Originally published in The Weekly Packet, August 7, 2014
Variable winds, strong tides mark Eggemoggin Reach Regatta
98 yachts sail through Penobscot Bay
Ninety-eight yachts, eight classes and five starting times sent a magnificent fleet of classic sloops, yawls, cutters and ketches through the Eggemoggin Reach and Jericho Bay on August 2. Above, yachts wait off Torrey Island for the race to start.
by Anne Berleant
The Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, often called the “jewel” of the three regattas raced in as many days through the waters of the Reach and Penobscot Bay, drew 98 yachts in eight race classes on August 2.
The sight of nearly 100 yachts with their sails billowing racing through the Reach made for an incredible view from land and sea.
Light wind delayed the race start and slightly shortened the course, with the tides playing a strong role in the outcome.
The race starts off Torrey Island and charts a 16-nautical-mile course down the Reach and around Halibut Rock before heading back through Jericho Bay, normally to finish in Brooklin. The race committee ended the course on Saturday around Channel Rock when a sudden dead wind on the back side of Halibut Rock becalmed many of the yachts.
“It was a mess. After they rounded Halibut Rock the wind went absolutely dead,” said David Bicks, who chaired the Castine Classic, the first of the two “feeder” races leading up to the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, followed by the Camden Classic on August 1.
“It was tidal race,” said Bob Scott, skipper of the Falcon, one of six Sparkman & Stephens NY32 yachts that sailed in the Vintage B class. “We had a strong flood and it pushed us one first leg to the north away from Egg Rock. We fought to stay as far south as we could.”
The S&S NY32 fleet, which raced in all three regattas, was the largest gathering of the classic, 1936-built sloops—of which only 20 were built—seen in over 50 years.