Story: Sandie Tillery
Whiskeytown Regatta Sails Again
A rainbow of sails billows in the breeze as sailors enjoy some friendly competition every year during Memorial Day weekend on Whiskeytown Lake. A labor of love put on by the Whiskeytown Sailing Club, this year’s Whiskeytown Regatta begins Saturday, May 24, with the first race beginning at 11 am followed by a series of races Saturday and Sunday. Those who participate capture the wind in their sails, while spectators can view the event from any good lookout around the lake.
Brandy Creek Marina will be the hub of all activities and a good location for those who want to hear race results, shop for regatta and sailing paraphernalia and enjoy the barbecue dinner on Saturday evening. Racers and their boats can also be seen up close and personal, as they start and finish each race at the marina. A light parade of boats is also slated for Saturday at 9 pm.
Participants come from all over the United States to join the local racers year after year. Many, including Mike Strahle, Whiskeytown Sailing Club Commodore, compete at higher levels beyond the local open regattas throughout the world. His crowns include the 2002 World Sailing Championship in British Columbia, Canada.
Strahle says the club promotes sailboat racing and fun sailing by hosting races, sailing get-togethers and the historic Regatta. It has done this for almost 50 years without the help of corporate sponsors, and membership is still just $25 per year, he says. Owning a boat is not a requirement - “joining the club is open to anyone who has a desire to go sailing and meet a bunch of great people,” Strahle says.
If you’d like to sail but don’t know how, the Redding Yacht Club gives free public sailing instruction at 1 pm the first Saturday of every month from April through October at the Brandy Creek Marina.
A rundown of regatta events with registration information is available online at www.whiskeytownsailing.org. Dinner tickets and regatta t-shirts may also be purchased online.
Mike Strahle can be contacted at email@example.com.