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A Guide to Sailboat Racing in Montana

Kismet Flathead LakeAre you interested in taking your sailing skills to the next level? Then come join the world of competitive sailboat racing! You don’t need a lot of experience to start competing. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started sailboat racing in Montana:

Become Part of the Sailing Community

Racing sailboats is a wonderful way to become part of the local sailing community. Joining a South Flathead Lake Yacht club will introduce you to fellow sailing enthusiasts and give you access to exclusive events, like sailboat races. For a more direct approach, you can simply head down to the dock to watch sailboat races and get to know fellow sailors who might be interested in adding a crew member. Here are a few Montana sailboat races to consider attending:

The Montana Cup Regatta

The Montana Cup Regatta is the largest annual sailboat race in Montana. This two-day event in August has been operating for 46 years. The regatta, like most Montana sailboat races, takes place on Flathead Lake. Attendees to The Montana Cup enjoy both competing and watching the races, but this welcoming and tight-knit community also appreciates comradery by the fire with beer, food, and games. The Montana Cup Regatta is a family-friendly event that embodies the spirit of teamwork and fellowship that is the foundation of the sport of sailing. 

More Sailboat Races on Flathead Lake

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for August to race on Flathead Lake. The South Flathead Yacht Club also has an Early Bird Series, and their KISS Race is a regular occurrence throughout the season. You can view their 2024 racing schedule here.  

Sailing Courses Make Better Racers

Learning is a never-ending process, particularly when it comes to sailing, where each voyage is different than the one before it. The knowledge gained from taking formal lessons can improve your skills and make you a better sailor and racer. 

Even if you’ve been sailing for a while, taking a course can refresh forgotten skills and build new ones, boosting your confidence on the water. And of course, keeping safe while sailing is of utmost importance. Everyone who operates a boat should continuously brush up on safety skills to ensure they don’t become complacent. 

Go Sail Montana offers Learn-to-Race classes on Saturday mornings from June 22nd – August 31st. Contact Go Sail Montana for more information on how to participate in these classes before another season of sailboat racing in Montana passes you by!