Regatta raises $1,000 for maritime museum

CHARLOTTE — Twenty-four boats from up and down Lake Champlain took part in the second annual Diamond Island Regatta on Saturday, Aug. 23. The benefit race, sponsored by the Royal Savage Yacht Club (RSYC) and Point Bay Marina, raised more than $1,000 for the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Ferrisburgh.
The race, sailed on a beautiful if not particularly windy day on the lake, was followed by the awards ceremony at the club’s annual Lobster Fest dinner, under the RSYC tent at the marina. Will Patten, RSYC commodore, and Wendy Friant, vice commodore and race director, thanked all of the competitors, Point Bay Marina, the other sponsors, and the many RSYC volunteers for helping to make the event possible. Friant also made a point of thanking the experienced crew from the Lake Champlain Yacht Club that manned the committee boat for the race.
“Thank you to everyone who made this day such a huge success,” said Friant. “Raising $1,000 for the Maritime Museum is awesome.” She also thanked RSYC members and Point Bay Marina for the hospitality they had shown to visiting racers. “They are spreading the word for next year,” she said, “so we just expect this race to get bigger and bigger.”
The money for LCMM was raised through sale of “swag bags” containing items donated from sponsors, via a raffle of various boating-related items, and through sales to competitors of photos of their boats taken by race photographer Brandon Johnson. In addition to RSYC and Point Bay Marina, the sponsors for this year’s regatta included Basin Harbor Club in Ferrisburgh; The Galley Restaurant and Westport Marina in Westport, N.Y.; Shelburne Shipyard in Shelburne; Subway of Vergennes; Vermont Sailing Partners in Winooski; Vermont Canvas Products in Rutland; and Transcend Manufacturing, which donated the custom-made trophies.
In the race itself, on a bright sunny day with a light north breeze, competitors were divided into two general categories, those who sailed with spinnakers and those who sailed with jib and mainsail (JaM). Boats came from the local Royal Savage Yacht Club (RSYC), based at Point Bay in Charlotte, and from Lake Champlain Yacht Club in Shelburne, Malletts Bay Boat Club in Colchester and elsewhere on the lake.
Twelve boats sailed in each category, with the spinnaker fleet divided into four classes, and the JaM fleet into two, according to ratings under the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) system, used for most sailing competitions on Lake Champlain. The first boat to finish in the spinnaker fleet, and the winner on corrected time for the Spinnaker A class, was Buffalo Theory, a Henderson 30 sailed by co-owners Bill Fastiggi and Bob Turnau. First place in the Spinnaker B class went to Jack Wallace’s Boomer, a J-29; in Spinnaker C, to Les Velte’s Talisman, a Peterson 34; and in Spinnaker D, to Dragonfly, a J-24 sailed by John Beal from the host club.
Because of the light winds, the JaM fleet sailed a slightly shorter course. First to finish in the JaM fleet was Steve Koch’s Spirit, a Pearson Flyer (30-foot) from RSYC, which wound up in second place in the JaM B class. On corrected time, first place in JaM B went to Betsy and Tim Etchells in Mackinac, a Pearson 32, also from RSYC, and first place in the JaM A class went to Kinsale, a J-27 sailed by Bob Finn. Two other RSYC boats — Peter Nelson’s Waif, a Cal 31, and Wendy Friant’s Raven, a Dufour 31 — were third and fourth in JaM B, giving the host club a sweep of the top four in that class.
Complete results can be found at http://rsyc.org/fast-sail/diamond-island-regatta.

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