Scotch Bonnet 2017 header

2017 Scotch Bonnet Light Race Review

After 45 consecutive starts of the annual Scotch Bonnet Light Race, The Genesee Yacht Club was forced to cancel this years event due to unprecedented record breaking high water in Lake Ontario. The lake reached its peak level May 29, at 248.95 ft (75.88m).

The high water levels mean GYC docks are underwater and the club house facilities are not available. It was predicted in mid May that this would be the case at the time of the June Scotch Bonnet, so, the Executive Board canceled the event for 2017. The GYC, the SBLR committee, volunteers and participants are all very disappointed.

Hopefully 2018 lake levels will not be a repeat of this year and we can all come together for a much anticipated best Scotch Bonnet Light Race ever on June 24, 2018.

What might have been...
Based on some weather observations, Friday night was a bit concerning as storm cells moved along the south shore of the lake around the time of the start. The race committee would have had to make some tough decisions. Go ahead with the starts, at a risk of storm cells moving through the fleet, postpone the starts until conditions change, or, postpone until Saturday Morning.

Great wind, 10 to 15 knots from the west generally. A beat upwind for the spinnaker boats to Watoma Shoals followed by fast reaches north and south. After the storms passed Friday night, there was probably little or no rain. The temperature would have stayed above 60 degrees, because the water temperature was in the 60s across the lake. It may have been a race where foul weather gear stayed below. No Moon, so, if the sky was clear, the star viewing would have been great.

A fast Race. 3 hours to Watoma with 6 hour crossings for a total of 15 hours. Like every year, all the sailors would be charged up having finished one of the most engaging sailboat racing traditions on Lake Ontario, the Scotch Bonnet Light Race.

Welcome to the NEW Scotch Bonnet Light Race website.

From here you can:

Our Invitation

Fellow Sailors,
Another racing season is upon us and it is my sincere pleasure to invite you to Genesee Yacht Club's premier event, the 46th Scotch Bonnet Light Race, June 23 - 25 2017.. This race is a test of skill and endurance. This year we ask you to join in again or try it for the first time, and Go for the Light!.
Notice of Race (NOR) and Registration is open here on our new website. The NOR contains all of the registration details, crew list, border crossing, and equipment requirements. Please review the entire package and be sure to bring your forms at check-in.
The Scotch Bonnet Light Race committee is working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and when registering for the race consider making a charitable donation to that organization. Furthermore, any profits from this event will be given to this highly regarded association. It is the nation’s clearinghouse on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children though training in schools and supporting law enforcement.
For the second year we have opened the race to more participants by introducing a new division that supports boats that are cruising genoa only. A plaque and wooden keeper trophy will be awarded to the best performance boat in that division. Please reach out to your cruising friends and make plans to race this year ! ! ! !
Again this year we are a register event with the Summer Sailstice international celebration of sailing. This event is sponsored by numerous sailing companies. The registration is free and there is no obligation for a chance to win one of many giveaways. Please explore to sign up for our Sailstice event and register yourself for the many prizes. This is not a requirement for SBLR, but merely an option.
We are awarding some fine wooden keeper trophies handmade from our supplier in Australia. There will be an awards picnic on Sunday featuring live music, food, and drink to celebrate the race. We look forward to seeing you on the starting line June 23rd.
A LYRA Tier 2 event.


Rob Reisch - 2017 SBLR Chairman
email: [rv.reisch [at]]
phone or text: 585-414-1982

Live Music at the Sunday Picnic by Special Blend. Check them out on Youtube.


Invitation 2017 (PDF)
2017 Notice of Race - Preliminary (PDF)
2017 Sailing Instructions - Preliminary (PDF)

2017 Poster (PDF)
Perpetual Trophy Winners - 2016 (PDF)
Event Date Formula (PDF)
Historical - Event committee Chairs (PDF)
Course Chart - Spinnaker(JPG)

Old Scotch Bonnet Website

Genesee Yacht Club

Link to GYC
Link to National Center for Missing and exploited children
Link to Soltice - Scotch Bonnet
Link to New website

2009 - Howe family
2007 - Bob Fields
2007 - Bob Fields
2007 - Bob Fields
2013 - Doug McKnight