Archive for the ‘Oysterville Regatta’ Category

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

Sunday, August 14th, 2022

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Oysters in Oysterville (as it was, once upon a time) and the Regatta in Nahcotta  — which has a ring to it but without historical reference like the Oysterville Regattas of 150 years ago!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!


Yesterday: perfection! Today: not so much!

Sunday, July 31st, 2022

Yesterday, The View From My Garden

I never did understand that old expression, “It’s the exception that  proves the rule.”  Just what does that mean, anyway?  But even though it remains a mystery, I think yesterday’s weather was probably that exception.

“The rule, in this case is:  when it’s hot inland, the fog rolls in off the ocean and the coast is socked in.  And, I might add, that my dad always said (and it usually proved true), “Oh this will all burn off by 11 o’clock.”  But I don’t think that’s part of the rule.

Today: No Sun, No Blue Sky, No Wind, No Sailboat

Well yesterday, it was what I would consider a textbook summer weather day in Oysterville.  Triple digits in Portland the tourists complained, misty-moisty here in the morning, breezy blue skies in the afternoon.  A perfect day!  Both the weatherman and my dad were right!

By 3:30, I was sitting outside in the sunshine, reading my book with one eye and, with the other, watching a lone sailboat on the bay.  Tucker has the buoys out marking the course for the upcoming regatta and whoever was sailing out there was doing practice run after practice run — or so it looked from here.  There was just enough wind to keep the boat moving right along, but I didn’t see any wave action and no dumping.  In fact it was picture perfect.

Clark Wachsmuth during his winning race in a recent regatta.

Today, apparently was the “rule day.”  I drove to Jack’s Country Store in the fog and the man behind me in the grocery line was revelling in the cool.  He said it was another triple digit day in Portland and he was SO happy to be here.  We speculated about when it would burn off.  But… it didn’t.

It was foggy all day.  So it must have been yesterday that proved the proverbial rule — though I still don’t get it.  As far as I’m concrned, another sailboat under blue skies all afternoon should BE the rule!  Maybe tomorrow!

You never know how the wind will blow!

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

Sailors Ready Their Boats

Yesterday was Regatta Day in Oysterville — the 23rd and last of the present-day series we all thought.  The Oysterville Regattas of the past — those of the 1880s and early 1900s — might have had a five- (or even a ten-) year run, but this modern set of races, begun by Chris Freshley, David Williams and Tucker Wachsmuth in 2001 has been unprecedented in numbers of years.

Tucker Sings His Regatta Song – Awards Banquet 2021

I’m not sure for how long Cap’n Wachsmuth has been the sole sponsor of the event —  far more than half, I think.  For a number of years there were eight or nine or even ten lasers entered.  Each year’s race has been preceded by a Skipper’s Meeting for the sailors, timekeepers, rescue personnel and anyone else directly concerned with the race, itself.  Then came the race (hopefully preceded by a ‘fair wind blowing’.) Finally, there was the  Regatta Awards Banquet held outdoors and to which the participants, their families, and the Oysterville community were all invited.  For years it has been the biggest event of summer in Oysterville.

Then came Covid.  The 2020 Regatta was cancelled.  This year, when only three sailors registered to participate, it seemed the momentum had been lost and, of course, the virus was surging again.  Tucker was pretty sure this would be the Last Ever Regatta.  In fact, he was already planning a totally different summertime event that I can only describe as being “grounded” onshore and involving the  Wachsmuth-invented game of Whiffle Golf.

I’m happy to report, however, that the new plan is out the window, at least for the present.  Yesterday’s race, even though it involved only three boats, was so pleasant and so enjoyable that Tucker’s thinking has done a one-eighty.  “It was one of the best races ever!” he said at the Awards Banquet.  And now, we are all looking forward to the 24th Annual in 2022!