ABOVE: Sailboats racing at Mount Dora Yacht Clubs annual Sailing Regatta. (Photo by Ingrid Zagers, Z.ePhotography)
Once again, colorful sails will gracefully litter Lake Dora near the end of March. The 69th Annual Mount Dora Sailing Regatta is expected to draw dozens of boats over the two-day event beginning March 26. 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. All ages are invited to participate.
The Regatta is open to all classes, including Optis, Lasers, 420s, Flying Scots, Hunters, Open Bics, Sunfish, Hobies, Wayfarers, and Catalinas.
The first race typically kicks off Saturday in the early afternoon. and the last race usually finishes close to 4 p.m. Typically, three to four races will be sailed that afternoon, depending on the weather. The 4th Avenue docks, Lighthouse Point, and Palm Island Boardwalk provide excellent vantage points for spectators. Sunday's first race usually starts at 9:30 a.m. and no races begin after 12 p.m.
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.
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