Some of the best bartenders in San Francisco will join the friendly ladies-only Speed Rack competition this weekend at the Factory for the title of Miss Speed rack San Francisco 2014.

Entering its third year, Speed Rack competitions are held in seven cities throughout the United States to highlight female bartenders and mixologists who have persevered in an industry sometimes considered to be a bit of a boys club.

Founder Ivy Mix was inspired to create the event while out drinking some cocktails (of course) with some bartending lady pals in San Francisco, ruminating the lack of females working as more than cocktail waitresses.

“We wanted to provide a platform for the women in the industry,” says Mix. “We want the competition to allow the women to scream ‘You should hire us! We’re good at our jobs! We exist!’”

Attendees are provided unlimited free drinks from the event’s food and drink sponsors and the opportunity to watch as eight finalists from San Francisco mix from a collection of 50 industry standard drinks. The crowd usually gets involved in a scene Mix describes as “roller derby meets rock contest.”

Local judges, including Gayle Terry of Foreign Cinema and Martin Keat owner of Smuggler’s Cove (and rum aficionado), will rate drinks for timing and quality. All proceeds from the event will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Share Cancer Support.

In the three years since the competition began, interest in Speed Rack has increased significantly and the competition now hosts upwards of 400 women mixologists at events nationwide.

San Francico Contenders:
Jessamine McLellan – Hakkasan (San Francisco)
Caitlin Laman – Trick Dog (San Francisco)
Ashlee Ek – Honor Bar (Emeryville, CA), Novela (San Francisco)
Kimberly Rosselle – Trick Dog (San Francisco)
Victoria George – Rickhouse (San Francisco)
Erika Frey – Campo Fina (Healdsburg, CA)
Susan Michelle Mele Kai Robinson – Novela, Blowfish (San Francisco)
Julie Anna Thompson – Rye Bar (San Francisco)
Lauren Steele – Nopa, Tosca (San Francisco)
Nicole Margaret Beyries – Spoonbar (Healdsburg, CA)
Helen Diaz – Tosca, Novela (San Francisco)
Yael Amyra – Two Sisters (San Francisco)
Claire Sprouse – The Hideout at Dalva, Trou Normand (San Francisco)
Melissa Ann Garcia – Smugglers Cove (San Francisco)
Jacquelyn Goldstein – Bourbon and Branch, Tradition (San Francisco)
Ashley Eileen Curren – Rickhouse (San Francisco)
Heather Hawkins – Local Edition Bar (San Francisco)
Christina Mae Henderson – Dogpatch Saloon, Poquito, and Tony’s Pizza Napoletana (San Francisco)
Karri Cormican – Comstock Saloon (San Francisco)
Karly Pearson – Churchill (San Francisco)
Janiece Gonzalez – Emperor Norton’s Boozeland (San Francisco)

Footage from the recent Speed Rack event in Miami:

Speed Rack is at the Factory on March 9 at 3pm. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. More info