CENTURY-OLD FAIR HAVEN SETS SAIL

The regatta will feature races with Optimist Prams, which are small one-person sailboats (below), for all junior sailers. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Sandwiched between the Navesink and the Shrewsbury rivers, residents of the Green can hardly complain that there’s nothing to do during the scorching summer hot months. And in Fair Haven, one of them is Saturday’s Fair Haven Regatta, part of the borough’s year-long centennial celebration and an opportunity for people to get out and take pride in the waterfront heritage of their hometown.

The regatta came about from a desire to “honor Fair Haven’s nautical heritage and spotlight the beautiful Navesink River we all enjoy,” said Joe Malik, a member of the committee that organized the event.

Headed by Bill Heath, who doubles as chief of the volunteer fire company, the committee consists of volunteers from the the borough government, the Foundation of Fair Haven, the Shrewsbury River Yacht Club, the Fair Haven Yacht Works, the Navesink Maritime Heritage Foundation and River Rats, aka the Fair Haven Sailing Club.

The regatta will feature multiple races on the Navesink using various sailboats:

  • A Portsmouth Handicap bridge race from the Oceanic Bridge to the Osprey Nest for all sailors.
  • A series of Optimist Pram races for all junior sailors.
  • A “poker run” race for all rowers and paddlers.
  • A racing crew race.
  • A rowing fleet from the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association.

NMHA’s colorful wooden canoes will be available for borrowing ($10 donation requested; life vest provided) or bring your own canoe/kayak/rowboat (and life vest).

Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the first race will commence at 11. From approximately 11 to 12:30 p.m., sailors will race their boats on the river. Then at 12:30, there will be a “Parade of Colors” past the town dock to salute the centennial. A BBQ will follow at the Fair Haven Yacht Works, where awards such as the Mayor’s Trophy will be given.

The regatta is open to anyone who wishes to sail for $10. Spectators are welcome.

Also happening on the river this month: The Monmouth Boat Club’s 2012 Women’s Sailing Championship will be held Saturday, July 28. This is the “maiden voyage” of the event, according to organizer Jackie Cattanach. July 21 will be used to organize the teams and practice. The championship will consist of three races, during which racers will accumulate points. The winner will receive a trophy with her name on it.

Check-in is at 1 p.m. and the first race begins at 3. Interested sailors can contact Cattanach here or by calling 732-560-0628.