The Downbay Regatta is an annual summer highlight at Beach Haven’s Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club.   A many-yeared tradition, sailboats come “down-bay” from several other yacht clubs on Barnegat Bay to compete in their classes, i.e. A-Cats, B-Cats, E-Scows and Lightnings.  It is always colorful, always a weekend of camaraderie,  of renewing friendships, of hard-fought races, and not a little partying.  Although I had retired as the club photographer, my camera wanted to go take a look; what could I do?

The weekend opened bright, hot, and windy with some question as to whether there might be too much wind.  That was a new concept for a power-boater like me … too much wind to sail?!? Anyway, a great start for the weekend.  Here’s the traditional lineup of the romantic A-Cats, with two more on moorings out in the thorofare.



On the dock were the colorful “marks and pins” which are taken out to the sailing grounds and moored to mark the turning points of the various courses.



The harbor horn sounds … a kind of mount-up signal which triggers all kinds of boarding, and sail raising activity, some of it frenetic.  I heard lots of “Pull that line …. Jack, don’t tie us up … The sail’s caught … Can we get a tow … “



Will somebody let go the bow line?



Third generation Little-Egger Sam Flagler was invited to skipper the A-Cat, Ghost. This boat was generously donated last year to the NJ Maritime Museum in Beach Haven.  (A splendid museum, WELL worth a visit.)  The boat is “mothered” by past yacht club commodore John Coyle, an inveterate supporter of lots of good things for Beach Haven and the island and the area (e.g. the Tuckerton Seaport Museum.)  Anyhow, Sam invited my granddaughter, Gretchen, to crew with him.  They’ve been sailing buddies since their learning days in the Junior Sailing program.  Here they are as young teenagers in the 2008 Quill-McCarty race around Mordecai Island.



And, eight years later, boarding Ghost for the races.



Finally, they begin their tow to the sailing grounds.



 Torch decides to sail her way out, dragging her reflection behind her.




Finally, a Lensbaby view of the morning dock and preparation.



4 Responses to “DOWNBAY 2016”

  1. Ken Curtis Says:

    I enjoyed reading about the activities and seeing your photographs. That camera just won’t stay home and relax on a shelf somewhere. Frankly, I do not care for lensbaby shots, but I envied you taking all the others. It must be nice being there with the clean and refreshing sea air blowing.

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thanks, Ken. I’m not totally on board with Lensbabies either but I do enjoy the abstraction of some images. Of four that I took that morning, this is the only one that I liked. It’s another tool in the kit.

  2. Eileen Smith Says:

    Nice job Ralph! Glad to see you are out of retirement!

  3. denisebushphoto Says:

    More for your ‘Old Man & the Sea’ coffee table book … nice work!

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