By Bonnie Davidson
The Courier 

Regatta Debuts Here Friday

Competitive Sailing Event Moves To Fort Peck From Flathead Lake


With a large body of water and a lot of wind in supply, Fort Peck Lake will become the new location of a sailing event. The first Can-Am Fort Peck Lake Laser Regatta will take place this weekend at the Fort Peck Marina.

Events start on Friday, Aug. 15 and continue through Sunday, Aug. 17. The Laser is a small boat with a sail attached. Imagine a boat similar in size to a dingy, about 14 feet in length, with a large white sail attached. The sport is actually an Olympic sport and the small boats are raced all over the world.

Julie Burke explained that the event came to Fort Peck after talk of the event not taking place again at Flathead Lake this year. They started discussing options and Fort Peck seemed like the perfect place for the competition.

The race will actually count towards the district competition, which covers a very large area from the Canadian border, to Seattle, and down through Utah. Those looking to qualify for the race will have certain requirements that Burke said sailors could inquire about.

Even if you're not looking to qualify for district competition, all sailors are welcome to join in on the fun. Burke explained that several Canadians participated in the event at Flathead Lake in the past and she hopes to see some of those competitors return to our area this year. Nineteen competitors participated last year and Burke hopes that many will return this year.

“We really want to encourage other to sail,” Burke said.

Local sailor Rafe Sigmanstad will hold the committee boat to keep an eye on the front line and signal for the race to begin. Other designated areas will be set up for spectators to enjoy viewing of the race. The course will be anywhere from half a mile to a full mile one way, depending on how the wind and course carry the boat.

“If conditions are right, you should be able to see the race from the dam,” Burke said.

A breakfast will also be held for competitors, and for $5 for the public, by local 4-H kids. The races will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Burke said that the community has been supportive and people have been enthusiastic about the competition coming to the local area. Volunteers and sponsors are still welcome before the event begins.

For more information you can reach Burke at 939-0280 or Page Anderson at 580-0487.


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