Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Marquette Michigan hosts the 2012 Ensign National Championship Regatta

The Ensign National Championship Regatta came to Marquette, Michigan this summer and I had a chance to spend a few hours in awe of 1.) the offshore beauty of Marquette and Lake Superior and 2.) the insane aesthetic dynamics of a sailing regatta.

The "ensign" is a class of small sailboats, 22.5 feet long, full keel, etc. but to me, as an outsider non-sailing guy, it seems more like a spirit than a certain type of boat. Something like the spirit of summer meshed with a sense of craft and old-timey skill, comraderie of the sea, that sort of thing. From what I've read, it's also a very American thing as this type of boat was first designed and built in the states.

Which leads me to the next thing: Red, white, blue. The pure colors of summer on Lake Superior were overwhelming. Red Lighthouse. Red boats. Red spinnakers (the pretty extra sail that comes out when they run with the wind). Blue lake. Blue sky. White sails. White boats. White clouds forming over the land promising a good wind for the races. Simply stunning. A good day to have a camera and some time on hand.

Thanks to Fleet 35 and the Marquette Yacht Club for a great event, and thanks to the fine folks on the boat Lattitude Adjustment that hauled me around.

Spinnakers! Lighthouse! Superior Dome!
Matching outfits

Red shark boat has my bet every time

Many sheets to the wind

A wet lunch-Jimmy Johns delivers

I'm a sucker for patterns

Little ladies on a big wind

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