Contraband Regatta sailboat races set for Saturday

By By Cliff Seiber / American Press

From the colorful Sunfish small sailboats to the graceful white sails of taller-masted vessels, the waters of Lake Charles

will be a beautiful site as the 44th annual Contraband Regatta takes place Saturday.

Skippers between Houston and Lafayette are expected to come in for the races, one of the traditional events of the Contraband

Days Louisiana Pirate Festival, said Sheron Faulk, treasurer of the sponsoring Lake Charles Yacht Club.

The first race will hit the course at

10:30 a.m. After a lunch break, Race 2 will sail at 1:30 p.m., followed

by Race 3. Activity

will start at the club’s headquarters on the west end of North

Beach, near the foot of the I-10 bridge.

“Spectators will be able to view the races from North Beach, free of charge,” Faulk said.

Expected classes are Flying Scot, Laser, Sunfish, Portsmouth and multihulls. Scoring will be on a low-point system, and prizes

will be awarded for each class.

Registration will be from 8 to 9:30 a.m. with the skipper’s meeting to follow. The regatta will be governed by the U.S. Sailing

Association rules of racing, the governing class rules and by the sailing instructions distributed at registration.

The registration fee is $ 25 and

includes coffee and donuts, a noon meal and awards. There is free

on-site camping at LCYC,

but there are no hookups. There are shower and bathroom

facilities. Ship to Shore 474.0730 or John Kalna at

john.kalna@grace.com.

In addition to staging the annual

Contraband Days event, the yacht club provides free sailing lessons,

holds weekly group

sailings during the summer and other events during the year, Faulk

said. Sailing lessons for those age 13 and older will begin

on June 3. Boat ownership is not required for membership, and

power boat owners can join. Rental space for sailboats and power

boats is available on the club grounds. Information is available

at Ship to Shore, (337) 474.0730.

“Membership has held to around 120 before and after Rita, even though we lost almost 75 percent of the boats at the club.”

Faulk said. “We have social events, Wednesday race and club races. The clubhouse is for members to use at any time. Only

members can store any boat on club grounds for a small fee or in the water for $50 per month.”