Summer regatta series begins on Branch Lake

ELLSWORTH — While many saltwater yacht clubs are still fine-tuning their racing calendars, the summer sailing regatta series on Branch Lake is scheduled to get under way this Sunday with the start scheduled for 1 p.m.

The weekly regatta is held Sunday afternoons starting this weekend and continuing through the last Sunday in August.

Unlike some saltier events, the Branch Lake fleet includes a mixed fleet of boats ranging from speedy Hobie Cats and Lasers to Sunfish that may not be as fast but are plenty of fun to sail. In past years, a couple of Lightning class sloops have come to the starting line.

Commodores for the event are Ralph and Lorna Whedon, who can be found on the committee boat — a red, outboard-powered pontoon boat — at the starting line set at the north end of the lake south of Cow and Calf islands.

Ralph Whedon said the racing is informal, but that it helps if competitors come to the starting area and announce themselves to the committee boat at least 15 minutes before the start.

“We have people who come out who don’t really know how to sail,” Whedon said. “The more people who come, the more fun. The more kids who come out, the more fun.”

Whedon also encourages motorboat owners to come out as spectators, as long as they keep clear of the race course. Owners who might want to volunteer their motorboats as safety boats would be welcome he said.

For information, contact Ralph Whedon at 667-2005.

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]
Stephen Rappaport

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