Skaneateles Sail School racers enjoy regatta on home water

Counting down the minutes, then the seconds, racers maneuvered through the pristine waters of Skaneateles Lake last week in an attempt to be the first over an imaginary line.

From Skaneateles Sail School Chairman Bob Honcharski's cruising boat, it looked like total chaos -- and then it turned into a beautifully orchestrated dance between the sails and the wind catching them, the teams of two and the command they took of their vessel and the single sailors and the desire to be the first around the orange buoy.

The regular racing regatta took place Tuesday Aug. 4 at the Skaneateles Country Club where five teams readied for a day on the water. Skaneateles Sail School went up against teams from Sodus Bay, Ithaca, Lake George and Fairhaven, and there were approximately 20 boats racing for first, second and third places.

"This year we have done really well," Honcharski said of the sail school. "Our enrollment is up."

Along with increased enrollment, the students found themselves with a new director, Janice Wiles, who Honcharski called "a real mover and shaker."

According to Wiles, there are all kinds of options for racing in the Finger Lakes area and across Central New York.

"There's no shortage of wind today," Wiles said eagerly shortly before the races started at 11 a.m.

The constant breeze was enough to keep all sails filled, both on and off the water. Some sailors were having a difficult time getting their boats into the water before the wind tried to whisk them away.

Before hitting the water, Skaneateles' race coach Chris Moore said the interclub regattas are a good way to get the kids some race experience. While racing is more of a summer sport, there are clubs from all over that attend the regattas, which are held every Tuesday at various locations.

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