Smooth sailing


PINEDALE – Sails unfurled beneath the mighty Wind River Range as vessels of all shapes and sizes jostled for position at the starting line for the first race of the 54th Annual Sailing Regatta on Fremont Lake at noon on Saturday.

The air horn honked twice, signaling the beginning of the race. Crews directed their masts into the headwind, angling each vessel to take advantage of the breeze as they rounded the first turn in the course.

The two-day event, hosted by the Pinedale Lions Club and Lakeside Lodge, consisted of four races – three on Saturday and one on Sunday. Organizers typically run two races on Sunday, but due to a light and variable wind on Sunday afternoon, the contestants were unable to complete the fifth race, said event organizer Jason Essington.

Essington gave a big shoutout to the race committee and Cheryl Essington, the principal race officer. He also expressed gratitude to the safety boat crews that accompanied the sailboats out on Fremont Lake to assist if anything went wrong. This year’s safety boats were piloted by Jeff Goltz, Jamie Burgess and Rita Donham.

Essington also thanked Lakeside Lodge and the boat owners who generously vacated their slips at the marina to create space for Regatta participants, including Galen West, Lance Biffle, David Kappenman and the Miller family.


The cumulative results from each race determined the final standings in three different divisions.

  • Centerboard division: E.V. Diehl earned first place with a Hobie-Adventure Island boat. Michael McCue, also piloting a Hobie-Adventure Island craft, snagged second place. Tom Haigh and his Walker Bay vessel took third place.
  • Cruiser division: The “Yeehaw,” a J-22 craft crewed by Riley Bennett and Stuart Hill, captured gold. David Pendell, Pat Sullivan and Howard Bartlett came in second place on an Ultimate 22 craft named “Rosie.” Third place accolades went to the team of Dan Merrill and Nicole Gordon, piloting a Catalina 22 named “Sylvan.”
  • Multihull division: Bill O’Donnell and Chris Burton, crewing a Nacra RPK3 vessel, secured first place. The “Hansen,” a Corsair craft crewed by Eric, Erica, Rachel and Mary Hansen, snapped up second place.