Archive for » June 22nd, 2014«

Frisco’s New Belgium Timberline Cruiser Regatta sets sail on Lake Dillon

The sun might not have come out to play, but avid sailors and amateurs alike turned out for the seventh annual New Belgium Timberline Cruiser Regatta Saturday at the Frisco Bay Marina.

Unlike other more serious races on Lake Dillon, the Cruiser Regatta focuses a little more on fun than the sailing

“It’s a party both on and off the water,” marina office manager Jenn Shimp told the Daily — clad in a pirate outfit. While many opted out of the opportunity to dress up, a handful of enthusiastic sailors did take part, including one crew dressed as characters from “Sesame Street.”

With an award for last place and a New Belgium Brewing–sponsored after-party, the event has a more casual atmosphere than the U.S. Sailing–sanctioned competitions on the lake.

“We have people that work hard at getting last place,” event organizer and Dillon Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program director Vickie Ragle said, laughing.

In addition to prices for first, second and third place, the last-place team also receives a prize, which includes a case of New Belgium Beer.

Shimp said that many participants also bring their own traditions to the event, including, for example, chugging a beer after passing a certain course marker.

“It’s probably the only sailing event (on Lake Dillon) that is relaxed and set up for fun,” Ragle said. “It’s supposed to be more of a family-oriented activity.”

Twenty-six boats participated Saturday, most with four-person crews. With a variety of different styles of boats in the competition, teams were handicapped based on boat size and speed to level the playing field. So while a boat might cross the finish line first, it wasn’t necessarily the official winner.

Every year the event benefits the Dillon Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program. Last year’s event raised around $2,600 for the club.

With the addition of a raffle this year, Ragle hopes to raise even more.

“We depend on these funds,” Ragle said of the club. “We were able to buy six new boats this year.”

Together with the Dillon Open — later in the summer — the Cruiser Regatta is one of two major fundraisers for the junior sailing club.



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Clipper Race 2013-14: Round-the-world race currently the last bastion of proud British sailing tradition

In 1973, the teams on the original Whitbread Race (now the Volvo Ocean Race)
left Portsmouth and headed down the Atlantic to Cape Town. They trugged
through the Southern Ocean to Sydney then across the Pacific to Brazil
before arriving back in Portsmouth 150 days later, on a route that was to
become well-travelled in round the world circles.

Over the next 30 years, every Whitbread race started from either Southampton
or Portsmouth and in 2001, when it had become a fully-fledged professional
sporting event, the starting gun was fired at precisely the same spot the
flag had come down on the pay-as-you-go BT Global Challenge for amateurs
just three months earlier.

The summer of 2001 was a high point in Britain’s standing as a yacht racing
mecca. And let’s not forget the BT Global Challenge 2000-01 became
notorious, albeit some years later, for having Kate Middleton as a member of
its corporate crew.

Each time a race started or finished, the Solent would be awash with massive
flotillas of boats all packed to the gun-whales with spectators from all
over the world keen to either wave the sailors in from their brave
endeavours or out to epic uncertainty.

The streets of both Southampton and Portsmouth were also packed full of
friends, families, well-wishers and sponsors, from all over the world, with
local hotels, restaurants, cab firms and stores ringing the tills.

But the Whitbread race was sold to Volvo and commercial interests took the
focus away from Britain while the company that organised the Global
Challenge, owned by Sir Chay Blyth, went in to administration.

A famous British tradition faded with Clipper remaining the only event to
consistently keep Britain in the glare of the global sailing spotlight
though other ports such as Falmouth, where Dame Ellen MacArthur was feted
after her remarkable round the world solo record, have enjoyed their 15
minutes of fame.

But now, it appears the tide might be turning as Britannia starts to show
signs of once more ruling the waves.

Two years ago, all eyes were on Weymouth at the Olympic Games which has put
the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy venue in contention to host a
series of high profile national and world championships.

Sir Ben Ainslie has just received planning permission for a state of the art
building in Portsmouth where his America’s Cup campaign for 2017 will be
based. The building is a head turner and Ainslie’s campaign will attract
attention from all corners of the globe, raising Great Britain’s profile in
the sport even further.

And in 2017, the Volvo Ocean Race returns to Britain after an absence of
almost 10 years when Cardiff hosts a stopover following a bidding process
involving 80 ports. The Welsh port is already home to the eye-catching
Extreme Sailing Series for Extreme 40s and is investing heavily in sports
tourism with great effect.

The relationship between the hosting of sailing events and economic
development is becoming more widely understood, according to Knox-Johnston.

“The Clipper Race has started and finished from the UK since its inception in
1995 and we are very proud that we have built strong relationships across
the UK in sailing and in business,” he said.

“Welcoming the 2013-14 fleet and the GREAT Britain entry home to London this
year with support from London Mayor Boris Johnson and the GREAT Campaign
shows the ever growing interest and success of the race and UK trade and
investment to promote British interest in ports around the world.

“In turn, the race attracts countries cities and corporations who use the race
to promote their trade and tourism objectives and by corporations to promote
their marketing and business development ambitions in the UK. “


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Yachting Vacations That’ll Put the Wind in Your Sails

Sail the Balearics on a Catamaran

If you’re already somewhat familiar with the sailing world, and you’re an experienced enough sailor to want minimal crew, and/or you appreciate utter flexibility, GetMyBoat.com is a great resource for a spontaneous vacation or a year at sea. A search for any popular sailing locale –- e.g. the Balearic Islands –- returns a wide selection of possible rentals, short- and long-term, from bareboat to fully chartered, in all price ranges.


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