PLATTSBURGH — Skippers from New York, New England and southern Quebec will make their yearly pilgrimage to the shores of Lake Champlain for the 36th-Annual Mayor’s Cup Regatta at 10 a.m. today.
Known as “the sailing tradition” on the freshwater lake, the Regatta is the signature event of the four-day festival.
“There are some new boats participating that haven’t entered before, and we do expect it to be competitive,” event organizer Kjell Dahlen said. “We’re hoping for nice weather and good participation. The forecast is calling for better weather than what we’ve had as of late.”
More than 60 boats are expected to be on hand, with races divided into three divisions — Multihull, Cruising and Racing.
The Multihull division has two classes for catamarans, multihulled vessels consisting of two parallel hulls of equal size.
Feral Cat, operated by Ted Feurer of Scotia, captured the Multihull division title last summer in one hour, six minutes and 29 seconds.
The Cruising division does not compete with spinnakers, which is a special lightweight sail specifically designed for traveling off of the wind.
The Cruising division’s champion, though, will be presented with the Rotary Cup, the trophy awarded by the Sunrise Rotary Club since organizing the event in 1997.
Plattsburgh’s Andy Sajor piloted his 1979 boat, Chaoursarou, to victory in 2012, finishing with a time of 2:34:47.
In the five classes of the Racing division, competitors use a larger sailing inventory, including spinnakers. It’s the headline event, and crews in the Racing division hope to win the coveted Mayor’s Cup trophy.
After missing the 2011 championship by a mere 10 seconds, Walter Marti of South Burlington, Vt., and the crew of Avena won the 2012 Mayor’s Cup in 3:23:15.
“Most of the boats competing will be in (the Racing division),” Dahlen said. “Walter Marti is coming back to defend his title. His experience helps, but other people competing are experienced with Lake Champlain, too. Matt Trombley from Plattsburgh will be skipping a new boat to the area, and he may be competitive.”