You are here
Small Reach Regatta
An annual gathering of rowing and sailing boats in Maine. In 2006, a group of sail-and-oars boats gathered for an informal cruise in Maine to answer a question: could we succeed here with a large gathering of such boats, inspired by “Raids” in Europe and by the famed Eggemoggin Reach Regatta for classic yachts? The reply was an enthusiastic “yes,” and for three more years like-minded people sailed the same waters the ERR has sailed annually since 1985. This experience gave us our name—the Small Reach Regatta, and today we are organized entirely under the auspices of the Down East Chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association.
The SRR grew rapidly. We sailed with a fleet of 53 participating boats in 2010 and 41 in 2011, most of them from New England but also from as far away as Florida, Virginia, and Ohio. We had a support fleet of six chase boats under the able leadership of David Wyman of Castine. Knowing that we would need a larger site, we found a home at Lamoine State Park, open to the sailing grounds of Frenchman Bay east of Mount Desert Island. Lamoine State Park has excellent camping accommodations, a good boat launch, ample beaching possibilities, nearby islands, and outstanding scenic qualities. Recognizing that there is still ample exploring to do in that area, we’ve decided to return to Lamoine for 2012. After that—who knows? We’re considering new venues as well, to keep the event fresh and to explore new territories.
The idea of the SRR is to gather together small sail-and-oars boats for sailing, with the same kind of camaraderie and appreciation that the ERR has established. The boats typically sail courses of 5 to 15 nautical miles on three successive days (Thursday through Saturday), starting from the park’s waterfront each morning and returning each afternoon. There is no racing, but participants always show keen interest in how their boats perform against others. Many of the boats were built of wood by their owners themselves, and last year seven of them were even designed by their builders.