The fleet heads north into a stiff breeze during the 2018 Diamond Island Regatta. Photo by Rik Carlson.

Now in its seventh season, the Diamond Island Regatta, hosted by the Royal Savage Yacht Club (RSYC) and Point Bay Marina, will once again attract many of the fastest boats and best sailors from around Lake Champlain on Aug. 17.

As in past years, the event will be run as a benefit for the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) in Ferrisburgh. LCMM is dedicated to maritime education and the preservation and management of the lake’s historical shipwrecks and underwater cultural resources. Entry for the Diamond Island Regatta is free. Proceeds from the sale of race-themed merchandise, including T-shirts, to sailors and racing fans, and the sale of professional photographs of the boats taking part in the race, are used to offset an annual RSYC donation of $1,000 to the museum.

According to Wendy Friant, race director for RSYC, the event will be run again this year as a Clean Regatta, using a sustainability plan developed with the help of Sailors for the Sea. This non-profit organization promotes ways to improve the health of the planet’s waters, and the Clean Regatta program is designed to educate and mobilize sailors to protect the world’s lakes and oceans.

In its relatively brief history, RSYC’s Diamond Island Regatta has become one of the biggest sailing regattas on the Lake Champlain summer schedule. Last year, the event attracted about 30 boats. The race is part of the Lake Champlain Championship Series (LCCS), a series of races featuring boats from clubs in Vermont, New York and Quebec. Regatta results will count toward both the LCCS Cannon Series and the Champlain Series. Details and registration information for the regatta can be found at the Diamond Island Regatta website. You can learn more about the LCCS at their website.

Racers are invited to the RSYC-hosted breakfast ($5 suggested donation, to benefit the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum) the day of the race at the RSYC tent at Point Bay Marina. Breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m., with registration from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. and a skippers meeting at 9:30. The race gets under way at 11.

The awards ceremony will take place during the inaugural Taste of the Islands Dinner—fare with a Caribbean flair—also under the tent at 6 p.m. Visiting sailors are invited to join the evening festivities, paying the RSYC member price for dinner. They can register for the dinner at the RSYC website.

The race is scored using the Lake Champlain PHRF ratings, which allow sailboats of all sizes and speeds to compete against one another. RSYC and Point Bay invite sailors to spend a day on beautiful Lake Champlain and experience the thrill of pitting their sailing skills against top competitors, all while helping a great cause.

The event will include separate classes for boats flying spinnakers and those using just mainsail and jib. All boats will sail the same course, chosen from among several options on the day of the race based on the wind direction and speed. The courses, all starting in Town Farm Bay, which sits between Charlotte and Ferrisburgh, range in length from 6.6 to 13.8 nautical miles, and can run from Charlotte and Essex, N.Y., in the north to Basin Harbor in the south.

Host Royal Savage Yacht Club is named for the schooner Royal Savage that served as Benedict Arnold’s flagship during Revolutionary War battles with the British on Lake Champlain. Point Bay Marina is a full-service marina on Thompson’s Point Road in Charlotte.

This event is sponsored by Royal Savage Yacht Club and Point Bay Marina. The day-long event includes racing and Taste of the Islands award banquet.