By Jami Makan
Blaine harbor is hosting an upcoming regatta for owners of MacGregor yachts.
The MacGregor Yacht Club Regatta is scheduled to take place in Blaine from May 17 to May 20. It is an annual event put on by the MacGregor Yacht Club of B.C. and is dedicated to yachts produced by Roger MacGregor.
MacGregor’s boats were built in California and became highly popular due to their affordability and reputation as dependable, entry-level boats. The boats were trailerable, had water ballast and could plane under power. According to MacGregor’s website, approximately 38,000 MacGregor sail boats were manufactured over the years, and they dominated their market for decades.
“It’s a boat that has a lot of appeal to people of different generations and skill levels,” said Steven St-Amour, a spokesperson for the MacGregor Yacht Club of B.C., which has about 100 members.
The regatta is scheduled to kick off on Friday, May 17 and is expected to attract about 20 MacGregor boats. Volunteers will be on hand to help members launch their boats, and rigging assistance will be provided. In the evening, members will set out on a “confidence cruise” to help orient them to nighttime sailing. “A lot of people have never sailed at night, so we’ll set up a couple boats and head out in the evening towards Sucia Island or Point Roberts,” said St-Amour.
On Saturday, May 18, there will be a presentation on the proper setup of a MacGregor boat. The presentation will focus on the rigging of the boats, what needs to be checked and what could possibly go wrong. Following the training session, there will be a “safety sail” in which members will perform safety exercises on the water, including man overboard drills. “The day will be dedicated to making sure your boat is ready and is rigged up safely,” said St-Amour. “We want to get rid of everyone’s cobwebs so they can think as sailors.”
Races will take place on Sunday, May 19. Three racing markers will be placed in the water, and a boat will represent the starting line. “We will cross the starting line boat and race around the three race markers and come back to the boat and that’ll establish the boating times and the winners of the race,” said St-Amour. If time permits, a second race will be held, and a trophy presentation will occur in the evening.
The club encourages any of its members to attend the MacGregor Yacht Club Regatta, even if their own boats are not yet ready for the boating season. “For members who don’t have their boats ready, they can also show up and crew on other sailboats,” said St-Amour. “Nobody is really left behind so everyone can take advantage of the beginning of the season.”