Arctica wins 18th annual regatta

Two days of sunshine, but more importantly two days of an accommodating wind on Kachemak Bay drew eight boats out for Saturday’s start of the 18th annual Homer Yacht Club-Land’s End Resort Regatta.

Six completed both days of the two-day event, with Arctica taking first place. 

“I want to thank my crew,” said Arctica’s Captain Craig Forrest, acknowledging the winning efforts of Liska Kandror, Kelsey Kleine and Johann Willrich.

This is the sixth time Arctica has won the regatta, something Forrest said is due to practice and consistency. He’s been sailing the Arctica, a Freelander 29, since 1990. 

“Every win has been with this boat,” he said. 

The Arctica’s top speed over the weekend was about 7 knots, pushed by winds that ranged 12-15 knots and gusted to the occasional 20.

“The winds were incredibly good,” said Forrest. “We all enjoyed ourselves. Win, lose or draw, we all enjoyed ourselves.”

Interference from motor-operated vessels leaving and arriving at the Homer Harbor caused some challenges for sailboats preparing for the regatta and during the race.

“It would sure be nice if they knew the Rules of the Road,” said Forrest, referring to rules governing navigation.

“Sailboats almost always have the right of way because they are far less easy to maneuver.  … I operate a powerboat, too, so is it really the hardest thing to take an extra 10 seconds?”

In addition to being active with the Homer Yacht Club, Forrest is  a 35-year member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and is commander of the Homer flotilla.

Individual race days had the following results:

•Saturday: First, Arctica; 2. Morning Star; 3. Martha J.; 4. Dog’s Life; 5. Sea Sound; 6. Freedom II.

•Sunday: 1. Arctica; 2. Sea Sound; 3. Morning Star; 4. Martha J; 5. Dog’s Life; 6. Hemingway; 7. Freedom II.

•Overall results for the regatta, with handicaps considered, were: 1. Arctica; 2. Morning Star; 3. Sea Sound; 4. Martha J.; 5. Dog’s Life; 6. Freedom II. 

Of the competition, Forrest said, “They were wonderful. Everybody was acting like seamen and it looked like everyone was competing to win. And by winning, I mean doing their best.”

The regatta kicked off with a luau on the deck of Land’s End on Friday, with music by the Homer Ukulele Group. 

“The main idea (of the regatta) is to raise dollars for the club,” said Commodore Carlin Rauch. “My main idea is the safety aspect.”

That safety focus has resulted in hands-on training for club members that has included man overboard and abandon ship classes, survival suit training and work with discharging flares.

Working with U.S. Coast Guard, the club recently offered a damage-control course, with participants learning to repair a breach in a vessel’s hull.

Coming soon is a session on boat fires.

This year’s regatta drew the attention of some new sponsors, including ACS.

“ACS has pledged $500 and is one of our top sponsors,” said Rauch.

Homer Yacht Club’s next race is July 5.

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McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at