Aug. 13, 2022 – A Big Day at the North End!

2022 Regatta Invitation

Yesterday it was Jazz and Oysters in Nahcotta and, in Oysterville, it was the Annual Regatta.  When you think about it… it could have been Jazz and Oysters in Oysterville (as it was, once upon a time) and the Regatta in Nahcotta  — which has a ring to it but without historical reference like the Oysterville Regattas of 150 years ago!

2022 Regatta – Photo by Vicki Carter

Yes, really!  Regattas on Shoalwater (now Willapa) Bay were originally begun in the ’70s – the 1870s that is – by the oystermen of the area.  They had organized the Oysterville Yacht Club and, after the races each year, the club gave a Regatta Ball, “ever to be remembered as the crowning social event of the season,” according to Wallace Stewart who was known as one of the best sailors on the bay.  Their sailboats, of course were their oyster sloops – their everyday work boats.  They were 30 feet long, ten feet wide, had centerboards and were known as “plungers” perhaps for the way they looked in choppy waters.

Tucker’s great-grandfather, Meinert Wachsmuth sailed in at least one regatta in the 1890s and so it is not only generational but, perhaps a bit genetic, that Tucker and his family have been carrying on the Oysterville Regatta tradition for the past quarter century or so — but with Lasers, not Plungers.  Not only has Tucker been  Chief Organizer of this event, but his family has been in the thick of it, as well – Carol who has been hostess to the multitudes; daughter Lena who has overseen the Awards Dinner afterwards; son Clark who numbers among the competitors; and Cousin Chris Freshley who re-instituted the Oysterville Regatta twenty-seven years ago (more or less) and then did then hand-off to Tucker a few years later.

Fred and Tucker sing Tucker’s 2022 Regatta Song – Photo by Vicki Carter

This year Tucker began the next Regatta “hand-off” to summertime neighbor Alan Dees — talked about since pre-covid days and officially begun yesterday with Alan and wife Kathy hosting the Regatta dinner after the race.  Wachsmuths were still at center stage, however, with Tucker presenting the first place “Oyster Cup” trophy to his son Clark who won the race for the third year in a row.  And, in recent regatta tradition, Tucker sang his “regatta song” — this year with the zany accompaniment of Fred Carter.

And from all reports drifting up the bay from Nahcotta, Jazz and Oysters went swimmingly as well.  It was definitely a summer weekend to remember for Peninsula Northenders!


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