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Idem Sailboat Races on Upper St. Regis Lake

by Brooks Reynolds on July 11, 2023
Idem Sailboat Races on Upper St. Regis Lake

Nestled amidst the picturesque beauty of Upper St. Regis Lake, Idem sailboat races have captured the hearts of sailing enthusiasts for over a century. Rooted in rich history and sailing prowess, this annual tradition showcases the iconic 32-foot gaff-rigged racing sloop, the Idem. Designed in 1899 by the renowned Clinton Crane exclusively for the St. Regis Yacht Club, these racing boats have stood the test of time. With their enduring charm and captivating legacy, the Idem Races continue to captivate both participants and spectators alike.

The Idem races hold a significant place in maritime history. The inaugural race took place in 1900, with the first seven boats eagerly vying for victory. Over the years, St. Lawrence Boat Company constructed an additional twelve boats, ensuring the continuation of this revered tradition. Remarkably, the original Idem boats have undergone numerous restorations and reconstructions, some of them helmed by descendants of the original owners. Today, all but one of the original boats still gracefully sail the pristine waters of Upper St. Regis Lake. The remaining one finds its home at the Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake.

Upper St. Regis Lake, situated a mere 45 minutes away from Lake Placid, offers a serene and enchanting backdrop for the Idem races. Covering an expanse of 742 acres, this expansive body of water is, in fact, a spacious bay of the St. Regis River. In the late 19th century, it gained fame as a summer retreat for America’s influential families, including the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers. Alongside Lower St. Regis Lake and Spitfire Lake, Upper St. Regis Lake became synonymous with the grandeur of the Adirondacks, its tranquil shores adorned by the iconic Great Camps that have withstood the test of time.

The New York Times, recognizing the cultural and historical significance of the Idem races, published an article that highlighted the splendor of Upper St. Regis Lake and its surrounding Great Camps. David Cilley, the proprietor of St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, was quoted in the article, affirming, “There is perhaps nowhere else with camps that have so much history and still remain in the hands of families that have owned them for generations.” These esteemed camps serve as a testament to the enduring legacy of Upper St. Regis Lake and the deep-rooted connection that families maintain with this cherished locale.

For agent, David Trahey, the Idem races represent a treasured summer tradition. He eagerly anticipates the arrival of Saturdays in the summer months when Upper St. Regis Lake and the St. Regis Yacht Club transform into a vibrant hub. The graceful maneuvering of these sloop vessels, reminiscent of the late 1800s, evokes a sense of admiration and awe. With the majestic Northern Adirondack mountains providing a breathtaking backdrop, the Idem races offer an unparalleled spectacle for both participants and onlookers.

Immerse yourself in the timeless allure of the Idem races on Upper St. Regis Lake. Steeped in history and nestled amidst the grandeur of the Adirondacks, this annual tradition brings to life the spirit of sailing and community. Whether you are a seasoned sailor or simply captivated by the beauty of the water and the resplendent Great Camps, the Idem Races promise an unforgettable experience. To explore the possibility of calling this remarkable area home, we invite you to contact Dave at (518) 524-7583 for a private tour. Let Upper St. Regis Lake become your haven of tranquility and enjoy the storied past of this cherished region.

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