Rags To Riches Regatta 2010 Photos

July 4, 2010 by Kurt Lischka

The 2010 edition of Rags To Riches Regatta was a thrilling success. Rough seas calmed and winds were perfect. The water was clean and clear except for a bit of froth from Hurricane Alex's passing through the southern reaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

In the spring of 1981 Big Charlie Thornton came up with the idea, according to Lynn Stone, who remembers the night a group of local sailors and friends sat around her place at Grayton Beach, discussing the possibility of organizing a local Hobie Cat regatta.   Charlie and Lynn had been sailing in Ft Walton Beach regattas, and he wanted to create a just-for-fun race as part of the local Fourth of July celebration. As the night wore on, enthusiasm for the event grew.  

Lynn, a seasoned Hobie sailor herself, helped Charlie with the organization of the race and news soon spread throughout the sailing community. A twenty-dollar entry fee would guarantee you a place, T-shirt, and beer at the end of the race. The group unanimously agreed on Sunday, the fifth of July as the date.  

Charlie remembers it well. "We talked about the name for the race to print on the T-shirts and someone came up with Rags to Riches. Grayton sailors latched on to the name 'Rags' since all of them were poor. Those of us down at Seagrove would lay claim to the 'Riches' - therein lies the joke." 


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As a happy ambassador of South Walton, Kurt loves to share SoWal with the world through stories, photos, videos, texting, social media, and even telephone.

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