What makes a great venue?
Published on July 9th, 2018
To have great sailing events you need great sailing venues, and when in 2004 we posed the question to our panel of experts as to what sailing venues provided the best racing conditions, here was the list we got:
• Buzzards Bay, MA
• Honolulu, HI
• Key West, FL
• Long Beach, CA
• Miami, FL
• Newport, RI
• San Francisco, CA
While Honolulu’s Kenwood Cup and Key West Race Week have since fallen by the wayside due to logistics, the remaining five all continue to host historic events, though one may seem a bit in the shadow of the others.
We know Long Beach from the 1984 Olympics. We know Newport and San Francisco from the America’s Cup. We know Miami from its many World and Olympic class events. But Buzzards Bay? It’s not even named correctly as colonists mistook the osprey that was breeding along its shores.
Maybe it’s the charm. Everybody knows about neighboring Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod as summer destinations. But sailors like to sail, and those that have attended the 45 editions of the Buzzards Bay Regatta know a gem when they see it.
Not often you find quality conditions along the eastern US in the summer, but this Atlantic bay alongside Massachusetts delivers clean 72 degree water, minimal current, reasonable depth and plenty of space. When combined by a network of surrounding clubs, you have the makings for a well-supported event.
The 2018 edition on August 3 to 5 once again will feature spectacular racing out of both Beverly Yacht Club and New Bedford Yacht Club, with 13 fleets of boats on 7 circles, and yacht species that span from 20 ton cruising boats to foiling kiteboards.
“It’s been a privilege to be part of this great tradition since 1977 – I know, I know, I’m old,” notes Dan Cooney, BBR Past Chairman and Former BYC Commodore. “But for the less initiated, prepare yourself for the friendliest regatta in the world!”
With over 200 boats and a 1,000 sailors are expected, it has become a big sailing family reunion among multiple clubs and classes. Off the water, tent festivities at both venues with live music, food offerings, and full-tilt regatta bars allow the community to revel amid a beautiful part of planet earth and a special band of sailors.