Rags to Riches Regatta
Rags to Riches Regatta Registration opens July 1 at 8 a.m. behind Red Bar in Grayton Beach, and the Skippers meeting starts at 11 a.m. with the race shortly following.
In the race, 20 to 25 boats glide across the 10-mile course of the Emerald Coast between Grayton Beach and Seagrove.
“Having all the spectators out there with their colorful tents and all the kids playing around in the water is the way we want to cele-brate Independence Day,” said Elizabeth Savage, the race organizer. “This is just a salute to the past.”
The Rags to Riches Regatta begins in Grayton Beach and ends in Seagrove.
Savage said she has fond memories participating in the race.
“I raced as a child with my fa-ther,” she said. “It has become a family tradition, and something we are passing down to later generations.”
The Regatta was founded in 1981 by locals Lynn Stone and Charlie Thornton and originated as a battle between a group of sailors from Grayton Beach.
The residents of Grayton Beach considered themselves the “rags,” and the Seagrove residents the “riches.”
The race was suspended for 16 years beginning in 1992 and started back up in 2009.
“Grayton Beach got so busy, and that made it complicated to have a race,” Savage said. “A lot of people that I talked to wanted to bring it back.”
During its reemergence, the regatta saw the return of the Hobie 16 race, with about 16 boats and 100 spectators welcoming its arrival.
“Everything was so beautiful,” Savage said. “Each boat was painted with different colors and set against (the) Gulf (of Mexico). The atmosphere of that day was just amazing.”
Savage said the event has since become a hallmark to the Fourth of July festivities and an event unlike any other for Hobie 16 enthusiasts.
The entry fee is $45 per boat and includes a race shirt and gift bag. Trophies will be awarded to the top three finishes.