More than 60 young sailors descended on Lake Hopatcong on Saturday for the 19th annual Back to School Regatta, which featured two fleets of Optimists and one Laser Radial fleet, all competing in five races on the main lake.
Lavallette Yacht Club and the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club came away as the big winners of the day. Jeff Glosenger of Lavallette won the main fleet of 41 Optis, finishing the day’s racing with five points overall—including three first-place finishes. (The series allows for one throwout, so final scores include the sailors’ four best races.) In second place, Ty Ingram of Larchmont Yacht Club had seven points, and in third place, Charlotte List of Cape May had 23 points.
In the Lasers, Brooke Biundo of Lavalette won with seven points, followed by Liam Finneran of Tom’s River with nine points, and Mary Margaret Clawson of Raritan Yacht Club, who also finished with nine points, but lost the tiebreaker.
But the local kids dominated the Green Fleet, which features sailors who are relatively new to the regatta scene. Adam Richards, a LHYC junior sailor who lives in Long Valley, won what was his first-ever regatta, finishing with seven points. Roy Voss of Ocean Gate Yacht Club came in second with 10 points. Local sailors Patrick Dill (of Scotch Plains) and Cathleen Murphy (of East Hanover) came in third and fourth place, respectively, with 12 and 15 points, and eight-year-old Luke Arnone of Mantoloking Yacht Club came in fifth with 19 points. Richards, Dill, and Murphy are all third-generation sailors on Lake Hopatcong.
“It was a lot of fun out there,” Richards said afterward, echoing the thoughts of many of the sailors who spent a glorious September day on the lake in 5-to-10-mph winds, which were a bit shifty.
The event began in 1991 and has often drawn more than 100 sailors from all over the East Coast. The majority of the competitors, however, take the Parkway up from the Shore for the annual event, filling the roster with Jersey Shore yacht club names, including Lavallette, Mantoloking, Raritan, Brant Beach, and Cape May. Run by volunteers out of LHYC, the Back to School Regatta takes place the second Saturday after Labor Day every year and is open to sailors ages 6 to 16.
For the full scoring of Saturday’s regatta, click here. More photos from the event below.