The Lake Bluff Yacht Club will host the 2014 Sunfish Women’s North American Championship at Sunrise Beach on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 6 and 7.
Organizers expect an estimated 25 women from across the country to participate in the annual race, with one sailor per classic 14-foot fiberglass boat.
Regatta Chairman Doug Warren of Lake Bluff said hosting the women’s championship is an important event for the 53-year-old club.
“This is recognition among Sunfish sailors that we’re considered a major club,” Warren said. “We want to host and bring in people from all the country and show off our club facilities.”
The regatta’s roster includes sailors from Texas, Kansas, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Florida, as well as a number of local women.
Some will trailer their boats, while others will borrow a Sunfish from the Lake Buff Yacht Club. In existence for 53 years, the Lake Bluff club is home to a Sunfish fleet.
Warren will loan out his boat to one of the competitors traveling from New Jersey to use in up to three races a day.
“I hope she does well,” he said. “It will speak well for my boat.”
There are some 120 families in Lake Bluff and the surrounding area who belong to the yacht club based at Sunrise Beach.
Since it is a volunteer club, members and other volunteers will be on hand to help the racers by serving breakfast at the beach pavilion on both race days, giving out information on the community — where to get dinner or where to purchase a forgotten item — and running errands, among other duties.
Depending on wind speed and wave height, the racers should launch their boats from the beach around 10 a.m. both days and return to shore around 4:30 p.m. They will be served lunch in their boats on the water.
The public is welcome to attend to watch the competitors rig and launch their boats and come home to the beach at the end of racing.
Warren, a 23-year Lake Bluff resident, believes hosting the national women’s championship is as important to the village as it is to the yacht club.
“Surveys have been done about what residents find unique and beautiful about Lake Bluff. One of top things is the lakefront. To be able to show off our lakefront and how we use is important,” he said.
In addition, Warren noted that competitors and those traveling with them will eat in local restaurants and shop in local stores.
“This is a real asset for the village,” he said.