People sitting at a picnic table enjoying the lobster boil food.

Barefoot’s annual Lobster Boil is always well attended.

The tradition continues. Now in its 49th year, the Barefoot Open Regatta is set for October 13-15. This year the race headquarters will be at University Yacht Club’s Carswell Pavilion for the three-day event.

The race is open to all sailors from the Southeast. Specific entry requirements, race rules and the official Notice of Race will be available in late August or early September at Entry forms will also be posted.

The event includes the Friday night skipper’s meeting and two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday. Trophies will be awarded.

“The Barefoot Open is our signature event each fall,” said Kerry McGrath, commodore of the 90-member club that was founded in 1971. “However, it’s just a part of the socializing, boating – both cruising and racing – and education that our club provides to our members.”

With monthly socials and meetings featuring boating-related programs at Brimstone Restaurant and Tavern in Alpharetta, the club also has a mentoring program for new members, spring and fall racing series, plus cruises on Lake Lanier and occasionally points beyond. Barefoot participates in the Lanier Auxiliary Racing Committee events throughout the year, including the summer Moonlight series.

“Education is a large part of our mission, so we offer a learn-to-sail course open to non-members each spring,” McGrath said. “And many of our monthly membership meetings have an educational component.”

The club’s Dean Holcomb Poker Run & Chili Cookoff is held on New Year’s Day at the Branch Tavern in Flowery Branch. Other events include March’s Blessing of the Fleet, The Joan Holcomb Women Skippers Regatta that’s co-hosted with Lake Lanier Sailing Club, May’s Brunch on the Lake, June’s Lobster Boil and the August Steak Cookout.

“Our members believe in giving back to the community and one way we do this is to field a team of volunteers each September for Shore Sweep,” she said.

“We have a great group of members who enjoy being together. We welcome anyone who is interested in having a good social network and wants to spend fun time with boaters.”

In the past 52 years, one of the most consistent things about Barefoot and its members is that anyone is welcome.

“The club is best known for its inclusiveness – whoever wants to sail is welcome,” McGrath said. “Anyone – member or not – who shows up at the skippers’ meeting or at our other social events is welcome.”

For more information about Barefoot Sailing Club, its events or to join, visit

Photo: by BSC