Hundreds Set Sail on Little Traverse Bay for the 58th Ugotta Regatta

Racers from across the nation ready to set sail in Little Traverse Bay.

The 58th Annual Ugotta Regatta kicked off in Harbor Springs Friday morning.

Close to 100 boats and hundreds of crew members make their way to the bay for regatta every summer.

“It’s such a wonderful natural scenery and setting for great sailing,” Little Traverse Yacht Club Manager Dan DeWindt, said.

It’s lauded as one of the nation’s best known sailing traditions.

“The reason people keep coming back is the natural beauty of the harbor and Little Traverse Bay,” DeWindt, added.

For 58 years now  sailors have given more than 58 reasons for why, “Ugotta Regatta.”

“I mean what can’t you love about coming up here,” Sailor Brad Boston, said.

Brad Boston hails from Ontario and has been “touring the bay” for a decade.

“It’s always a thrill to come here and do something different than what we normally do,” Boston, added.

The quicker races are a draw for the Canadian and his teammates on the “Abracadabra,” who are coming off two much lengthier races.

“Just did both [Port Huron to Mackinac and Chicago to Mackinac Races] and you look forward to coming up here to Harbor Springs and having two long days of racing and make it a long weekend.

“Three-quarters of the crew have sailed at least 25,000 miles with each other, some of us 50,000 miles,” Sailor Al DeClercq, said.

For DeClercq and his team aboard the “Talisman,” this is a race that spans generations.

“The early days we were bringing kids along just to give them fun, now they are taking us along, they turned into pretty good sailors,” DeClercq, explained.

It’s the friendly faces and consistent bay-wind that keeps them coming back.

“This regatta is one of the best regatta’s we sail in every year,” DeClerq, added.