. 

Kent Peirce, the Santa Barbara yacht club's past president, said the sailors took it in stride. They were more concerned about the coast guard boats and fisherman that needed to get in and out of the harbor.

Sailors said the delay added to the excitement.  Wednesday's race was just for fun. But the next eight races will count in the spring competition.  Wet Wednesday events will continue until mid-October.

The race director used starting flags and large letters on the edge of the yacht club deck to communicate the course.  Sailors will race a new course each week.  Young sailors are invited to help the race committee time the boats since they are needed to keep the sailing tradition afloat.

For more information, go to www.sbyc.org.