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Back Bay Skippers Sponsor Model Sail Boating Regatta

The Laker - June 14, 2013

The New Hampshire Boat Museum’s Back Bay Skippers have scheduled this year’s American Model Yachting Association (AMYA) One-Meter Soling National Championship Regatta in Wolfeboro on June 22-23, expecting to attract participants from throughout the United States and Canada. The prestigious national event will feature two days of radio-controlled sailing competition on Back Bay with contenders from as far away as Toronto, Michigan, California, and Florida positioned along Bridge-Falls Path, transmitters in hand. No admission fee is charged for the public to watch the races which run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday, followed by awards to the top five finishers.

A nonprofit organization, the American Model Yachting Association promotes “the designing, building, racing, and preservation of all model sailing yachts.” Not only does it prescribe rules for classification and competition, it also contributes to the advancement of local, national, and international activities. Membership is open to anyone, and yacht classes range from one foot to eight feet in length and from high-tech developmental boats to affordable one-designs.

The One-Meter Solings to be sailed are miniature versions of an Olympic-class Norwegian sailboat. Sailors can move their rudder and sails by remote control but it is the wind that actually propels the boat. Skill at catching and using that wind, as well as tactical ability, mean the difference between first and last place.

“Ling” at the end of its name indicates the original 27-foot Soling that was designed by the award-winning Jan Herman Linge of Oslo, Norway, who maintained a family association with boats. Jan’s father was a naval captain, and Jan himself served in the merchant navy for two years before his university apprenticeship at a shipyard. World War II interrupted his naval architecture studies but, in 1943, he put an early design to use when he built a boat for escape from Norway to Sweden. After membership in the Kompani Linge, a Norwegian resistance unit named after his father, he eventually completed his education and, in 1956, established his own firm. Although he has designed many sailing and power boats, he is known mainly for the Yngling and the Soling, as well as a motor-torpedo-boat once used by NATO countries for patrol. Selected for the 1968 Olympics, the Soling remained in the Olympic regatta until 1996.

Locally, yacht-building workshops take place each winter at the NH Boat Museum’s barn to allow completion before the upcoming sailing season. Since its formation in 2008, the club has grown from a membership of one — Mark Whitehead of Ossipee, who serves as commodore — to more than 60. Whitehead also is a member of the museum’s board of trustees.

Peter Colcord and his Downtown Grille Café will make sure the regatta participants are well-fed upon arrival at the race site each day, as well as at Sunday’s lunch break. Saturday night, he and his crew will offer a four-course dinner with cash bar for racers and their guests. Saturday’s lunch will come from the ovens of Anthony’s Old-Style Pizzeria, thanks to Mark Anthony.

For further information about the regatta and the Back Bay Skippers, see or call 603-569-4554. The NH Boat Museum is located at 399 Center Street, Wolfeboro Falls. 

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