Diamond Island Regatta to sail this Saturday in Lake Champlain


Spinnakers power the boats on the downwind leg during the 2018 Diamond Island Regatta. The Regatta returns this coming Saturday, Aug. 17. Photo / Rik Carlson

The fleet heads north into a stiff breeze during the 2018 Diamond Island Regatta. Photo / Rik Carlson

Now in its seventh season, the Diamond Island Regatta, hosted by the Royal Savage Yacht Club (RSYC) and Point Bay Marina, will once again attract many of the fastest boats and best sailors from around Lake Champlain this Saturday, Aug. 17.

As in past years, the event will be run as a benefit for the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) in Ferrisburgh. LCMM is dedicated to maritime education and the preservation and management of the lake’s historical shipwrecks and underwater cultural resources.

Entry for the Diamond Island Regatta is free, with money raised through the sale of race-themed merchandise (like t-shirts) to sailors and racing fans, and the sale of professional photographs of the boats taking part in the race. The proceeds are used to offset an annual RSYC donation of $1,000 to the museum.

Again this year, according to race director for RSYC Wendy Friant, the event will be run as a Clean Regatta, using a sustainability plan developed with the help of Sailors for the Sea. The non-profit organization promotes ways to improve the health of the planet’s waters, and the Clean Regatta program is designed to educate and mobilize sailors to protect the world’s lakes and oceans.

In its relatively brief history, RSYC’s Diamond Island Regatta has become one of the biggest sailing regattas on the Lake Champlain summer schedule; last year, the event attracted about 30 boats. The race is part of the Lake Champlain Championship Series (LCCS), a series of races featuring boats from clubs in Vermont, New York and Quebec. Regatta results will count toward both the LCCS Cannon Series and the Champlain Series. Details and registration info for the regatta can be found at rsyc.org/diamond-island-regatta.

Racers are invited to an RSYC-hosted breakfast ($5 suggested donation, to benefit the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum) the day of the race at the RSYC tent at Point Bay Marina. Breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, with registration from 8:30-9:30 a.m., and a skippers meeting at 9:30 a.m. The race gets under way at 11 a.m. The awards ceremony will take place this year during the inaugural Taste of the Islands Dinner — fare with a Caribbean flair — also under the tent, at 6 p.m. Visiting sailors are invited to join the evening festivities, paying the RSYC member price for dinner.

The race is scored using the Lake Champlain PHRF ratings, which allow sailboats of all sizes and speeds to compete against one another. RSYC and Point Bay invite sailors to spend a day on Lake Champlain and experience the thrill of pitting their sailing skills against top competitors, all while helping a great cause.

The event will include separate classes for boats flying spinnakers and those using just mainsail and jib, but all boats will sail the same course, chosen from among several options on the day of the race based on the wind direction and speed. The courses, all starting in Town Farm Bay, which sits between Charlotte and Ferrisburgh, range in length from 6.6 to 13.8 nautical miles, and can run from Charlotte and Essex, N.Y., in the north to Basin Harbor in the south.

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