Progressive Presents the I-LYA Bay Week Regattas sponsored by GMC
Variety of Events Offers Something for Everyone

While Lake Erie may be the smallest of the Great Lakes, come July it will seem like the largest when hundreds of boating enthusiasts gather on it to participate in the Inter-Lake Yachting Association (I-LYA) Bay Week Regattas presented by Progressive, a leading boat insurer and the number one seller of personal watercraft insurance in the country, and sponsored by GMC. Held at Put-in-Bay, South Bass Island, Ohio, the I-LYA Bay Week Regattas encompass three separate events to challenge nautical abilities: the Junior Regatta (July 13-17), the Powerboat Regatta (July 30-August 3); and the Sailing Regatta (August 4-6).

A quaint Victorian resort village, Put-in-Bay lures participants back to the I-LYA Bay Week Regattas again and again with its charm and ambience. Considered the jewel in the crown of Lake Erie’s Ohio islands, Put-in-Bay was made famous as the squadron home port of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry who won the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. In addition to the natural beauty of the area, the surrounding islands offer tactical racing challenges that allow the I-LYA Bay Week Regattas to provide both hard-core competition as well as extreme recreational fun.

“Many of our participants have been racing in Bay Week since they were young kids,” said I-LYA Commodore Jack Atkinson (Elyria, Ohio). “As adults they are eager to return with their own families, to reunite with friends they met as competitors on-the-water, and to create new memories centered on this wonderful summer tradition in this special place.”

Contributing to the rich maritime heritage of the area, the I-LYA was formed in 1885 to promote the interest of boat owners and other members. It is not only the oldest yacht racing association in the country but also one of the largest, with 146 member yacht clubs located in the states that surround Lake Erie: Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and the Canadian province of Ontario.

The I-LYA Bay Week Junior Regatta at Put-in-Bay features more than 160 juniors (ages 13-18) racing in five one-design classes: Thistle, 420, Club FJ, Laser and Laser Radial. Sailing in one-design classes places the emphasis on the skill of the competitor, rather than the equipment. Held annually for over 50 years, the Junior Regatta is also a stepping-stone to the US SAILING national junior sailing championships for the Sears Cup, Bemis and Smythe Trophies, serving as the Area E Quarter-Finals for these ladder events.

Backed by 115 years of tradition, the I-LYA Bay Week Sailing Regatta has long been a proving ground for some of the best sailors and fastest boats on the Great Lakes. It regularly encompasses the national championship of various participating classes, and racers, from pre-teens to veterans of 30+ years, can compete in classes for Handicap (LE-PHRF, JAM, MORC, Offshore Multihull); One-Design (Interlake, Thistle, JY15); Offshore One-Design (Tartan 10, J/22, J/24, J/105, Beneteau 36.7); and One-Design Centerboard & Catamaran. A Cruising Class offering optional casual racing is also available. Generating buzz for 2008 is the Melges 24 fleet from Detroit who will make their first appearance at this event.

The I-LYA Deepwater Races are feeder races (Friday, August 1, from Cleveland; Saturday, August 2, from Sandusky, Port Clinton and Toledo; and Sunday, August 3, from Detroit) that will see those respective fleets navigate the challenging waters around the Bass Islands to assemble at the bustling waterfront of Put-in-Bay in time to participate in the Sailing Regatta. While the feeder races are optional, they offer an exciting and fun way to prepare for the I-LYA Bay Week Sailing Regatta. Whether cruising or racing to Put-In-Bay, participants will find reserved spots at the City Docks with docking charges covered by the event entry fee.

When racing gets underway on Monday, August 4 the many moods of Lake Erie will test sailors with challenging wind shifts, current and notorious chop while they navigate the islands and reefs. After racing, the sailors can look forward to shore-based social activities including the Captain Morgan Rum party, the Deepwater Awards, Ladies Tea and Sailors’ Steak Fry.

Open to all racing classes participating in the I-LYA Bay Week Sailing Regatta, the Third Annual Tri-Area Challenge will be decided among teams from Cleveland, Detroit and the Western Lake Erie Basin. Boats registered for the regatta will automatically become eligible and be included in the scoring for no additional fee. The winning area will receive a cash prize of $1,000 to be distributed to their Junior program, along with a case of Captain Morgan Rum for the sailors.

Since 1908 when the Class C speed boat Rainmaker won the main event at an average speed of 22.04 knots, the I-LYA Bay Week Power Boat Regatta has been one of the most festive and fun family events on Lake Erie. The best performer in the four tests of seamanship, boat handling and overall knowledge -- predicted log races, docking, chicane (maneuvering a sequence of tight serpentine curves) and weather prediction - will be awarded the Commodore’s Trophy. The action continues with a Flying Mile Contest (timed by radar gun in a 500' area), Junior Navigation Contest, Canoe and Inflatable Raft Races, Miniature Golf Outing, Kids Fishing Derby, Softball Game and Golf Scrambles. An adult party, sponsored by Captain Morgan Rum, is also a welcome favorite on the social events list.

Registration will close two weeks in advance of the sail regatta, and on June 2 for the power regatta. For online registration, the Notice of Race and additional information, visit; or contact the individual event chairmen: Phil Moehle, Junior Regatta Chairman,; Ed Skoch, Sailing Regatta Chairman,; or Alan Chapman, Power Boat Regatta Chairman,

Presenting sponsors for 2008 are Progressive Insurance and GMC.

Supporting sponsors for 2008 are long-time sponsor West Marine, as well as La-Z-Boy and Lakeland Boating.