Third annual race, sponsored by Royal Savage Yacht Club and Point Bay Marina, draws a record 26 boats
CHARLOTTE / FERRISBURGH, Vt. — A record 26 boats, hailing from Canada to southern Lake Champlain, took part in the third annual Diamond Island Regatta on Saturday, August 22, 2015. The benefit race, sponsored by the Royal Savage Yacht Club (RSYC) and Point Bay Marina (PBM), raised more than $1,000 for the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) in Ferrisburgh, Vt.
The race, beginning just after 11 a.m., took competitors north from the start in Town Farm Bay to a mark off Cedar Beach in Charlotte, south to Diamond Island off the Ferrisburgh shore, and then back to the starting line. The fastest boats covered the 8-mile course in just over an hour and a half, on a near-perfect Vermont summer day, with blue skies and a light but consistent north breeze.
The day began and ended under the RSYC tent at the marina, starting with a pre-race breakfast for racers and club members and wrapping up with the awards ceremony at the club’s annual Lobster Fest dinner. At the ceremony, RSYC race director Doug Friant and LCMM executive director Mike Smiles thanked all of the competitors, Point Bay Marina and the two dozen RSYC volunteers for helping to make the day’s events possible. Friant also made a point of thanking Dale Hyerstay from the Lake Champlain Yacht Club (LCYC), who brought a committee boat and race crew down to Town Farm Bay.
Entry in the race was free, with most of the money for LCMM raised through the sale of donated items from sponsors, including duffle bags, Diamond Island Regatta hats and LCMM pint glasses. Additional money will come from sales to competitors of photos of their boats taken by race photographer Brandon Johnson.
In the race itself, competitors were divided into two general categories, those who sailed with spinnakers and those who sailed only with jib and mainsail (JaM). Boats came from the local Royal Savage Yacht Club, Lake Champlain Yacht Club in Shelburne, Malletts Bay Boat Club (MBBC) in Colchester, Valcour Sailing Club (VSC) in Plattsburgh, N.Y., and elsewhere on the lake.
There were 17 boats in the four spinnaker fleets, A through D, and nine in the two JaM fleets, A and B. The fleets were determined by each boat’s rating under the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) system, which ranks boats based on their speed potential and is used for most sailing competitions on Lake Champlain. Winners are determined based on corrected time, with the faster boats “giving time” to the slower boats. The six fleet winners this year, receiving trophies at the awards ceremony:
- Spinnaker A: Odinn, a J-111, sailed by Kjell Dahlen, from the VSC, with a corrected time of 1 hour, 32 minutes and 19 seconds
- Spinnaker B: Boomer, J-29, Jack Wallace, LCYC, 1:37:10
- Spinnaker C: Sundance, Pearson 37, Tom Glynn, LCYC, 1:43:34
- Spinnaker D: Mashnee, Buzzards Bay 30, Jan Rozendaal, RSYC, 1:39:10
- JaM A: It Wasn’t Me, J-105, Branwell Lepp, no club listed, 1:52:51
- JaM B: Mackinac, Pearson 32, Tim and Betsy Etchells, RSYC, 1:50:33
The first boat to finish the race, with the fastest elapsed time of 1:29:48, was Corbeau, a Far 400 from VSC, sailed by Jean Pierre Turgeon. First to finish in the JaM fleet, in an elapsed time of 2:04:38, was Lepp’s It Wasn’t Me.
Complete results can be found here: https://rsyc.org/2015-diamond-island-regatta-results/
Host Royal Savage Yacht Club (rsyc.org) is named for the schooner Royal Savage, which served as Benedict Arnold’s flagship during Revolutionary War battles with the British on Lake Champlain. Point Bay Marina is a full-service marina on Thompson’s Point Road in Charlotte (pointbaymarina.com).