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State of the Lakes

Although California is still operating under drought-induced water restrictions, this season’s El Niño has brought so much relief to lakes and reservoirs that some have been able to release water into formerly parched creeks and rivers. Today we heard some good news from Fresno Yacht Club, whose High Sierra Regatta and various class championships have been canceled for the last two years due to the dire condition of Huntington Lake.

This is what the docks looked like in November, 2013, at the northeast tip of Huntington Lake.

© Fresno Yacht Club

FYC says that the outlook for the 2016 High Sierra Regatta looks promising. "There has been steady snowfall in the Sierras. Hopefully, this will provide us a full lake to enjoy this summer." Huntington Lake is a reservoir located at 6,988 feet in the mountains northeast of Fresno. Hopefully, the thirsty Angelenos downstream will leave enough water behind this summer so that the lake’s docks will float.

Olson 25s are among the classes that race on scenic Huntington Lake. This photo was taken at the High Sierra Regatta in July 2012.

© Fresno Yacht Club

The High Sierra Regatta consists of two weekends. The first, July 9-10, will be for centerboard fleets and the San Juan 21 class. The second weekend, July 16-17, will welcome the keelboat classes and the Thistle fleet. Each weekend will consist of three races on Saturday and two on Sunday. Saturday night parties will be held both weekends at China Peak Mountain Resort and will include a buffet and video of the day’s racing.

The launch ramp at Scotts Flat Lake last October.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Meanwhile, the water in Scotts Flat Lake outside of Nevada City has been rising about a foot a week, and Gold Country YC’s club series racing will resume there on April 3. GCYC hosts the Go for the Gold Regatta on the first weekend in June. The last couple of summers, GCYC has hosted a ‘High Sierra Alternative Regatta’. Then the club’s last two races of the 2015 season had to be canceled due to the inability to launch.

Boats dry-stored at Scotts Flat Lake are launched via the ramp in the previous photo.

©2016Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Folsom Lake, a reservoir east of Sacramento, has been so full that water has been released through the dam into the American River as a precaution against flooding, and racing resumed there in February. The Trans-Folsom Regatta is coming up on April 2, and the 50th Camellia Cup, which draws sailors from all over the state in boats ranging in size from El Toros to Hobie 33s, will be held on April 16-17.

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