WEEKEND: Regatta in Port Townsend begins today

PORT TOWNSEND — The 29th annual Classic Mariners Regatta begins tonight with a welcome party and late registration for the three sailboat races planned during this weekend’s celebration of wooden boat seamanship.

“We’re expecting between 30 and 40 sailboats,” said Ace Spragg, waterfront program manager for the Northwest Maritime Center, on Wednesday.

“If the weather is great, sometimes we get more.”

The regatta — sponsored by the Wooden Boat Foundation, the maritime center and the Port Townsend Sailing Association — is for wooden boats only.

Sailboat races in Port Townsend Bay are scheduled at noon both Saturday and Sunday.

A second race Saturday will follow immediately after the noon race.

For a view of the races, gather on the maritime center’s dock or commons, Spragg said, or else “anywhere on Water Street should be good.”

Tonight’s welcome party will begin at 6 p.m. at the maritime center, 431 Water St., Port Townsend.

Late registration will be open there until 8 p.m., Spragg said.

Free beer and snacks will be available.

It also will be the last chance to sign up for the dinner Saturday.

Saturday will begin with a skipper’s meeting at 9:30 a.m., followed by the races.

Dinner will be at 6 p.m. at the maritime center. Tickets are $16 per person.

At 8 p.m., the Port Townsend band, The Better Half, will begin performing at the maritime center.

The cover charge will be $5. The dance is open to the public for all 21 and older.

On Sunday, wooden dinghies, shells and kayaks will compete in a rowing race on the bay beginning at 9 a.m.

After the third and last race sailboat race at noon, the awards ceremony will begin at 5 p.m.

Registration can be made online at www.woodenboat.org. Forms also can be obtained at the maritime center.

The cost is $10 for rowers and kayakers and $40 for all others per boat.

The cost covers all races, tonight’s party, Saturday’s skipper’s meeting and Saturday night dancing.

Moorage has been arranged with the Port of Port Townsend at Point Hudson Marina. Phone 360-385-2828 to secure a spot.

For more information, phone Catherine Leporati, registrar for the maritime center, at 360-385-3628, ext. 104; email her at catherine@nwmaritime.org; or talk to her at the front desk at the maritime center.

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