The Mahone Bay horizon was dancing with sails throughout the weekend for a regatta that was public-health approved.
“This is a very special and momentous regatta,” said Jennifer Hall, the chair of the Lunenburg Yacht Club Welcome Back Regatta.
“We’re calling it the Welcome Back Regatta because it’s getting everyone back on the water. We’ve been fortunate down here in Nova Scotia and particular in Lunenburg County, that we were able to get boats together, volunteers together, some sponsors together and put on a regatta for 36 boats,” Hall added.
With the coveted Chester Race Week postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, the sailing community brainstormed a smaller event out of the Lunenburg Yacht Club.
Hall led the organization of the Welcome Back Regatta. Born and raised in Lunenburg County, Hall has since gone on to organize regattas around the world.
The pandemic saw her return home to Nova Scotia earlier than anticipated but she didn’t hesitate to get resourceful in finding a way to bring the sailing community together with COVID-19 safety protocols in mind.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have been here for the last five months and it means an awful lot to be able to give back to the community and be a part of something like this,” Hall said.
The regatta was open to teams throughout the Atlantic travel bubble but quickly filled up with yachts from across Nova Scotia.
Races were held throughout the weekend and conditions were prime for friendly competition.
“We have five different classes and 36 different boats,” Hall said. “So I think they’ll probably get seven or eight races in over the course of the three days and they’ve had what we call champagne conditions. So plenty of wind and sunshine and really the best of what Nova Scotia has to offer.”
The final day of racing featured an iconic Nova Scotia schooner that made its way through Mahone Bay as part of the 2020 Sail Past Summer Tour.
The Bluenose II is sailing into harbours and ports throughout the summer and consists of a 20-person crew that has formed a bubble to make the tour happen.