The sun might not have come out to play, but avid sailors and amateurs alike turned out for the seventh annual New Belgium Timberline Cruiser Regatta Saturday at the Frisco Bay Marina.
Unlike other more serious races on Lake Dillon, the Cruiser Regatta focuses a little more on fun than the sailing
“It’s a party both on and off the water,” marina office manager Jenn Shimp told the Daily — clad in a pirate outfit. While many opted out of the opportunity to dress up, a handful of enthusiastic sailors did take part, including one crew dressed as characters from “Sesame Street.”
With an award for last place and a New Belgium Brewing–sponsored after-party, the event has a more casual atmosphere than the U.S. Sailing–sanctioned competitions on the lake.
“We have people that work hard at getting last place,” event organizer and Dillon Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program director Vickie Ragle said, laughing.
In addition to prices for first, second and third place, the last-place team also receives a prize, which includes a case of New Belgium Beer.
Shimp said that many participants also bring their own traditions to the event, including, for example, chugging a beer after passing a certain course marker.
“It’s probably the only sailing event (on Lake Dillon) that is relaxed and set up for fun,” Ragle said. “It’s supposed to be more of a family-oriented activity.”
Twenty-six boats participated Saturday, most with four-person crews. With a variety of different styles of boats in the competition, teams were handicapped based on boat size and speed to level the playing field. So while a boat might cross the finish line first, it wasn’t necessarily the official winner.
Every year the event benefits the Dillon Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program. Last year’s event raised around $2,600 for the club.
With the addition of a raffle this year, Ragle hopes to raise even more.
“We depend on these funds,” Ragle said of the club. “We were able to buy six new boats this year.”
Together with the Dillon Open — later in the summer — the Cruiser Regatta is one of two major fundraisers for the junior sailing club.