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50th annual Leech Lake Regatta set for Aug. 7-9

The 50th annual Leech Lake Regatta will be held Aug. 7-9 in Walker, with racers launching from the Shores of Leech Lake Marina, 6166 Morris Point Rd. NW.

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The 50th annual Leech Lake Regatta will be held Aug. 7-9 in Walker, with racers launching from the Shores of Leech Lake Marina, 6166 Morris Point Rd. NW. (Pioneer file photo)
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WALKER -- The 50th annual Leech Lake Regatta will be held Aug. 7-9 in Walker, with racers launching from the Shores of Leech Lake Marina, 6166 Morris Point Rd. NW.

"The Leech Lake Regatta, LLR, offers sailboat racing, live music, wood-fired pizza and campfire camaraderie. The LLR is great fun to enter and watch and also raises funds for area community programs," a release said.

To honor the 50-year milestone, new sailing participants are eligible for a 50% discount on the registration fee.

Leech Lake, lying mainly within the Leech Lake Nation, encompasses 112,000 acres of natural habitat preserved by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.

Pam Kelsey, longtime LLR participant says she often gives thanks to the Leech Lakers for the breathtaking beauty of the lake and its many islands, beaches and bays, the release said.

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The final day of the race will be held on Walker Bay and all three days of the race may be held there depending on wind conditions and water levels. The Walker City Park offers good views of the regatta when the sailboats are in Walker Bay, the release said.

Race crew accommodations are available at the Shores of Leech Lake Marina. Other nearby lodging includes the Northern Lights Casino . For more lodging options, visit www.leech-lake.com .

The Leech Lake Regatta Race Committee and Shores of Leech Lake Marina are hosting this 50th annual sailboat race and a crane is available to lift boats in when participants arrive at Shores Marina. Boats race in two fleets, mono-hulls and multi-hulls, and there are several performance classes.

Race details and online registration are available at www.shoresofleechlake.com .

Over its 50 year history, the Leech Lake Regatta has generated remarkable stories and has raised funds for an impressive series of community services, the release said.

A sailing regatta is a series of individual sailboat races. One race is held each day. Regattas are more than just a series of races; they are a sailing festival including food, parties and fun competitions for things other than winning races and the LLR is no exception.

The first LLR was in 1970. The first 4-6 years of the event were a great success, often attracting nearly 100 participating boats. The event was coordinated by the Chamber, and the Walker Rotary Club provided a fish fry and nightly bar service. In the early years, the LLR was always held around the Fourth of July. Participating boats were small day sailors, catamarans and small trailerables.

Eventually, larger boats started participating. The town of Walker was very enthusiastic in its support for the Regatta and building area tourist activity, the release said.

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After years of challenges and location changes, the Shores of Leech Lake Marina became the host site of the LLR in 1995, and is where it remains still today. The event is made possible due to the Chamber and various local businesses.

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