“I think it is going great,” said Evan Smith with the Rome Sailing Club. “I don’t know exactly how many entries we have. I think they were expecting over 35 entries.”
“They have had one of the largest crowds this year,” said Smith. “It is larger than last year.”
The Regatta, Smith noted, drew participants from throughout the southeast, including the Atlanta and Lake Lanier area.
There was also a group from Florida and others from as far North as Nashville, Smith said.
Events usually kick off on Saturday around 11 a.m., Smith said.
“These races are sanctioned by the National Racing Association,” said Smith. “These people who compete competitively on the national circuit will be able to use their time and scores here on the national level.”
The Rome Sailing Club, Smith said, encourages and promotes sailing whenever possible.
“We invited people to come out to the Rome Sailing Club any time,” said Smith. “There is typically always someone here that can show them around, you feel welcome and taking them sailing. There are courses we are offering now throughout the year on sailing.”
Instructors for the courses, Smith said, include Tony and Linda Cellamare, owners of Fast Performance Yachts in Centre who are involved in racing on a national and global scale. They do a great bit of detailed finish work on new sailboats, he noted.
“It is amazing,” said Smith. “Our economy is moving so slow but the enthusiasm for sail boating is increasing. I guess the reduced cost of operating a sailboat may have something to do with that. We have seen this year an increase in the enthusiasm of people interested in sailing and even sailing racing.”
John Bloomfield, whose house is on the property adjacent to the Rome Sailing Club, once again invited friends to come out and enjoy the races.
“We’ve had a quite a few (spectators),” said Bloomfield. “I am surprised we don’t have more out today as pretty as it is. Last year we had more and it was just miserably hot.”
Bloomfield noted that the Rome Sailing Club have been good neighbors and that members are family oriented.
It was a special day for Lola Appleton and family. This was the first race for her grandson, John Conley, 17. Appleton said she has been a member of the Rome Sailing Club for the past 10 years.
“I think they are looking good,” said Appleton, a Cedar Bluff resident. “That is a lot of boats out there. They have a good breeze today and it is picking up.”
Joining her as a spectator was Connie Appleton.
“My daughter is on the committee boat with my father scoring the races,” said Connie.