California drought postpones High Sierra Regatta

Published on March 19th, 2015

For the second year in a row, the 61st annual High Sierra Regatta will not be held in 2015. Fresno Yacht Club, which hosts the prominent one design and PHRF event, announced that water levels at Huntington Lake, a California reservoir in the Sierra Nevada at an elevation of 6955-feet, will not be high enough to hold the event. The water levels are a result of California now being in the fourth year of drought.

Fresno Yacht Club provided this update on their website:
Southern California Edison gave us the bad news at the March 17th Big Creek community meeting. The word is that Huntington Lake levels will be higher for part of the summer but not high enough to hold the High Sierra Regatta. California is in the fourth year of drought now and things are getting serious. Last year the high elevation lakes were drained below the usual levels because of demands from the people who actually own the rights to the water. This year we are again running at 44% of normal precipitation, the snow pack is at 13% of normal for this time of the year. The expected snow melt runoff will be 14% of normal. Recreation is far down the list of priorities well behind drinking water (several San Joaquin Valley cities are currently trucking in water for household use), water for farming (hundreds of thousands of acres are not being farmed because of water shortages) and power generation (the actual reason these lakes exist).

As we were preparing for this year’s regatta we could see there was a good chance we would not have enough water. But we planned it like it was a sure thing. We have everything ready to go, Notice of Race, Race Instructions, new High Sierra Race Course Sheets that will allow us to implement a 5 new race format & professional race management…everything but a tee shirt design.

We are just going to put it all in a box and pull it out for July 2016.

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