Rosemary Wyman

Perfect Conditions Highlight Small Reach Regatta



Rosemary Wyman
More than 100 sailors, including a family that came all the way from Holland for the event, gathered in Lamoine State Park last week to sail and row some 40 traditional wooden small craft at the Small Reach Regatta. The boat in the foreground is Andrew Kitchen’s Ian Oughtred-designed cat yawl Nina S. Benjamin, from Rochester, N.Y.

LAMOINE — Sunshine, rain and fog. Light airs and gusty winds.

Nearly all the elements a late July weekend on the coast of Maine could offer greeted the more than 100 small boat enthusiasts who gathered in Lamoine State Park last week for the sixth annual Small Reach Regatta. The three-day event organized by the Downeast Chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association brought together sailors, rowers — and 40 wooden boats based on traditional designs — from more than a dozen states.

One family came all the way from Holland to participate in the regatta. They chartered a boat for the event from The Apprenticeshop, a boatbuilding school in Rockland, for the event.

Tom Jackson, a senior editor at WoodenBoat magazine, has pulled a laboring oar in organizing the Small Reach Regatta. He was on hand for the event with Far & Away, a 17-foot-8-inch Nomans Land Boat that he built and launched three years ago. Jackson said the regatta was a successful event.

“I don’t know if it was perfect, but it was pretty darn nice,” Jackson said Tuesday.

The fleet gathered at Lamoine State Park on Wednesday, but Thursday was the first day of sailing. With light breezes in the forecast, the group headed for nearby Bean Island, located between Hancock Point and Waukeag Neck, northwest of Sorrento Harbor. The island’s owners allowed the throng to land and enjoy a picnic lunch before the slow trip back to Lamoine.

Friday brought a complete change of scenery. With a northwest wind predicted to reach 25 knots, “we decided to stay close” to the Lamoine beach, Jackson said.

For more maritime news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Waterfront Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Rappaport has lived in Maine for nearly 30 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats. [email protected]