Boats to race across Lake Calhoun July 23

Back in 1940, the Aquatennial was a boat race. Today, it’s a multi-day festival, but the race still happens. Now a youth event called the City of Lakes Regatta, it starts at 9:30 a.m. July 23 on Lake Calhoun.

The regatta began as a race for adults. About 15 years ago, after the Lake Calhoun Sailing School was founded, it morphed into an event for youth.

“We wanted to spread the love to the kids,” he said.

The youth regatta typically has about 125 participants, ranging from 8–20 years old. Most of the participants are involved in youth sailing schools in the Lake Calhoun area, but the regatta is open to anyone. There have been competitors from Iowa and Wisconsin, Salzman said.

The event tomorrow is split up between the younger and older sailors. Sailors from 8–12 years old will sail Optimist Dingyhs, small single sailboats. They will begin the race at the Thomas Beach end of the lake.

Sailors 12 and up will begin their race at the north end of Lake Calhoun and will sail Lasers (1-person) and 420s (2-person).

Each venue will run continuous races from 9:30 a.m. until about 3 p.m., said Salzman.

This event is weather permitting, but Lake Calhoun Sailing School will only postpone due to lightning or complete lack of wind.

The races can be watched from shore with binoculars, or from the lake in paddleboats. For more information visit