The Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club has held regular fleet racing every weekend this summer with its closing regatta coming Sunday, September 16th. Their website boosts over 45 boats racing each weekend. In four classes or fleets, the boats skippered by a club member, mix it up in the wind and water of the lake, offering a dynamic view to land locked observers from their vantage points along the race route, from the club house on Bertrand’s Island north to Byram Cove and back.
The LHYC’s four major fleets, E-Scows, Stars, Thistles, and A-Class Catamarans were well represented on a recent Sunday as they all glided past the Lakeland Marine Base in Jefferson Township. The E-Scow is the high-performance fleet. With a crew of 3 to 4 people these low and wide hulls have huge sails to grab as much air a possible to tilt the hull on edge and knife the boat through the water. Next in size is the Stars class, of which the LHYC is proud to state they “have one of the largest and most active Star Fleets in the United States.”
The Thistles separate themselves with colorful hulls as the design of the 17-foot boat is strictly limited to one design. First appearing on the lake in the 1940’s, the class has grown as a family friendly boat and is the start of competitive sailing for many. The A-cats (A-class Catamarans) are for the daredevils of the sailing community. These light fast twin hulled boats are never fully in the water when being sailed to their fullest potential. Tilting with only one hull slashing through the water and the pilot hanging their weigh over the upraised other hull, playing a thrilling balancing act.
The Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club has advertised on their web site the desire to grow the fleets and continue the traditions of Sunday races on the lake. For those who are entertained by their antics, the wish is for many more years of sailing Lake Hopatcong.
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