But what about the rest of us who love to get a chance to sail our cats in open water? There is an event in Ocean Springs Mississippi, organized by the Coast Catamaran Club (CCC) and hosted by the Ocean Springs Yacht Club (OSYC), that allows us to get a taste of sailing "out there" with just the dolphins for company, without breaking the bank or our boat. It's the Slip To Ship Regatta, May 29-30, Memorial Day weekend. Racing in an informal atmosphere from OSYC to Ship Island, a low barrier island about 14 miles offshore. The format gives you the feeling of a much longer race since it can be difficult to spot Ship Island until you have sailed straight out into the Gulf of Mexico 8 or 9 miles, but the reward of eating the "best chicken ever" will be waiting on the island as you swap stories about your crossing.
You probably will not find a regatta with the diversity of catamaran sailboats in one race, of course the latest cats and hotshots will be there, the I20's, 18HT's, I17's and FX-1's will be represented, but a lot of us will be there in our old Prindles and Hobies joining in the fun. It's also one of the best regattas to convince your non-sailing "significant other" to join you for the weekend, accommodations within 1/2 mile include everything from free camping on the grounds to 4 star hotels across the bridge at the Biloxi Casinos.
Race 1: 10:30 first start for boats rated .72 and above, and 11:30 for boats rated .72 and below. Race 1 takes you from OSYC to East Ship Island, where you will hang out for a couple hours, eating fried chicken and drinking beer or soft drinks.
Race 2 starts all boats at once and will bring you back to OSYC.
Sunday’s Race 3 is one start for all boats, and will take you around Deer Island. All race legs are approximately 14 miles. Races will be scored best two out of the three races (one throwout).
Trophy presentation is directly after the Sunday race, usually around 3 p.m. Ocean Springs' own Tato-Nuts will be served at breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday night will be a party with raffle and door prizes, food and T-shirts included in entry fee.
Trophies: 3 deep in each class: Open Spinnaker, Low Portsmouth, High Portsmouth, Hobie 18, Hobie 16. Registration fees: $55 two-person boats, $45 singlehand. Add $5 if not a USSailing member, deduct $5 if a Coast Catamaran Club or NAMSA member.
Directions: I-10 to Mississippi. Exit 50, turn south to Hwy. 90. Turn right (west) onto Hwy. 90, continue till Porter St. exit. Turn right onto exit road right before the bay bridge. Follow road to right, loop under the overpass. Turn right onto Porter St., will take you directly to OSYC.
Hotels: contact below for more information Camping at OSYC For more information contact Jay Klassen 228.818.0772 / email@example.com or Tami Shelton 337.849.3109 / firstname.lastname@example.org