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The first race of the Contraband Regatta will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Lake Charles. Spectators will be able to view the races from North Beach. (American Press Archives)<br>

The first race of the Contraband Regatta will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Lake Charles. Spectators will be able to view the races from North Beach. (American Press Archives)

Contraband Regatta sailboat races set for Saturday

Last Modified: Thursday, May 09, 2013 10:51 AM

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.”

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