You don’t have to own a Hobie Cat sailboat to participate in the third annual Schroon Lake Hobie Cat Regatta.
The regatta happens every Father's Day weekend — this year it’s June 15-17. Event organizer Glen Repko said about 30 Hobie Cats will take to the water. That’s 30 brightly colored sails, all traversing Schroon Lake at 25 knots to the delight of spectators and sailors alike. The best part is, anyone who wants to know what being on a Hobie Cat is like can hitch a ride on one during the regatta.
“People can just show up, and when the boats come in they can go for a ride,” Glen said. “It’s a safe sport. You can get out on the water, you can go fast on the water, and just enjoy the fresh air and the wind.”
The idea for the event came to Glen when some of his friends, who are part of Fleet 204, a Hobie Cat race organization based in central New York, mentioned they were looking for a new venue. He knew just the place.
“Schroon Lake has good north and south winds quite a bit of the time, and there’s an open area between the town beach and Word of Life Island, where we can set up a buoy system and run the race effectively,” Glen said. “People can sit on the banks of the lake and watch the racers as they go by. We also have long sandy beaches, so the boats can be beached easily. It makes for a nice venue.”
The cool thing about the regatta is it gets entrants from well beyond the Adirondacks. This year a team from Puerto Rico will compete, and there are always people who travel from around the U.S. Many of the competitors are racing for points, which can increase their ratings as they go from one regatta to the next. Two of this year’s entrants are national champions.
Schroon Lake Hobie Cat Regatta details
The races begin at the town beach boathouse.
Friday: Boats go in the water at the boathouse from 5-7:30 p.m.
Saturday: Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and races begin around 11 a.m.
Sunday: Registration begins at 9 a.m. and races begin around 10:30 a.m. The awards ceremony starts around 2:30 p.m.
Birding, biking, pirates, and parades — it’s May in the ADK!