Over the years the boating community has seen many a regatta from many a manufacturer. Some of those regattas have fallen victim to an ever changing market and gone the way of the Dodo while some have stayed the course and become tradition for both the manufacturers and the loyal owners of that brand of marine hardware. The Howard Boats regatta falls into the latter category of building a rich tradition of bringing families and boats together for a fun filled weekend on the lake. This past weekend Howard Boats brought some of their finest hardware and invited all of their devout owners out for a classic late season regatta.


With an open schedule on Friday and many of the participants showing up at different times throughout the day some folks chose to head up river to visit Pirate Cove and Topock 66 for lunch and maybe a cocktail or two. Others headed south to relax at three dunes and unwind from the workweek. Friday afternoon Howard Boats hosted a casual gathering for registration at the Nautical Inn with a hosted bar and a table with swag for the Howard faithful. Rumor has it that more than a few Howard owners took turns buying rounds and telling tales at the Turtle Beach Bar later that evening. Others chose to turn in early to be well rested for a great day of boating on Lake Havasu that the folks from Howard had planned the next day.



Saturday rolled around with picture perfect weather and very few boats on the water. The Howard Regatta would have free reign of the lake on this day and that was a good thing because with more than 45 boats in attendance they needed all the space they could get! 10:30 am marked the time for a run down to Steamboat cove but everyone had already settled nicely into "lake time" and the schedule became as fluid as the calm water of the Colorado River that we all love. The majority of the group made it down to the cove between 11 and Noon and everyone enjoyed a couple hours of floating and trading stories of great days, like this one, on the water.

By the time everyone had gotten their fill of floating it was time for some lunch, so the group weighed anchor and made haste for Havasu Springs. The good folks at the Springs had a room prepared for the Howard group, a special menu, and of course a stocked bar for those folks not at the helm for the day. It should be noted that when a group of 40 plus boats rolls in many restaurants would be in a bind to get everyone served in a timely fashion, but the crew at the Springs handled it in stride and made sure everyone in attendance was fed in short order.

With full bellies and a great afternoon ahead the Howard fleet headed out of the harbor and grouped up to prepare for a little photo shoot. Running shots are always a big part of any regatta and it was no different at the Howard Regatta. In addition to the boat to boat running shots RDP also did a little "aerial" shoot from atop the London Bridge. All in all it was a great day of boating on our little slice of Heaven in the desert!

After the boats were wiped down and put away it was time to have some dinner, get some prizes, and cut loose with a couple cocktails. Gene from Howard always does a great job of driving home the fun at dinner as he hands out about 100 different prizes to everyone in attendance with items ranging from restaurant gift cards to full on vacation packages. Howard Boats spares no expense to show its appreciation for their customers both past and present. In a world of internet shopping and online ordering it's really great to see a company giving back by showing their appreciation for the customers who lay down hard earned cash to buy their product. I for one hope that this tradition continues for another decade and more!

See you on the water!

Tom Leigh (PinkTaco)
Additional images by Joe Daquino and Mike Anderson