It isn’t always fair weather sailing in Mount Desert Island’s Great Harbor, but fair or foul, the racing calendar brings out beautiful boats such as Sidewinder. SUE CHARLES PHOTO

Racing boats, sail and power, will be busy in July

ELLSWORTH — “In the summertime, when the weather is hot, you can stretch right up and touch the sky,” or at least that’s what the song made popular by Mungo Jerry almost 50 years ago promised.

Well, the sky may be out of reach but around the waterfront it’s hard to turn around without touching those who are racing, or getting ready to race, boats.

Last Saturday, lobstermen from up and down the Maine coast headed to Moosabec Reach for this year’s edition of the Moosabec Reach Lobster Boat Races. (See related story, this page.) This Sunday, the racing will move to Stonington and the waters of the Deer Island Thorofare then, after a two-week break, the racing will resume along the Midcoast with events in Friendship on July 21 and Harpswell on July 28.

The competition will be quieter, but no less intense, on the sailing scene.

The 23rd annual Hospice Regatta of Maine, the biggest fundraising event of the year for the Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County, will occupy the waters of Mount Desert Island’s Great Harbor for three days: July 12 through 14.

On Friday, July 12, junior sailors will race 420 dinghies in the morning then, in the afternoon, the Southwest Harbor Fleet will host races for Bullseye and Luders 16 sloops.

On Saturday, International One Design (IOD) sloops will gather in MDI’s Great Harbor under the watchful eye of Northeast Harbor Fleet sailing master Fran Charles to sail both in the Hospice Regatta and in one of the Fleet’s Rockefeller Trophy series races.

The waters of Great Harbor will be crowded with sails Saturday afternoon as members of the Friendship Sloop Society gather between Clark Point and Greening Island for the annual rendezvous and race that precedes the society’s 59th annual Homecoming Rendezvous and Races in Rockland on the weekend of July 18 through 20.

On Sunday, July 14, the Fleet will host the third Hospice Regatta event — a race for cruising class sailboats. The race also counts as a Gulf of Maine Ocean Racing Association summer series event.

Later in the month, the sailors will gather in Camden Harbor for two days of racing on July 26 and 27. Sponsored by Lyman-Morse at Wayfarer Marine in conjunction with the Camden Yacht Club and with support from the Classic Yacht Owners Association, the Camden Classics Cup regatta serves as a major fundraiser for the LifeFlight of Maine air ambulance service.

Area yacht clubs have busy racing schedules as well.

On MDI, the Northeast Harbor Fleet will, in addition to its role in the Hospice Regatta, have series racing for both IODs and Luders.

In Blue Hill, Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club will hold its Danforth Cup and Gitana Cup races on July 13 and 14 and the True Blue Spencer Evans Laser Regatta on July 20 and 21 as well as its regular series for Herreshoff 12½ sloops and for Atlantics.

Heading to the west, the Center Harbor, Bucks Harbor and Castine yacht clubs all have busy series racing schedules in July.

And then comes August.

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]

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