I have to confess: this is one of my favorite weeks of the year… the lead-up to Eggemoggin Reach Regatta. Another confession, though: Ever since greatest friend John Hanson went to the dark side and got a ‘glass boat (albeit a wonderful one: a Vineyard Vixen), it hasn’t been the same for me. I think John got tired of losing to Deva and then to the $6,000 International… proving that ERR isn’t just for rich people and boats…..
(Photo courtesy Eggemoggin Reach Regatta — erregatta.com)
So, Boat Heaven at WoodenBoat awaits the arrival on Friday/early Saturday of perhaps 100+ drippingly gorgeous wooden boats, and almost as many ungorgeous spectator boats. Not that’s there’s anything inherently wrong with the Carvers and Bayliners of the world…… Lord, never consider me uncharitable.
ERR is so unlike other regattas. No protests. Minimal damage. Other than a few flamers, generally no shouting (this should be the next regatta rule).
And what should I see today with my amazed eyes… but the ultra-gorgeous WHITEHAWK, at the Trident Marina in Rockland. How could anyone not fall totally in love with her at first sight? Truly, Bruce King’s masterpiece. Will she be at ERR? I won’t digress right now to tell you about the year I ran the fleet the “wrong” way, down Egg Reach, under the Deer Isle Bridge — which neither WHITEHAWK nor PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II could clear. Some of the crew members of those two boats still have the froth of their anger ingrained on their chins.
(I didn’t have my phone with me, so you are spared another of my poor pics. But trust me: WHITEHAWK looks better than she did on launching day, lo’ those many years ago — geez, 1978. But that’s a whole ‘nother story….)
Here’s her pic, from the Register of Wooden Boats
And I know you’re all wondering about DEVA. Here’s what D.N. Hylan’s website has to say today (third item down):
“Her canvas deck covering was stripped and the decking and sheer line were faired. A layer of 1/4” plywood was put down over the existing sprung deck to provide dimensional stability for the new deck covering of [D]ynel cloth set in epoxy.
All of her deck hatches were removed and replaced with new hatches built to LFH designs. She will have new toe rails, trim, moldings, grab rails, cockpit cap rail and more. Her hull will be stripped faired and re-painted. All of the hardware was removed from the main mast, it was stripped, repaired and refinished, and the hardware was re-fastened. The rig was altered slightly to more resemble the original LFH sail plan including removal of a stainless steel bowsprit, new chain plate locations, and removal of extraneous rigging from former rig configurations.”
And this the amazing crew has done. Check her out:
I picked up her new sails today — from Doug Pope in Rockland, ME (www.popesails.com). They are incredible craftspeople.
So, we’re in good shape: Shakedown sail tomorrow, and the regatta on Saturday.
And maybe this will be the year…. the starting sequence begins….. 30 seconds to go to the gun……..
We yell out to WHITEHAWK — “Starboard.”
If she doesn’t slice us in half, that is better than victory.
Thanks for reading. And see you on the starting line of the best race in the world. Please comment below.