Sailing Lake Sunapee and Creating Friends

Summer racing for the Lake Sunapee Cruising Fleet is on a reach to the season’s finish line. There are only a few more races on the 2009 schedule. Perhaps you’ve seen sailboats of different sizes and design racing Lake Sunapee on a Wednesday evening or Sunday afternoon. The banner photo, courtesy of Paul Howe Photography, catches members of the fleet enjoying a friendly competition during a Wednesday night race earlier in August. Wednesday night races start at 6 p.m., and every other Sunday, a race starts at 2 p.m. Then, there are social gatherings that also bring the sailors and crews together.

The Cruising Fleet, organized in 1984, is a non-profit volunteer group devoted to “the sport of sailboat racing on Lake Sunapee and creating friendships.”

“Most of the boats range from 18-27 feet, have outboard motors, and are sloop design mono-hulls,” says Al Peterson, Sunapee, a regular member of the racing fleet.

“To make the scoring more ‘fair’, there is a handicap time adjustment such that the faster boats ‘owe’ time to the slower boats. This means that even should a boat cross the finish line first, others that cross later could actually beat that first boat depending on the time difference and the handicap adjustment. This applies to the other finishing placement boats as well,” Peterson said.

The fleet captain is Gene Hayes.

For more info including this year’s race results, visit

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