For the 30th year, the Whidbey Island Roostertails Club brings their entourage of racers, volunteers and families to Winthrop for their traditional season-closing Pearrygin Lake Regatta this weekend, Oct. 7 and 8 at Pearrygin Lake State Park.
The club first raced at Pearrygin in 1993, basing out of the Silverline Resort, and continuing the tradition when Derry’s Resort was acquired by Washington State Parks in 2004, establishing a relationship with State Parks that continues to this day.
This year the club has partnered with the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce to sponsor the event through promotional relations and insurance coverage.
In order to race on Pearrygin Lake, the club is required to obtain a permit from Okanogan County for the two-day event since Pearrygin is open for fishing through the end of October and has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission also requires permitting.
It can be a tedious process, but longtime boat racing enthusiast, club treasurer and retired racer Rick Herrmann says it’s all worth it. “We really enjoy Pearrygin Lake because the weather is usually perfect, the water is in good condition and we’ve always felt welcomed here,” he said.
Herrmann is the main liaison between the various local entities and the club, working out the permitting, coordinating with local hotel owners to house regatta-associated people and serving as the main public relations contact. He put together an appearance with a pair of boats in the Winthrop ’49ers Days parade last spring and says of that experience, “There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm over that. The kids really loved it when Brian Maroney dry fired his boat on the trailer at the four-way stop.”
Among this weekend’s participants will be the Kelly racing family. The 90-year-old patriarch and great grandfather Tim Kelly, grandfather Jeff, father and 2023 APBA Gold Cup champion J. Michael Kelly and junior racer 12-year-old Carson Kelly plan to be in attendance. A boat racing lineage dating back to the early 1960s, J. Michael and his son Carson will be suited up and on the water this year. Carson was awarded “Iron Man” of last year’s Pearrygin Lake Regatta, racing five different classes of boats.
In addition to the racing activities, Twisp Napa Auto Parts is sponsoring an all-comers vintage car show, organized by Methow Motorheads. Contact Dwain Hutson at (509) 997-2461 for more information.
Racing on Saturday begins at noon and goes until about 5 p.m. Sunday activities begin at 11 a.m. and run until around 3 p.m. There is no admission charge for the event. A Discover Pass is required for vehicle parking at the race site.