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Sponsors Needed for the First Annual Oyster Festival Regatta

Oyster Festival 2009 Takes Place on Land and Sea

Local sailors will take part in this year’s First Annual Oyster Festival Regatta Oct. 17 and 18. Last year the race was a Match race with professional racers creating excitement out in the harbor as two by two they raced each other in positioning their boats best to race around a buoy.

This year, said Walter Imperatore of Renaissance Properties Associates, they decided to rethink the event and instead have it closer to shore to keep the excitement more visible – and to have local businesses sponsor the racing boats at $500 each. The event is being worked in conjunction with the WaterFront Center, using their Sonars. The race will launch from the WFC.

David Waldo, WFC executive director, said the sponsorships are to raise more funds for the Rotary, in keeping with the spirit of the festival. He said, “The WaterFront Center will provide boats and certified sailing instructors to be on every boat competing. The WFC is excited to be part of this event to further the growth of the Oyster Festival, and to incorporate more of the waterfront into the event. The Oyster Festival will now be held on both land and sea this year.”

Mr. Imperatore said sponsoring a boat means that the businesses can have three other people, besides the captain, aboard for the race. “So far we have boats sponsored by Renaissance Properties Associates; the Oyster Bay Marine Center; and Mariner’s Walk. We are finalizing the details on nine other boats – all from local businesses – who will be competing against each other. We need a total of 12 sponsors for the race. If there is an overflow, we will add a second race. We want to get people to come see the race and come see the WaterFront Center.”

If you are interested in sponsoring a boat, and filling it with three guests, call OBMC Manager John McGrane at at 624-2400 or Walter Imperatore at 622-8215.

The winner of the races will be announced at the festival. They are still deciding about trophies. “Ideas are perking but are not finalized,” said Mr. Imperatore.

The regatta is held under the auspices of the Oyster Bay Marine Center, and the racing is close to shore, with exciting starts.

Races are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Starting times vary, depending on wind conditions.