In the world of classic yachting, the Rockland Yacht Club can probably be considered an upstart. Yet a number of local Rockland sailors found themselves atop the podium at the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta (ERR) on August 4 in Brooklin, Maine. 

The ERR was founded in 1985 and has become a staple of the summer racing program for wooden boats from all over the East Coast. While providing “an opportunity for wooden boat owners to get together and enjoy each other’s company,” competition is stiff, with over 100 boats making the start line of this year’s event. The race is an unmatched spectacle and celebration of the beauty of classic wooden boats (the oldest competitor this year was built in 1902) as well as the role Penobscot Bay and host WoodenBoat magazine have played in the modern wooden boat revival. 

The “Classic A” division was won by Gosling, a longtime staple of Rockland Harbor. Owned, maintained and skippered at the event by John Blodgett (with wife and son as crew), the 1951-built 24-footer cruised under spinnaker from Halibut Rock to the finish line to take her second Classic A victory. “Classic B” was won by Otter, a 1955 Concordia Yawl, owned by Robert Keefer and skippered by Jeff Dinse, with Alex Hernandez and David Jones on board to keep everything under control. The amount of local talent on this boat was incredible, and she crushed her class by 

2 minutes and 45 seconds corrected time. Victory in the “Spirit of Tradition A” division was claimed by Marie J, owned by Chris Biggart and captained by Peter Underdown. The 1981 sloop was the best of the smaller wooden boats with modern hull shapes. 

Gosling and Marie J race regularly in the Rockland Yacht Club Tuesday Night Series, while many of the crew of Otter sail fiberglass boats here on a weekly basis. 

The ERR rating system is designed to create parity — winning gets you a 15-percent penalty the next year — so a repeat like 

this is unlikely! Still, it was a nice testament to the vitality of the weekly local racing scene to have this kind of a showing against some first-rate (and well-funded) competition. For race results: www.erregatta.com/results.html.