06/01/2019

OYC hosts the ASSA ALBEMARLE CHALLENGE REGATTA

By: Claude Milot

Everywhere among males in the animal kingdom we observe fights for control, for superiority, for the right to mate. Humans are not that much different, although we like to think that we’ve evolved from the caveman wielding a club to conquer his adversaries. But the instinct to compete remains; it’s part of our DNA. Men have done battle since before recorded history, but in the civilized world, humans most often have chosen non-fatal forms of competition to satisfy their urges to dominate. One of these forms, perhaps the most common of all, is racing.
We know that the ancient Greeks raced in the first Olympics. We also know that Romans raced around the Circus Maximus in chariots. In time, humans invented other forms of racing. Now they not only race each other on foot (track) or in modern chariots (NASCAR), they race animals for sport, too: horses, dogs, camels, even frogs and mice. Yet, one might argue that one form of racing surpasses all others in grace and elegance, and that’s sailboat racing, often referred to as regattas.

Wherever you find wide expanses of water, you are likely to find sportsmen willing and eager to prove their sailing superiority by challenging others to meet on the watery field of battle. Albemarle Sound is one such place. In recent years the Sound has witnessed annual regattas organized by four yacht clubs: the Edenton Yacht Club, The Colington Yacht Club of Kill Devil Hills, the Pasquotank Yacht Club in Elizabeth City, and the Osprey Yacht Club here in Albemarle Plantation. This year the four have decided to consolidate their regattas and race each other under the banner of the Albemarle Sound Sailing Association (ASSA) in the ASSA Albemarle Challenge.

Following a reception hosted by the Osprey Yacht Club on June 7th, two days of racing will be conducted on June 8th and 9th, with an awards presentation and dinner on the evening of the 9th in Marina Park. Sailing enthusiasts are expected to watch over 20 sail-boats compete, many with colorful spinnakers filled with a brisk following wind. For sheer beauty, no form of racing surpasses this one.

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