Bay Week At Put-in-Bay is Focal Point for Competition, Camaraderie and Fun

New outreach campaign challenges boaters to new level of safety

by Wendy Felber

Deep water races, sailing regattas, and island fun seekers all converge on historic 110th I-LYA Regatta at Put-in-Bay (Bay Week), the center piece of the summer’s sailing action on Lake Erie.

South Bass Island, OH-Whether you’re a racing afficionado, a casual cruiser, or simply someone looking for a fun-filled summer weekend, you’re sure to revel in the nautical and island activities on tap during the 110th Inter-Lake Yachting Association's (ILYA) Sailing Regatta at Put-in Bay, August 2-6.

Commodore Perry, in celebration of one of the greatest American naval victories, spoke the famous line in 1813 “We have met the enemy and they are ours”. Thus began a 190 year sailing tradition that flourishes today in the form of the Sailing Regatta at Put-in-Bay. Sail racing enthusiasts from pre-teens to veterans of thirty or more years of racing in this venerable regatta convene for the annual drama of men and women, boys and girls, in sleek racing boats pitting themselves and their skills against one another and the many moods of Lake Erie.

Capping off three Put-in-Bay Regatta Weeks and the I-YLA Deepwater Races, the sailing event is the oldest and one of the most prestigious sailing competitions on the Great Lakes. The Regatta Week has long been a proving ground for the most able and skilled sailors and the fastest of boats from the cradle of America sailing history. The highlight of the season, the Sailing Regatta offers exciting racing for sailors of all classes, plus on-shore activities galore, including award events, parties and the entertainment and recreational attractions of Put-in-Bay and South Bass Island.

“This is a very prestigious and exciting regatta, and includes a lot of classes and events,” says Don Bartels, Senior Sail Chairman. “We’re offering everyone from serious Handicap and One Design to casual sailors who don’t have racing experience.”

Classes include Handicap (LE-PHRF, JAM, MORC, Offshore Multihull); One Design (Interlake, Thistle, JY15), Offshore One Design (tartan 10, J Boats 22, 24, 105) One Design Centerboard & Catamaran; and Cruising Class with optional Casual Racing. The deadline for registrations for all classes is (by mail) July 15. Late registrations are subject to a late fee and may be presented to the registrar’s desk before 5PM on Saturday, August 2. Information concerning various classes, rules, fees, forms, and contacts is available from the I-LYA web site ( or by contacting Don Bartels at (330) 562-8902 or

There is a lot to do before and after racing at Put-in-Bay, including various regatta-related activities and plenty to see and do on the island.
Preceding the Sail Regatta, Put-in-Bay is also host to the very popular Junior Bay Week (July 20-25) and Powerboat Regatta (August 2-6).
If you don’t sail into Put-in Bay, you may be missing half the fun...but there are other good ways to get there. Ferries run from Sandusky, Port Clinton and Catawba, Ohio. Miller’s Ferry (Catawba) is a car ferry, so you can trail a boat over to the island if you choose. The Jet Express is the fastest way to get there out of Port Clinton. It’s a high-speed (44 knots) jet-powered catamaran that offers comfortable seating for 300-400 people, plus a narrated tour en route to Put-in-Bay. (Check the web site for schedule information.)
Once you are on South Bass Island, a wide range of accommodations are available, if you don’t plan to stay on your boat. In total, the island accommodates up to 2,000 people, including residents. There are approximately 300-400 hotel rooms, plus bed & breakfasts, motels, condos and cottages. On the high end, it is possible to pay $250-$2,000 to rent multi-bedroom cottages and homes. Among the least expensive ways to stay is at a campground, where rates are as low as $20 per day for basic campsites.

For more information about accommodations, contact the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce at (419) 285-2832 or log on the web site: For more information about the regattas, contact the I-LYA web site ( or call Don Bartels at (330) 562-8902 or e-mail