36th Dillon Open drops in reservoir | SummitDaily.com
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36th Dillon Open drops in reservoir

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Special to the DailySailors cross the rough waters of the Dillon Reservoir in a past running of the Dillon Open. This year's regatta begins Saturday at noon at the Dillon Marina.
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In what is sure to be an exciting, if not eventful, three days, the 36th Annual Dillon Open Regatta begins today at the Dillon Marina.

As one of the highest (elevation-wise) and most unique sailing regattas in the country, the Dillon Open showacases seven fleets of one-design boats competing both Saturday and Sunday.

The regatta, which is run by the Dillon Yacht Club, donates all proceeds to the DYC’s junior sailing program, a nonprofit organization that provides weekly sailing camps for kids.

Having a regatta at the highest yacht club in the world (9,017 feet in elevation) offers competitors a unique sailing experience. At last year’s race, DYC commordore Jeff O’Neil comprared racing on the Dillon Reservoir to a boxing match: “It’s fun, but it can really beat you up out there,” he said.

The winds swirling above the reservoir’s white caps can be fickle to sailors, and a poorly angled spinnaker sail can leave a boat capsized in the water.

The challenge and the sheer beauty of the scenery are part of the reason that professional and amateur sailors from across the country flock to Dillon for the regatta, said Vivian Keesling of the DYC.

Several DYC teams have claimed Dillon Open titles since its inception.

The weekend at the marina isn’t just about racing, though. With a new sponsor this year, Audi, the Dillon Open will also host “Ride n’ Drive” events both Saturday and Sunday. Spectator boat rides, live auctions, food and live entertainment are also part of the festivities.

Opening ceremonies for the regatta are slated for 10 a.m. Saturday, with the first races kicking off at noon. Racing starts at the same time Sunday, with an awards ceremony and post-race party at 3:30 p.m.

Proceeds from past Dillon Open have helped the DYC grow its junior programs, including the purchases of new boats, the hiring of top instructors and funding scholarships.

Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at bevans@summitdaily.com.


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