Ensign Nationals 2021 boat racing event opens in Marquette’s Lower Harbor

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – The masts of the sailboats were raised in Lower Harbor on Sunday for the opening ceremonies of the 2021 Ensign National Championship Regatta.

The boat racing event is hosted by local Ensign Fleet 35 in partnership with Marquette Yacht Club.

This is the city’s second year hosting the tournament, with the last event taking place in 2012.

It was originally scheduled in Marquette for last year but was delayed due to the pandemic.

Approximately 30 Ensign boats will participate in the races, which will take place in front of Harbor Basin and in the waters of Lake Superior.

“The Ensign sailboat is a 22 1/2 foot sailor. It has a very large cockpit with plenty of space to take people to navigate. It’s supposed to be some sort of pleasure sailboat, but it just so happens to have raced all over the country. And there are a lot of them here. In fact, Marquette’s has one of the largest fleets in the country. It’s a very good all-rounder, and there was a time when they were actually built here in Marquette, ”said vice-comodore Chad Lewis of the Marquette Yacht Club.

Competitors come from across the country, from the East Coast to Texas (with five confirmed boats).

“It’s very exciting, especially when the wind is blowing. And we have a great competition here at Marquette. We have excellent sailors. It keeps us on our toes, ”said Michael Twohey, Commodore of the Marquette Yacht Club.

“I think looking along the break wall will be good. I also think watching is good anywhere in Founder’s Landing or South Marquette. I would say if you want to observe from a motor boat that’s great. But if you just stay away from the riders it’s relatively clear where the people are, you can get a view of a really competitive sailboat race, ”explained Lewis.

Races officially start Monday at 11 a.m. – boats will start leaving Lower Harbor pier after 10 a.m.

For full information on the 2021 Ensign Nationals, click HERE.

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