NOLA Still Races

Published: Sailing Anarchy
December 20, 2005

One would think that when the 630 square miles of Lake Pontchartrain decided to add New Orleans to its acreage after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in late August, that New Orleans would cease to exist for awhile in the racing arena.

Not true, in the four months post-K, in plain view of the much honored and now burned out husk of Southern Yacht Club and the nearby gutted New Orleans Yacht Club - New Orleans area racers have held four regattas out on the lake replete with several PHRF and one-design classes.

Granted the numbers were down, as nearly 60% of the sailboat stock in New Orleans was destroyed including the J/30 Zephyr which was on course to shoot for her 5th North American J/30 Championship on her home waters in October.

New Orleans area sailors also rallied to fund local Anthony Hudson's attempt at the Laser World Championships in Brazil within a month of Katrina's landfall and have actively followed local single-handed sailor Ryan Finn as he competed in the TransAt.

Moreover, New Orleans Yacht Club, located a short three blocks from the 17th St. Canal breach, also opened up her doors to all Gulf Coast sailors within five weeks of landfall. Still under generator power and a 9:00 pm curfew, this sailing community bellies up to the one yacht club bar that still stands, as club volunteers dish out cold beer and hot burgers to sailors and National Guardsmen alike amidst the ruins of the once scenic West End.

Never count this town and her people out.