Thursday, August 30, 2018


One of the loveliest scenes on Grand Traverse Bay is that of sailboats enjoying the water and winds.  Wednesday evenings are a particularly good time to watch sailboats as the Grand Traverse Yacht Club hosts two classes of sailing races then.

The first race is the One Design Division.  All the sailboats are in the Melges 24 Fleet.  According to the GTYC website, there are 14 boats in this club fleet.

Melges 24 all have the same basic design and are known for being competitive and easy to sail.  At 24 feet in length, this high-performance boat has been in both the America's Cup and the Olympics.  On this evening, I counted eight sailors on this particular boat.

The other race of the evening involves differently designed boats but all using Spinnaker sails.  Spinnakers are those billowing front sails designed for sailing off the wind.

Spinnakers come in all different colors and make for a beautiful sight on the bay, both for casual onlookers and for photographers alike.

Boats in this race have a variety of lengths.  This Melges 24 is on the small end, and there are sailboats up to 40 feet in length.

This sailboat, with its bright blue sail, is flying, a term used to describe when the sail is ballooning out in front trying to catch every bit of wind possible. 

The owner of this sailboat, also a Melges 24, must be a Star Wars fan, as the boat is named Padawan, the term used for a Jedi apprentice.   Its Spinnaker is named Black Death, another Star Wars- related term.


  1. Beautiful shots, Karen! I enjoyed the interesting commentary, too.

  2. Thanks, Jan. The sailboats were fun to watch.