Alacrity Ski Yachting Regatta
By Barney Brewer

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    Alacrity Ski Yachting Regatta
    by Barney Brewer

    My memory of the "Momentous Ski Yachting Regatta"

    In 1969, I was the dealer for the ‘Alacrity” sailboat. It was a 19 foot, twin bilge keel cruising boat made in England to Lloyds specifications to withstand the heavy weather of the English Channel.

    The weather on Lake Dillon was never like the English Channel until the day of the Momentous Ski Yachting Regatta. The race committee was located under tents on the bank at the north end of the dam. The starting line was between them and a buoy off shore.

    As we crossed the starting line, the storm hit blowing away the committee tents and sending everyone for cover. Jim Beck, Ray McGinnis and I started cheering as we turned the stiff little boat toward the mark at Farmer’s Corner and headed on a reach for the middle of the lake. We had finally found weather that our boat was designed to handle.

    We were so preoccupied with handling the boat that we did not realize the disaster that was unfolding around us. When I finally realized what was happening, Ray and Jim dropped the sails, and I started the outboard and headed to rescue several people holding on to their capsized boats.

    After our attention to the rescues, we were able to observe the aftermath of the horrendous blow. Many boats had either capsized or blown onto the shore. I believe that 98 boats out of 130 were incapacitated. After this experience, it was a rule that all keelboats be equipped with an outboard motor.

    My recall of this terrific experience of almost fifty years ago confirms how impacting it must have been for many who were sailing there on that day.

    I eventually sold the Alacrity and joined the Santana 22 fleet. Jim Beck, Ray McGinnis and I raced Santana #585 every weekend for the next ten years.

    Barney Brewer

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