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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chautauqua Lake Regatta Weekend


Regattas of the past have brought thousands of spectators to the shores of Chautauqua Lake.
Submitted photo

MAYVILLE - Vintage hydroplanes, sailboats and Chris-Craft of all types will arrive in Mayville on Friday to take part in the 2008 Chautauqua Lake Regattas races.

Dubbed ''Harborfest in the Park,'' the three-day event will feature live music, sculling, plywood boat building and kayak races in addition to the main regatta races.

Building on a history that began in October 1878 with a rowing regatta, the races scheduled for this weekend echo those held in Bemus Point in the early 1940s and early 1950s. Now moved to Mayville's Lakeside Park, the Chautauqua Lake Regattas races are an event 130 years in the making, according to organizer Ron Mavity.


Eight years old at the time, David Lawson Jr. remembers the sights, sounds and smells of the 1940 and 1941 Bemus Point Regatta races - from the thousands packing village streets to the scent of the castor oil used in the outboarder's two-stroke engines.

After two successful years, the Bemus Point Regatta races of 1940 and 1941 went dormant - until the late 1940s and early 1950s, when, according to Lawson, an outboard club from Cleveland began running Regatta races on Chautauqua Lake. However, by the time Lawson returned home from service in the late 1950s, those races too had ceased to exist.

''It's certainly nice to have them continue this,'' Lawson said of the Chautauqua Lakes Regattas and this weekend's event in Mayville.


Now in its fifth year, the Chautauqua Lake Regattas organization holds boat races each summer as a community service event - with money raised going to Chautauqua Lake Regattas and its beneficiaries, WCA Cancer Care Center and the YMCA Camp Onyahsa. The Harborfest scheduled for Mayville later this month will feature sailboat racing, a vintage hydroplane exhibit and plywood boat building as well as sculling and kayak races.

An owner and driver of vintage hydroplanes, Bartley set two world records on consecutive days in New Martinsville in 1953. He is a National, World and Eastern Division Champion. With the Wildcatter, a hydroplane he and his father had built, Bartley and his father set the Straightaway World Record, among others. Additionally, Bartley was one of the first members of the Gulf Marine 100 Mile Per Hour Club and was elected to the Marine Racing Hall of Fame.


A complete schedule of this weekend's regattas events can be found online at In addition to boats, the event will offer Sky Sail tether balloon rides and live music from 6 to 10 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday - featuring the Earthquakers and Key West Express, respectively.


Still in need of volunteers, the Chautauqua Lakes Regattas is looking for anyone interested a three- to four-hour shift during the day this weekend. Anyone interested in being a volunteer should call 338-0360.


For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit:


1 comment:

Properties in Brazil said...


I think mostly people are enjoyed their weekend on "Chautauqua Lake". The people enjoy on the shores of the lake and they are enjoy in the game boating.