I.L.Y.A. Inland Regatta Returns to Okoboji, August 10-16
5 August 2008
As published by Scowlines, by Phil Peterson - The first races in the Inland Lake Yachting Association Annual Championship Regatta will begin Sunday, August 10th. Each August the Inland holds its annual championship sailing regatta for Class A, C, E, I20, MC, and M16. Other Minnesota and Wisconsin lakes that host this championship regatta include Lake Mendota, Green Lake, Lake Geneva, Lake Minnetonka, and Lake Winnebago. The last year this regatta was held at Okoboji was 2005.
With six classes competing, the Inland Regatta has two sections. The first section will register on Saturday, August 9th. Races for Class MC, E and M16 boats are Sunday, Monday and Tuesday morning. The first race will start at 10 AM Sunday. Additional race times will be scheduled based on weather conditions. Based on previous Inland Regattas we expect 43 Class MC boats, 35 Class E boats and 10 Class M16 boats. The Class MC boats will on the Southern portion of West Lake Okoboji, E boats will sail on the middle portion and the M16's will sail further North.
There will be one to three races each racing day depending on wind and weather conditions. The maximum number of races to be sailed will be six per class with the actual number of races depending on the weather. A minimum of three races will constitute a regatta for that class. Boats will be moored in Little Millers Bay as they have in previous years. On Tuesday afternoon Class C and M16 will have an awards ceremony, load their boats on tailors, and depart.
The second section begins Wednesday, August 13th with registration and launching for Class A Open Design, C, and I20 boats. The first race for second section is 10 AM Thursday with the following races to be scheduled based on the weather. Based on previous Inland Regattas we expect 5 boats from Class A Open Design, 45 from Class C and 10 from Class I20. The Class A boats will sail on the South end of West Lake Okoboji, the Class C boats will sail in the middle and Class I20 will sail further North. On Saturday afternoon, August 16th, Class A, C, and I20 sailors will have an awards ceremony, load their boats on tailors, and depart.
The first leg of a sailing race is directly into the wind with a length of one to one and half miles. In most cases the sailboats will go around the course twice and then make their final leg to windward and the finish line. All regatta sailors are required to wear life jackets when the race committee flies code flag "Y" (yellow and red diagonal stripes) - generally when wind speed exceeds 12 miles per hour.
The starting sequence will be the five-minute starting sequence of US Sailing rule 26. This means a gun and class flag is flown five minutes prior to the start. At four minutes prior to the start a second gun and the preparatory flag is raised. At one minute prior to the start the preparatory flag is struck with a single horn blast. For the start the Class flag is struck and the last gun of the starting sequence is fired. If a few boats are over the starting line at the starting gun, those boats will be Individually Recalled. Should a large number of boats be over the line a General Recall will be made for the entire class.
Sailing will be abandoned if: 1) winds are less than 4 MPH, 2) winds exceed 23 - 25 MPH, or 3) if there is lightning. Sailboats will be launched (after a power wash for Invasive Species) and hauled out at the OYC headquarters on Manhattan Beach. At night boats will be moored in Little Millers Bay. The Class A boats will launch and haul out at the Emerson Bay boat ramp.
Many lasting friendships have been made at past Inland regattas. The sailors and their families that participate in the Inland Regatta are great people who share our love of the water and boating. The Big Inland regatta is great competition for our sailors and also offers great sailboat watching.
Entertainment will be presented at the yacht club promptly after racing is completed, rather than having the sailors leave the club to clean up first. If weather prevents racing, the entertainment will be available earlier.
HOW CAN YOU HELP
With all these sailors and their families coming to Okoboji in the space of a week, the Okoboji Yacht Club needs plenty of volunteers to keep things running smoothly. If you will be at Okoboji on these dates, see where you can be of help.
Shuttle Boats - shuttle sailors from the yacht club to the mooring area in Little Millers Bay before and after racing. It is critical that shuttle boats be at the yacht club an hour and half before race start time, so sailors get to their boats for rigging and sailing to the starting area.
Support Boats - are available to take crew on and off boats, tow boats when the when the wind dies, and generally be around to help sailors. Some visitors will bring their own powerboats, but most will not have any powerboat support or will not be familiar with the location of boat ramps, boat gas, etc.
Rescue Boats - have some basic equipment and some skill in dealing with capsized boats. The Okoboji Yacht Club and the I.L.Y.A. have the prime responsibility for providing rescue boats. The Lake Patrol will also be available for assisting capsized boats.
Spectator Boats - pick up some of the sailors family or extra crew so they can watch the races from the water. This is an excellent opportunity to show our famed Okoboji hospitality and, at the same time, meet some wonderful people from other lakes and learn more about sailing. No racing experience is necessary; you just provide a boat and driver. Locate visiting sailors in advance or swing by the yacht club dock after the racers leave the dock to see if anyone would like to go out and watch the races. Try to match your fleet of interest with that of our guests, so everyone gets to see the sailboat class of interest to them.
Being careful with your boat wake is especially important during a championship regatta. Sailboats are very susceptible to being rocked by boat wakes that causes them to lose some of their forward motion. Give the sailors the courtesy of not throwing a big wake when close to a racing fleet.
Private Housing - Some sailors prefer to stay at area motels and resorts and have already made reservations. Others like the friendly atmosphere or are on a tight budget and would prefer to stay with local families. If you have a guest room and could accommodate some guests, this can be a great way to make new friends and learn more about sailing.
Race Committee - The Inland appoints the Principal Race Officer for each class. Some PRO's will bring along a few race officers they have worked with in the past. Most of the race committees for handling flags, guns, recording, mark setting, line sighting, etc. will be drawn from the OYC race committees and sailors who are not sailing those particular days.
Launch Committee - A well-organized launch committee makes moving boats in and out of the water a sight to behold. What could become chaos is a well-orchestrated event. Okoboji is fortunate to have people who have performed this function at past regattas.
Docks Available - Visiting sailors are not sure where they can tie up to a dock for a few minutes to be greeted with warm hospitality or scowl. By placing a yellow ribbon on the end of your dock you will be alerting sailors they are welcome to tie up to your dock for changing sails, exchanging crew, making repairs, restroom break, make a phone call, etc.
We are looking forward to a fun event with lots of on-the-water activity along with the fellowship of our Inland sailing friends. Come join the fun.