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Light winds and stormy weather—and a spectacular fleet of classic wooden sailing yachts—marked the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta on August 3, which culminated three days of racing. Two “feeder” races, the Castine Classic and the Camden Classic, were held on August 1 and August 2.
Spectators from land and water thrilled at the sight of dozens of sailboats racing through Jericho Bay and the Eggemoggin Reach, ending at Naskeag Point in Brooklin.
For skippers and crew, the races were just as memorable.
“It can only be described as a glorious finish,” said Jon Wilson, founder of Brooklin’s WoodenBoat School, who raced the 30-foot Harris/Howlan-designed Free Spirit after a 13-year absence. “There were some extraordinary examples of great racing. It was an amazing race.”
After a 40-minute delay, the first of five yacht classes set off from Torrey Island on the 16-mile course through Jericho Bay, past Swan’s Island, backtracking to end at Naskeag Point.
“We had a heavy shower [at the start] and the breeze went immediately quite light,” Wilson said. “As we got out on Jericho Bay, the wind began to build…by the time we landed at Halibut Rocks, the second mark, we were starting to get some real breeze.”
“Rain, no wind, lots of wind, rainbows,” event organizer Lucia Michaud described the race conditions.
Bob Scott of Castine, who raced NY32 Falcon to a first place finish in the Vintage B division, echoed Wilson’s description. “It was one of the most exciting races ever. It was just perfect.”
Ninety-three boats sailed in five classes. In the Gaffs and Schooners division, the Spartan, skippered by Bob Festa, took first place. The N.G. Herreshoff-designed 72-foot NY 50 also raced to a top finish the previous day in the Classic B division of the Camden Classic.
In the Spirit of Tradition A class, the winner was the 31-foot Swallow, designed by Joel White and built at Brooklin Boat Yard. Isobel, a 68-foot Stephens-Waring designed Spirit of Tradition vessel, skippered by Richard Schotte, marked the fastest overall time at 2:59:28.
Wilson finished third in the Vintage A class—“Not bad for a cruising boat,” he said.