Drake in the Small Reach Regatta on the Coast of Maine: Day 1

The Small Reach Regatta was the next stop in my busy summer. The SRR is a gathering of 70 sail-and-oar boats, this year, at Lamoine State Park and put on by the Downeast Chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association. Irowed and sailed (downwind) his rowboat design Drake and consistently finished in the front of the fleet (but of course it wasn’t a race!).

This event is an annual gathering and a wonderful chance to test and showcase the boats CCBB sells and builds to designs from around the world, for example Michael Storer in Australia, Francois Vivier in France, Eric Risch in Maine, Bruce Elfstrom's beauties and my own designs. We will be carrying kits and building boats produced by a Finnish builder, Suomen Puuvenepiste. These are unique, semi-exclusive agreements to bring new sailing and rowing boats into the US market as CNC cut kits, bare hulls, and finished boats up to 25 feet. My hope is to bring a demo boat from all these folks to boat shows and events like the SRR. Next year we'll have a Goat Island Skiff Yawl to show off like this one built by a kit customer in TX for the Texas 200:

The event was three days. Day 1 was a short windy upwind row and downwind return to a classic small Maine coast island. Every day features an interesting lunch stop, a wonderful opportunity to rest and to look at others' boats. Moreover, I see it as a learning experience to talk to the builders and owners of the boats. I learn something new from every one of the boats. For me, the SRR is about the finest form of professional development I can get.

On the downwind return to camp, a small squall came through and the force overcame my mast step..."WHAM!"...I heard the snap and the boat lurched and we nearly capsized. The first night was a quick repair with polyurethane glue while the sun set. Day two was to feature a long, fast broad reach to the lunch spot, and there was no way I was going to miss sailing that stretch! I was repairing until I couldn't see anymore boat...will it work?