36th annual Ruedi regatta this weekend
The Aspen Yacht Club Regatta returns to Ruedi Reservoir for its 36th year on Saturday and Sunday.The event, hosted by Aspen’s own yacht club, will feature both keel and dingy fleets over the two-day affair. The races are broken up according to the class of the boat, and this year’s classes include Star, J-22, Fireball, Laser, PHRF-A, Santana 20 and Ultimate 20.The regatta is expected to draw between 40 and 60 boats, mostly from Colorado. Aspen’s competition will come primarily from yacht clubs at Dillon, Cherry Creek and Chatfield Reservoirs, as well as Carter Lake in Loveland.
Margot Pendleton, the race organizer, said the race is one of a series in Colorado. The next event of the series is the Dillon Regatta, which will host about 200 boats.Registration is still open and is available online at aspenyachtclub.com or beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday morning at the Aspen Yacht Club, located 18 miles up Fryingpan Road on Ruedi Reservoir. The regatta is $40 for crewed boats and $30 for singles.Sailors without ships are welcome to work as crew on the bigger boats. “People are always looking for crew at the last minute,” Pendleton said.
The regatta features mostly adult sailors, but children sometimes crew the boats, she said. “We would love to have kids up there sailing,” she said.The first race sails at 11:30 a.m. Saturday rain or shine. Pendleton, for one, is hoping for good weather.”We want lots of wind, good times and no rain,” she said. “If the wind’s not blowing, you just sit out there bobbing. What makes it exciting is when the wind blows.”
Richard Farizel, a longtime sailor with the Aspen Yacht Club, said Ruedi’s location is a big attraction for the event.”It’s so beautiful up at Ruedi, and the yacht club always tries to make it a great party,” he said. “Our yacht club is pretty low key and I think people like that.”Cocktails, dinner and dancing at the yacht club promise to wrap up Saturday’s events in grand style. Walt Smith will provide the music, and Pendleton said the club will do the rest.”We’re the hosts, so we won’t set anything on fire,” she promised.
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The third weekend of play begins Thursday and runs through Sunday with the Bantam B, Squirt A and Squirt B divisions. Because of safety protocols, spectators aren’t allowed.