About 40 junior sailors criss-crossed Lake Hopatcong in Optis and Lasers for the 20th annual Back to School Regatta, held out of the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club. With steady breeze in the morning and lighter conditions in the afternoon, sailors from all over the area—and even from Sweden—enjoyed five tight races on the main lake. Mantoloking Yacht Club's Luke Arnone took the top spot in the main fleet, followed by Paige Biundo of Lavalette Yacht Club, Natalie Lucciola of Matoloking, Cole Banias of Morgan Creek Yacht Club, and Jakob Ringberg of of LDSS in Sweden.
The top Lake Hopatcong boats in the main fleet were Patrick Dill (who came in 15th overall and 6th place in his fleet level) and Michael Flinn (who came in 22nd overall and 10th in his fleet level). In the separate Green Fleet, which includes the more novice racers, Lake Hopatcong's Josh Hussey came in fourth, followed by Sarah Dill in eighth, William Muzyl in 10th, Tyler Muzyl in 11th, and Thomas Lentine in 13th.
Although the event has, in years past, drawn more than 100 boats, turnout at most major sailing regattas has been down this year, and Lake Hopatcong's annual junior event was no exception. Nonetheless, spirits were high throughout the day.
Young sailors prepare their boats on the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club lawn.
Dozens of boats head out to the racecourse Saturday morning.
The novice-only Green Fleet prepares for its start.
Sailors raced under increasingly overcast conditions after a sunny morning.
Leaders of race three in the main fleet head toward the gybe mark.
Patrick Dill, the top LHYC sailor in the main fleet, prepares to round the windward mark in race 3.
Lake Hopatcong's Michael Flinn tries to keep the boat moving in a light breeze.
The Green Fleet races in front of the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club.
Josh Hussey and Sarah Dill, the top LHYC finishers in the Green Fleet, prepare to round the windward mark in race 4.
The smaller Laser Fleet raced near the opening to River Styx on the west shore.