Boats from last year’s Shipwrights’ Regatta race across Port Townsend Bay. The 26th annual regatta is returning Saturday, and boats of all shapes and sizes are invited to kick off the sailing season. (Northwest Maritime Center)

Boats from last year’s Shipwrights’ Regatta race across Port Townsend Bay. The 26th annual regatta is returning Saturday, and boats of all shapes and sizes are invited to kick off the sailing season. (Northwest Maritime Center)

Sails unfurl Saturday for 26th Shipwrights’ Regatta on Port Townsend Bay

PORT TOWNSEND — Local sailors will kick off the sailing season Saturday with the 26th annual Shipwrights’ Regatta in Port Townsend Bay.

“It’s a small, fun race to kick off the racing season,” said event organizer Barb Trailer. “It could be hailing or snowing, but it’s just a really fun race.”

The race is sponsored by the Northwest Maritime Center and the Wooden Boat Foundation. It has been an annual tradition in Port Townsend since 1991.

Each year, roughly 25 to 30 boats, most of them sailed by local captains, compete for prizes and a variety of awards including Peg Leg, for the first-place finisher; Hook, last boat to finish; Prairie Schooner, the most overloaded small boat; and the Van Hope Community Award, which goes to the boat with the most people on board.

“They’re mostly kind of funny prizes,” Trailer said. “It’s really all in good fun.”

However, racers will also have the opportunity to win two free haul-outs, one donated by SEA Marine and another donated by the Port of Port Townsend.

The race is not only meant for those who have a boat but is open to anyone who is interested in sailing — even if they don’t have a boat.

According to Trailer, anyone looking to participate in the race or who has an interest in sailing can come to the 9 a.m. Skipper’s Meeting to meet captains looking for a crew.

“We even have a prize for the largest pickup crew,” Trailer said. “It’s really a way to encourage anyone to come out and have fun.”

The Skipper’s Meeting will be held at the Chandler Building at the Northwest Maritime Center, 431 Water St. Coffee will be provided by local coffee shop Sunrise Coffee, and the race itself will head out at noon.

According to Trailer, the course is set on the day of the race and is dependent on the wind; however, it will be out in Port Townsend Bay, so those who would rather stay ashore can watch the race from town.

Awards will be handed out at 5 p.m. back at the Northwest Maritime Center. Beer and snacks will be provided for a small awards ceremony and party for those who came out to race.

The race itself only costs $40 per boat to enter, and Trailer said they do that on purpose to make the event accessible to everyone.

“It’s really a race for the racers,” Trailer said. “It’s almost all locals and is just a fun way to kick off the sailing season.”

Sailors can register their boat anytime up until 9 a.m. Saturday. To fill out a registration form, visit the Northwest Maritime Center’s website at www.nwmaritime.org/shipwrights.

For more information, call the maritime center at 360-385-3628 ext. 104.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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