Two sailboats sailing on the lake; one with black sails and white boat, the other with white sails and red boat.

Downwind leg: Skipper Rick Smith’s Catalina 320 “Layla,” left, and Richard Proffitt’s Beneteau 345 “Rickochet” (red boat) sail bow-to-bow in the Cruiser class.

February’s Hot Ruddered Bum brings Lanier sailors together

The first Saturday in February marks a decades-long tradition for sailors on Lake Lanier. It’s the Hot Ruddered Bum, hosted by the University Yacht Club and sponsored by the UYC Maritime Foundation. Begun in the mid-1970s, the one-day, three-race regatta took place this year on February 3.

“The wind and unseasonably warm weather cooperated, bringing out a great turnout, one of the best in years,” said Dale Owens, sail fleet captain for University Yacht Club. “The other clubs are always supportive of our event, which also includes chili and hot buttered rum after the races.” A bottle of rum is awarded to the winner of each class.

Three of the four fleets required tie-breakers to determine first place. Here are the winners: Sports Fleet, Davis MacLeod; Low PHRF, Kurt Stadele; High PHRF, Dana Stewart; and Cruising Fleet, Greg Cash. Twenty-two boats competed.

“This regatta is one of the oldest racing traditions on Lake Lanier,” Owens said. “No matter the weather, this is always a fun event, and draws sailors from around the lake each year.”

Photos: by Dale Owens