To the Journal editor:
On Aug. 12-16, Marquette played host to the 2012 Ensign National Championship Regatta. The ensign class has been in existence since 1962 and members of Ensign Fleet 35 have raced on Marquette Bay since the mid 1970s, however, this was the first time that the Ensign Nationals had been held in Marquette.
Competitors from four countries, most notably Takehiko Tsutsumi form Japan, came to vie for the title of Ensign National Champion.
Thirty-nine boats were entered and after four days of racing in everything from light air to a near gale, skipper Thomas LaBelle and crew from Cedarville, Mich., won the event.
Even with only one winner, no one left disappointed. Every visiting sailor was amazed at how the community welcomed them.
Competitors comment on what a well organized and well run event it was. Marquette raised the bar as to how an event like this should be carried off.
None of it would have been possible without the help and support of this community, our volunteers and our many sponsors.
I would like to thank City Manager Bill Vjada and Mayor John Kivela for their help with the logistical issues for this event. Also, thanks to the residents who greeted our visiting sailors and made such a positive impression on them.
I owe a debt of gratitude to our volunteers who helped run the events and performed a variety of duties. These folks were the backbone of the event. One very dedicated group, the Army Reserve 652nd Engineering Company, installed a temporary bridge in the harbor to act as a break water and with the Make a Wish Foundation, made a 10-year-old Upper Peninsula boy a soldier for a day.
I would also like to thank our sponsors who provided in-kind and monetary contributions. The generosity of this business community always amazes me. With your support we were able to hold a first-class event and show the world what Marquette has to offer.
The list to thank is almost endless, so if like many others, you lent a hand to ensure the regattas success, know that your contributions are appreciated. I invite you to visit our website www.2012EnsignNationals.com, to view photos, results and sponsors.
With this regattas success it won't be long before the event returns for more of the great Lake Superior.