MARQUETTE - After five days of competition, the 2012 Ensign National Championship is scheduled to wrap up today in Marquette's Lower Harbor.
The event, which kicked off Sunday, has gone smoothly, according to Neil Lynch, chairman for the 2012 National Ensign Championship.
"From all accounts that I have heard, everyone that attended this regatta has had just a wonderful time," he said. "That is due in huge part just to the way that the community has welcomed them.
A collection of ensigns battle for position Tuesday during the 2012 Ensign National Championship in Marquette’s Lower Harbor. The regatta will wrap up today after a final race is held, weather permitting. (Renee Seaborg photo)
"I don't think anybody is going to leave disappointed."
Lynch said inclement weather may keep the boats off the water today, but the competitors will still gather this evening for an awards banquet.
The Ensign Class Association, a national body, annually organizes four regional championships, a midwinter championship and the national championship regatta.
Ensign sailboats represent the largest class of full keel boats in North America, according to the ECA, and are best raced with crews of four. An ensign is 22 feet long and weighs about 3,000 pounds.
Though this is the first time Marquette has hosted the event, other locations in the state have hosted in the past, including Les Cheneaux Islands last year and Menominee in 1998.
A total of 39 ensigns are competing in the regatta, and Lynch estimated that half came from outside the area.
"I just hope that the residents of Marquette and visitors enjoyed the show. There is quite a bit of pageantry surrounding a regatta like this and it makes for some picture-postcard viewing," Lynch said. "I hope people have had the time to enjoy it, as well."
Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.