Due to Rosario’s uncertain availability, this year’s Eastsound Spring Regatta will be held on West Sound on April 13-14 and promises to be great fun!

Sponsored by the Orcas Island Yacht Club (OIYC) and part of the North Sound Party Circuit, the party will be at the club’s facilities after racing on Saturday with dinner and music .

After planning many youth regattas, I assumed planning yacht club events would be somewhat easier. Adults can find their own housing, feed themselves, and don’t require chaperones or safety boats. I naively believed that so long as you have a good RC, awards, some T-shirts, a venue, and maybe even a decent breeze, you’d be all set. 

Yacht club events, however, have come with their own challenges. This season the first two regattas we planned were a walk in the park. As the Fleet Captain Sail, I was lucky to have supportive sponsors, volunteer PROs, and moderate luck with the wind. But planning the first of our North Sound Party Circuit Events has been a wild time. 

For the past few years, OIYC has hosted the Eastsound Spring Regatta (ESSR) in Eastsound, taking advantage of sound’s naturally occurring wind tunnel that forms between Entrance Mountain and Mount Woolard. Sailing in Eastsound is wonderful, however, there’s only one marina in Eastsound and it was for sale. 

The details on the multi-million dollar deal are not exactly public knowledge and whether or not a regatta takes place isn’t the most pressing issue for buyer or seller (although they were both as helpful as they could be given the circumstances). So we planned the event in Eastsound, and planned a regatta not there just in case, and had a backup for both, and a hybrid plan, and then we waited.

As important as the venue is to regatta planning, Coast Guard permits, NORS, and the details that go with them require certainty, and to create that we finally decided to hold it in West Sound and hope to return to sailing in Eastsound as soon as we can. Depending on the breeze, we may even race over to Eastsound, but the home base will be at OIYC in West Sound. 

To all of those who told me how important it was to make sure we sailed in Eastsound, I’m sorry and I know how special of a venue it is, but I promise we’ll still have a wonderful event in an equally beautiful place. To celebrate the back and forth of planning, please enjoy the ping-pong tables set up for you and your crew. 

There will still be racing, your friends will be there, we have our favorite PRO, and the food will be fresh and local. We’re looking forward to seeing you all soon and thank you for understanding.

Note: Feature image courtesy of Carl Davis.