Harbor Light News

For the love of sailing: Regatta enjoys perfect weekend of weather and wind



 

 

Another Ugotta Regatta is in the books. Good weather and small town hospitality were at the forefront of the beloved three day event with Harbor Springs and Mother Nature serving welcoming vibes, sunshine, and fair winds.

“It was pretty much back to normal,” Tom Trautman, Little Traverse Yacht Club (LTYC) Commodore, said. “And you could feel the energy. Everyone seemed to be really enjoying not only the sailing but also the onshore activities.”

From the Friday morning t-shirt reveal to the parties and pancake breakfasts, LTYC, Irish Boat Shop, and the city of Harbor Springs hosted a weekend full of good fun and camaraderie.

“We had our party at Irish Friday night and it was well attended,” Trautman said. “This year we had Sean Bielby play and it was great to have live music for that event again.”

LTYC took over the pancake breakfast duties this year and welcomed both racers and the public to the early morning feasts on Saturday and Sunday.

Nearly 100 boats made up the fleet sailing in last weekend’s Ugotta Regatta on Little Traverse Bay. The weather was perfect for sailors and spectators alike. (Harbor Light Newspaper photo/Charles O’Neill)

Nearly 100 boats made up the fleet sailing in last weekend’s Ugotta Regatta on Little Traverse Bay. The weather was perfect for sailors and spectators alike. (Harbor Light Newspaper photo/Charles O’Neill)

“It was well attended both mornings,” Trautman said of the local support.

The LTYC was buzzing with activity from breakfast through dinner with live music capping off the Saturday race events as well. Sunday night was the award ceremony with flags awarded to the top three boats in each division.

“It all went really smoothly,” Trautman said. “We’re really lucky to have a great staff at the LTYC this year.”

But most would agree the sailing was the highlight of the weekend, whether watching it from shore or in the thick of it aboard one of the 100 boats vying for top positions throughout the course.

“The one design racing took place on Friday and it was a good breeze for them that filled in earlier in the morning and was consistent all day long,” Trautman said.

This included the J/111s which used this regatta as their Great Lakes Championship. And while they’ve done Great Lakes Championships before, this year there was a new trophy awarded in honor of Dave Irish.

Harbor Light Newspaper photos/Charles O’Neill Aerial photos courtesy Charlie MacInnis

Harbor Light Newspaper photos/Charles O’Neill Aerial photos courtesy Charlie MacInnis

“There were 13, which was a pretty good fleet for the J/111 here on the Great Lakes,” Trautman said.

Friday races also included the Melges 24s, the J/88s, the J/70s, and the Great Lakes 52s.

“They did windward-leewards Friday and got three races in on Friday,” Trautman said. “And then the J/111, J/88, and GL 52 didTour-of-the-Bay races on Saturday and Sunday, while the J/70s and Melges 24s continued with windwardleewards, which they sailed all three days. The rest of the boats came out on Saturday and Sunday. The Alerion 28s opted not to sail all three days but instead did windwardleewards on Saturday and Sunday. We had eight of those and I believe they, the Alerion 28s, were all local boats.”

Saturday and Sunday brought the rest of the fleets including ORC A, ORC B, ORC C, PHRF A and PHRF B.

“And it was perfect,” Trautman said. “I mean it was typical Harbor Springs—glass calm in the morning on both Saturday and Sunday until about noon. And like clockwork, around noon, the shore breeze came in and hiked up to about 8-12 knots. So it was pretty much ideal weather conditions. It was sunny and beautiful all weekend.”

There is something special about the annual Ugotta Regatta. Seeing Little Traverse Bay fill up with the colorful sails as seen from the bluff or shoreline or being near the towering and majestic GL 52 boats on the water is always great fun, especially for photographers. Having photographed this event from the water, the shore and, one year, on board one of the racing vessels, I can say that this weekend was one of the best in terms of blue sky, clouds, pristine blue water, nearly 100 boats and good wind. Sail on! -Charles O’Neill

“There is something special about the annual Ugotta Regatta. Seeing Little Traverse Bay fill up with the colorful sails as seen from the bluff or shoreline or being near the towering and majestic GL 52 boats on the water is always great fun, especially for photographers. Having photographed this event from the water, the shore and, one year, on board one of the racing vessels, I can say that this weekend was one of the best in terms of blue sky, clouds, pristine blue water, nearly 100 boats and good wind. Sail on!” -Charles O’Neill

Traditionally the starts were at 11:00 am but were changed several years ago to avoid racers sitting out on the bay waiting for the wind, which in these parts usually arrives around noon.

“It was two perfect days of sailing–great winds and sunny skies,” Joe Thuente, a young crew member and resident of Traverse City said.

This regatta, in particular, is a tradition for so many, bringing family and friends together year after year for the family friendly racing.

““I’ve sailed in 27 regattas,” Bill Winslow of Harbor Springs, said. “This year’s regatta was great because, while the breeze was fairly light, the weather was spectacular. The Ugotta is so great because of the venue: Little Traverse Bay and Harbor Springs. You’re not just racing out in the lake. There are varying shorelines, depths, and spectacular scenery. Many boats and competitors have been sailing it for decades, so it’s fun to see many of the same people back each year.”

 

 

The love of this town and this three day regatta was echoed by many, sailors and spectators alike.

“Sailors love sailing here. Many of them mentioned to me that this is their favorite water to sail on,” Dunne Saal, Rear Commodore for LTYC, said. “The weather and wind were perfect and the town was very hospitable.”

And while the regatta brings many to the streets of Harbor Springs, filling the shops and restaurants, for the sailors it always comes back to water and wind.

“This regatta is always a highlight of the summer and this year did not disappoint,” Mike Graham, long-time Ugotta Regatta sailor said. “Little Traverse Bay served up a great westerly breeze each afternoon and the racing was challenging and fun. Weekends like this are why we all love racing sailboats. It’s always great to get out on the water and feel Mother Nature in your face.”

“Sailors love sailing here. Many of them mentioned to me that this is their favorite water to sail on,” Dunne Saal, Rear Commodore for LTYC, said. “The weather and wind were perfect and the town was very hospitable.”

“Sailors love sailing here. Many of them mentioned to me that this is their favorite water to sail on,” Dunne Saal, Rear Commodore for LTYC, said. “The weather and wind were perfect and the town was very hospitable.”

For more information about the regatta visit: www.ltyc.org And for this year’s race results visit: www.yachtscoring.com

The Harbor Light Newspaper extends a big thank you to Irish Boat Shop and boat shop president Michael Esposito for providing boat transportation to allow us to photograph the Ugotta Regatta on Saturday and especially to Rob Neumann, Service Writer at Irish, for his expert captaining of the photography boat that day.