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Race Volunteers Pull Off World-Class Events

Lakewood Yacht Club proudly hosts a number of major races every year. The Lakewood Series consists of the Bay Cup I & II in spring and fall, the regional Shoe Regatta in the summer, and the Heald Bank offshore race, which qualifies for the Texas Navy Cup and the S. Rhoads Fisher Trophy for the Texas offshore racing circuit.

Here at Lakewood, over 100 volunteers help to run racing events. They do everything from managing registration, to handing out the race instructions, to planning entertainment for the awards party. On the water, the club has volunteer race officials who set the courses and people out on boats who set the marks, indicate where the course will be, and signal the races. Meanwhile, people back on shore record the results, site the lines, make the signals, raise the flags, and time the races. Race Committee Chair Larry Rogers takes pride in the caliber of work accomplished during racing season. "It's an amazing effort from an amazing group of volunteers."

Each year, a formal training session is held for race volunteers. Larry reminds interested parties that "With or without formal training, all you need to help out with racing season is to show up with spare time and we'll put you to work."

Volunteering with the Race Committee is a great way to have fun on the water and make it a memorable experience for the racers. Lakewood racers are a competitive community. They not only compete but win in races all across the Bay. They get together for an awards celebration after every race. Volunteers get to enjoy time on the water, time with each other, and time with new friends while they contribute to the club.

A variety of large power boats are in play during the race events. Volunteers on the Committee Boat signal the start and finish of the race. The signal boat serves as the headquarters for each race line. "That's where we set the start and finish, signal the starts for each race, time the races, and record the results." The club uses a number of mark/set boats on the race course. And, of course, the spectator boat is available for guests to enjoy the regatta live and up close on the water.

In addition to volunteers, the Lakewood regattas continue to operate as world-class events because of one key element -- the generosity of our sponsors. People from all over the Bay who are interested in various aspects of racing have stepped up to participate in making Lakewood regattas the legendary experiences we all know them to be. From selling marine supplies to sailing services, and from boat maintenance to insurance, our sponsors generously contribute to our racing programs. Larry adds that, "That's what pays for the trophies and the steaks and the bands, and we couldn't do it without them."

In one month, Lakewood finished, scored, and celebrated an offshore race, a tune-up regatta, and a two-day international race event. For six days of racing under challenging weather conditions, race volunteers started 47 races for over 100 competitors in multiple classes. Lakewood ran more races than the Key West Race Week, and did it all with volunteers in only a few days. Because of their dedication and commitment, Larry maintains that, "The Lakewood race volunteers are the best volunteers in America."

Those who work with the Race Committee look forward to winning the Volunteer Cup. Only about 20 top race volunteers have earned the honor of winning the Volunteer Cup. The award goes to participants who have volunteered the most days on the water or time in the committee room. "We have some people at Lakewood who regularly devote almost two weeks of their time on the water helping out with our races," Larry says.

Dedication, commitment, and genuinely enjoying fun times on the water. That's what it takes to be a Lakewood race volunteer. We're lucky to have so many of them!

Anne Bechard 
Digital Marketing Specialist

I'm thrilled to be a part of Lakewood's marketing team! From an early age, I started showing signs of becoming an auspicious writing geek. Today, I'm a columnist for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Business Insider. I get excited about exploring new ideas, communicating in a creative way, and solving problems that stump me. It's especially thrilling that I get to do all this in a place that personifies one of my greatest loves -- nature and the outdoors. I'm looking forward to growing our digital marketing techniques and meeting your communications needs with excellence!

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2322 Lakewood Yacht Club Drive, Seabrook, TX 77586 | Tel: (281) 474-2511 | Fax (281) 474-3502
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