The Collington Regata — History and Pictures

As we gear up for a new generation of radio-controlled skipjack models — now fully digital, and hopefully a new generation of organizers for the annual Regatta, here is a piece from our historian Frances Kolarek, and a gallery of photos from different years.

How did it all get started — the regatta  on Collington Lake with model skipjacks?

The Beginning

Blame three early residents who were sailors.  One of these pioneers, George Dankers, learned  that “Pepper” Langley, a master carver on Solomon’s Island, had drawn up meticulous plans for a model skipjack, a boat distinguished by its raked mast.

Soon our Woodshop contingent was caught up in the building of model skip-jacks, taking infinite care in the details of their construction, scouring hobby shops for miniature turnbuckles and the like  .

The models are controlled by radio signals to the sail and the rudder.
The skipjack is used  in the Chesapeake Bay for dredging for oysters since use of motor boats for dredging is forbidden by law.

Appreciating George and Lauretta Dankers

George and Lauretta Dankers moved into the 3100 cluster in 1989, joining Pat and Charles Trammell, Jr. already residents.  Both couples owned boats and loved sailing.  By training, George was a marine architect and is credited with working on the designs for the Liberty ships of World War II fame.  Other than the fact that George worked his butt off for everybody who lived at Collington, there are other reasons we we loved him.  Here’s a little verse he wrote about the Woodshop where he spent many, many hours:

“Shop men and women are Collington trixters;
Of sick lamps and furniture we are the fixers.”

George’s car carried the vanity license plate  GADZOOK. (His initials were G.A.D.) a gift from one of his daughters.

At a monster Christmas festival with a medieval theme George arrived in a coat of mail — a jacket to which were pinned envelopes that had been through the mail.  Lauretta could weave unique baskets which were sold for the benefit of the Residents Association.   She spent long hours teaching  basketry to anybody who wanted to come to the Creative Arts Room and learn.  

Remembering Charles and Pat Trammell

Charles Trammell, Jr.,  a lawyer and a sailor whose  most visible asset was his wife, Pat.  Coco Chanel would have envied Pat’s sense of style.  She  swept into the Dining Room  stylishly dressed in an outfit no other woman of of her age  would have dared to put  together. Rumor had  it that Pat’s wardrobe filled trunks as well as closets.

Charles was enlisted by former Executive Director Gail Kohn, to do whatever negotiating was needed to get water to stay in our lake.  Asking for miracles?  Mysteriously, water that drained into our lake from small streams and storm drains rapidly filtered out through its sandy bottom.  Charles  consulted with the proper county authorities — of which there were a number, since all the lakes and ponds in the county are man-made.  

Finally an enormous piece of heavy rubber was laid over the lake bed. The miracle lay in the fact that Charles’ patience outlasted long delays and red tape. Negotiations lasted so long we could all recite, in unison, his periodic reports, ”Nothing new to report just now, but we hope to have an answer next month.”

And, in time, Charley did.  Today, we have a lake, we have a Regatta, we have Canada geese and other wild life  — and maintenance problems. 

And, we also have these pictures.  Please send more.

One thought on “The Collington Regata — History and Pictures

  1. How fantastic to learn about this important piece of Collington’s history! Thanks so much Frances & Richard for sharing this with us. I wish I could have met the Dankers and Trammell’s – they sound like they were amazing and inspiring Collington residents! I will post a few more recent photos that we took down at the lake also.

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