Editorial: A Welcome Return

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There was a time when the bay would be full of sailboats, spinnakers flying, when the Breakwater Yacht Club held its annual Sag Harbor Cup regatta. But over the years, the race eventually sailed into the doldrums for a variety of reasons. So it was a pleasure to see new wind breathed into the regatta when 27 boats (up from only 11 last year) came to the starting line on Saturday.

The Sag Harbor Cup, which was first held 35 years ago and called the Race Against Drug Abuse, played a major role in the creation of the yacht club, which began as an informal group of Wednesday night racers but formally incorporated when the cup needed a new sponsor.

Eventually, both the name of the race and its beneficiary were changed, with proceeds being directed to the club’s burgeoning youth program. Among other things, that program sponsors a high school sailing team and well attended summer sailing camps — the theory being that keeping kids busy with an activity they enjoy is as good an antidote as any to the vexing problem of drug abuse.

Just last week, in fact, Breakwater, which continued to expand its youth offerings even as the Sag Harbor Cup lost its luster, distributed nearly $40,000 worth of scholarships for those sailing camps to East End schools, giving 100 local kids an opportunity to spend a week learning the basics of a life sport and enjoying one of the East End’s greatest attractions, its sparkling bays.

Bringing the Sag Harbor Cup back as one of the premier sailing events on the East End can only help. The new, earlier date is here to stay so take note sailing community: next year’s 36th Sag Harbor Cup is once again scheduled for early June, and the club is hoping to bring out 50 plus boats. See you on the water.

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