Once again, colorful sails will gracefully litter Lake Dora this weekend. The 64th Annual Mount Dora Sailing Regatta is expected to draw dozens of boats over the two-day event beginning April 1. The races are spread over three courses across a portion of Lake Dora to take advantage of the wind and provide ample space for competitive races.
“We are hoping for sixty- plus boats, though you never know until late, as many wait to see what the weather will do,” said Charlie Kennedy, the regatta chairman.
Among the sailboats competing are Hobie Waves, Sunfish, San Juan 21s and Flying Scots.
The first race kicks off Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and the last race typically finishes close to 4 p.m. Typically, three to four races will be sailed that afternoon, depending on the weather. Simpson Cove, Lakeside Inn and the deck at Pisces Rising provide excellent vantage points for spectators. Sunday's first race starts at 9:30 a.m. and no races begin after noon.
The regatta, organized by Mount Dora Yacht Club (MDYC) is the longest running annual event in the city. MDYC, the oldest inland yacht club in Florida, held its first regatta in 1913. At that time the event featured powerboats and was reportedly such an exciting event that local businesses closed so everyone could attend. In 1953, the regatta transitioned to sailboats to alleviate a noise issue.
The club currently has110 active members and nearly all pull together to play a role in the regatta.