Sailing Event Returns To Lake Havasu After Long Lapse
February Regatta A Success; More Hobie Action In November
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. — The majestic sight of numerous sails billowing in the wind were visible again on the blue waters of Lake Havasu.
For the first time in many years, catamaran racing returned to the waters of Lake Havasu in two separate events. The Havasu and Hobie Reunited regatta was held Feb. 7 and 8. Event producer Gordon “Gordo” Bagley said he expected at least 50 participants, and was excited about returning to the old stomping grounds.
“Lake Havasu holds the record for producing the largest Hobiecat regatta in the history of Hobiecat racing,” he said.
Bagley paid a chance visit to Lake Havasu City earlier this year on the advice of a friend who heads up the Hobie Mid-Winters West, suggesting the division look into new venues. Liking what he saw, Bagley made several repeat visits and was soon able to find enough area owners of Hobies to rekindle the Hobie Fleet 88.
“Two things stand out at Lake Havasu [that] distinguish it from any other. Firstly, it has hospitality and multi-beach venue [that] has few rivals. And secondly, and even more impressive, it is a community with extraordinary enthusiasm and support for boating events.
“After many visits with this fantastic community, and careful study of the venue, it soon became evident that Lake Havasu City could handle any size event the Hobie Class Association could throw at them,” Bagley said.
With the creation of the February event, excitement grew within the sailing community, and Bagley says it led to his idea of bringing a second, larger, regatta to Lake Havasu City later in 2009.
At the 2008 Hobie 14 & 16 North American Championships in Clear Lake, Iowa, the Hobie Class Association Board of Directors approved Bagley’s bid for the 2009 Hobie Wave, Tiger, 20, 18, & 17 North American Championships on Lake Havasu.
To finish out the event and make it a true “Mega,” it was decided to hold an HCA Points regatta for Hobie FX-One, H16, H14 and Getaway classes. In the early planning stages of the bid, a term was coined that has now become the title for this event — HAVAMEGA. The event has been set for Nov. 8-13.
Despite being just under a year away, the HAVAMEGA event is already seeing a lot of support from the sailing community. "As of now, the Web site havamega.com, continues to build support for this event with its novel RSVP page, where sailors can post their intention to come and join in the fun.
“With [nearly] a year to go, over 50 have signed in, and new entries are coming in every week,” he said.
Organizers are planning on about 200 boats participating in the November event. However, some have higher hopes. “This estimate is based on conservative estimates for each class.
“But remember this: Lake Havasu boasts the largest Hobiecat regatta in the history of Hobiecat racing. The 1975 London Bridge Regatta hosted by the Lake Havasu Yacht Club holds the all time record of 408 Hobies’ competing. The event organizers have a dream to beat that number,” said Bagley.
Tourism officials say the two events are exciting for the city. “Not only [have and] will they bring in a lot of participants and their families, but [also] they serve as attractions in themselves.
“Sailing is such a visible sport, and the sight of all of those amazing vessels on the water will create a draw,” said Char Beltran, Lake Havasu City Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO.
“This demonstrates the diversity Lake Havasu City enjoys. We see amazing events like the Desert Storm regatta that brings in supercharged powerboats, and then events such as large sailing regattas. The city really does appeal to a wide variety of people and events,” she said.
For more information, contact Jarrod Lyman, vice president: (928) 3444, ext. 134.
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