Cruising Class at Bayfield Race Week and Bayfield Sailfest Are All About The Fun!
By Thom Burns and Mark Janda

Do you want to race against other cruisers with your family and friends? Bayfield Race Week's Cruising Class was an enormous success last year, and this year will be bigger and better, with more boats, more races, more trophies, more friends and more fun! We've even got a handicap system and course layouts that give you a fair shot at a podium finish, even if you've got a roller-furling jib and no spinnaker. Block your calendar for the week of June 30 through July 4. If you can't race the entire week, do half!

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Races will be held four days during the week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with a lay-day on Wednesday. Races will start at noon and be approximately 3 hours in length. Courses will be approximately an isosceles triangle with the shortest leg upwind and an upwind finish, or a medium distance point-to-point course if conditions permit. The start and finish lines will be within a convenient distance of the Bayfield city dock.

You can register online at The registration fee is $175. The entire schedule of social activities is also available for your review at this website. More details will be posted on the website, or you can ask your race committee:

Mark Janda, 612-986-2878,
Mike Lamb,
Jim Tack,
Pete Kulenkamp, 715-779-5311

Some other items of interest:
• GPS coordinates for the jibe mark will be provided.
• Cruisers will have their own extra-long starting line.
• Spinnakers are not only allowed, they're encouraged!
•There will be one start for the class.
• In addition to prizes for the entire series, the race committee will award prizes for the Monday - Tuesday and Thursday - Friday Half-series. Boats may participate in the entire series or either Half-series at their discretion.
• Generous handicap credits will be given for many things, including fixed propellers, small headsails, roller-furling, and no spinnaker. Drive your boat well, and you will be competitive!

You are encouraged to cap off your week or half week by participating in Sailfest, a medium-distance pursuit with individually assigned times to start.

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Bayfield Sailfest

 When it comes to family sailing fun in Bayfield, Wisconsin in the beautiful Apostle Islands, no event can top Sailfest. Sailors and their families come back year after year as the event has grown each of the last three years.

Why do they come out and come back? Because the event organizers have worked hard to offer families a fun event where they can sail fast to an attainable goal of circumnavigating Basswood Island. As usual the devil, or in this case the success, is in the details.

The start of the pursuit is in front of the Bayfield city dock. Each of the participants receives a designated start time. This procedure eliminates any crowded start line which many family cruisers find intimidating. It also avoids for the most part the application of the “Racing Rules of Sailing.” This almost eliminates the need to “talk” at other boats. In short, there’s no hollering or yelling.

It is so easy and simple, the slowest boats start first based on a handicap system. The faster boats start later. If your boat passes another boat, you have scored, or beaten that boat. Boats finish off the Bayfield dock across a long finish line.

There are several classes based on handicaps. There are also several special categories such as: singlehanded, senior skipper, youth skipper, all women crew, and couples. The event organizers ensure that everyone receives a photo of their boat taken on the course by Bill Hooper.

All of these awards and prizes are presented during breaks in the Saturday night festivities which are being held this year at the Pike’s Bay Marina Clubhouse just south of Bayfield. Northern Breezes fleet chef, Deb Sanders, is in charge of dinner and nautical folk singer, Carl Behrend, is returning for an encore.

Cruisers should feel empowered that they can spend a whole week or part of a week with a lot of fun events designed for them in the mix.

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*You can register online at The registration fee is $40 which includes two dinners. The entire schedule of social activities is also available for your review at this website. If in doubt, talk to your Sailfest committee:

Thom Burns, 763-542-9707,
Cindy Kalow, 715-779-5124
Vicki Staudte, 651-452-5422