The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

June 17, 2013

WINDS OF CHANGE

High winds prompt officials to call off Regatta

STACY MILLBERG
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — What started out to be a perfect day for a sailboat race, ended up being the opposite as high winds forced officials to call the race before it even got started.

Sailors headed out at about 10:30 a.m. for the Regatta for the Arts and the lake seemed calm, but once they got past the breakwall the wind was quite fierce. The boats were leaning without even being under full sail. Officials decided it was too much of a risk and called the race.

This year marked the 26th year for the Regatta for the Arts. It started when Ashtabula Yacht Club member Terry Persily decided to organize a race, patterned off a race at Erie Yacht Club, that raised money for the performing arts, said Beth Koski, executive director of the Ashtabula Arts Center.

Each boat is sponsored according to the length of the boat. Sponsors pay $5 per foot, she said.

“Over the course of 26 years, we’ve probably raised over $100,000,” Koski said. “This race is one of the largest in participation.”

Koski said people who don’t usually race will participate in the Regatta for the Arts just to help the Arts Center.

Proceeds from the race help underwrite scholarships and also contribute to operating support.

The Arts Center supplies lunch for the racers following the race, although lunch came a little early this year. Koski and a few others were scrambling to get things prepared when the boats came back in shortly after they left.

Koski said she appreciates the support from the AYC members for the event.

“Phyllis Zala has been a driving force as well as Kyle Smith,” she said. “The sail club and Dave Richards has been absolutely wonderful.”

Sponsors for this year’s race include: Great Lakes Auto Network; Phyllis and Eugene Duffy; Ric and Dixie Selip; Raymond Builders; Bob and Jan Brandenstein; Bill and Kathy Bobulsky; Sutherland Marine; Koski Construction Co.; Andover Bank; Ten Spot Syndicate; Deli in the Rye; Tom and Kathe Picken; Paul Vincent and Kathy Presciano; Don and Margie Stark; Dwight and Janis Beebe; Jim and Carrie Cozy; Sean Allds; Ed and Joan Millspaw; and Richard Crockford.

Koski said it is up to the sail club if they want to reschedule the race.