One hundred years of E Scow sailing
Published on January 3rd, 2023
The National Class E Scow Association (NCESA) is celebrating its 100 year anniversary in 2023 with a series of special events, culminating with the National Championship regatta on Lake Mendota in Madison WI.
With design discussion starting in 1921 and approved scantlings by the ILYA in 1923, the boat endures as one of the most popular one design racing classes. Sailed with a crew of 3 or 4 (max weight of 965 pounds), many carefully managed innovations through the years have created the current sloop rigged boat with asymmetrical spinnaker.
This boat has multiple Rolex award winners such as Brian Porter, Harry Melges IV, and Sally Barkow amongst the regular competitors. Harry “Buddy” Melges and Jane Pegel were also past E Scow and multiple Rolex award winners. The annual Blue Chip regatta held every year has included many accomplished “mystery guests”, including:
• MALCOLM PAGE (Australia) – Double Olympic Gold Medalist 2008 and 2012, eight-time World Champion: “Such cool boats. The heel thing was weird at first, but these boats are skiff-like and require top notch team work…I will be back!
• STEVE BENJAMIN – 1978 College Sailor of the Year (Yale), 1982 Olympic Silver Medalist 470, World Champion in the 470, 505, Fireball, Etchells, Rolex Yachtsman of the Year 2015: “E Scow racing is one of the highlights of my career. The boats are true thoroughbreds built for pure speed and a delight to sail.”
• GARY JOBSON – Three-time Collegiate All American, 1977 America’s Cup winner on Courageous, countless other championships, author of 22 books, two Emmy’s, ESPN broadcaster, multiple Hall of Fames. When asked to net out his experience with the class: “Competition and Camaraderie”
The 2023 schedule starts in January with the first “No Sail regatta” at 10 different ski resorts across the US and one in Switzerland with a special toast via webinar on Saturday January 28th. This will be an opportunity to share relationships made on the race course in a different venue. From Grindelwald, Switzerland to Big Sky, Montana, Park City Utah and other ski hillsides, the class that sails together, skis together as well.
There are special class sponsored celebration events being planned at each of the 32 fleets in the US and Canada. Many of these will correspond with a regional regatta, but others will be singular parties held at local club levels, as well. The schedule for these is being finalized and will be updated soon on the class website: https://e-scow.org
To further recognize the boat’s 100th Birthday, the 2023 E Scow National Championship regatta will be expanded to a four day event on September 6-10. Over 100 boats are expected, with the modified schedule to have only two races a day so participants can have fun at the special parties planned and have ample time to celebrate this amazing boat.