CHARLOTTE HARBOR — After two days of weather woes, the 11th annual Charlotte Harbor Regatta’s final round kicked off Sunday morning with sunny skies and breezy winds.
“It’s a great day for sailing,” said Tom Atkins, one of three judges for the Charlotte Harbor sailboat race, who’s in his fifth year of working with the regatta organization.
This year’s event featured five classes — Hobie 16, Hobie Wave, Weta trimaran (one-handed and two-handed), Harbor 20 and 2.4mR, a one-person keelboat — making for six categories of winners.
Seventeen winners were named at a cookout at Port Charlotte Beach Park Sunday afternoon.
“We’ve got some of the best sailors in the world here for this race,” said Brian Gleason, Charlotte Harbor Regatta director.
The regatta featured 40 boats and 70 sailors from all over the nation, as well as some from Canada. The three-day event had sailors competing in two separate race areas called circles. The classes were grouped by compatibility and size.
“(Sunday’s) weather is nice because whatever the finishes were — the one race Friday, the four races Saturday — and now this is the finals,” Atkins said. The weather “makes for the perfect ending to be determined by the sailors, not to be determined by the weather. They have a good breeze to sail in so the sailors can test their skills.”
The event got off to a slow start Friday due to a lack of wind but picked up Saturday despite early morning rain.
“Friday was light air,” Atkins said. “We only got in one race because of such light air. For Saturday, there was the rain so they postponed races in the morning for a little over an hour or so.”
For Gleason, the regatta is all about the people involved.
“This event celebrates the sailors and the people we have here,” Gleason said, “and we’ve got a great group.”