Rebel National Championship Regatta Is Underway

Twelve experienced sailors and their crews launched their Rebels as the Yacht Club welcomed the Rebel National Championship Regatta to Clark Lake this weekend.  The first race began today at 1 pm.  Tomorrow, Saturday, races begin at 11 am and 1:30 pm.  Races on Sunday start at 10 am.  All times are based on current plans.  Weather conditions enter into the calculus and so changes can occur.

Last year’s Rebel Nationals were held in New Jersey, and Clark Lake has hosted in the past.  The trophies above, guarded by the Yacht Club’s Bruce Nowak and Hugh Harris, illustrate the proud history of this national championship and Rebels.  Bruce is race director for this year’s regatta. Hugh, and his wife, Helen are also on the judge’s raft and help conduct the race.

If you circulate among the sailors, you find an abundance of camaraderie.  Many participants know each other through other meets in the past.  But make no mistake, these competitors are in it to win.  One area where skill and experience come into play is at the start.  Unlike a car or power boat, you can’t idle at the starting line. Boats circle waiting for the starting horn.  That is more challenging considering changing wind conditions, and being in close proximity to other boats trying to be at the line a nanosecond before the race begins. Collisions aren’t unheard of, and sometimes words not permitted on prime time TV have been heard.  Similar skill and experience is demanded when rounding the buoys.  

Clark Lake is divided into sections (see map).  Buoys are placed depending on wind conditions.  When sailors round buoys, they are often doing it at the same time as others. 

Who wins in the end depends on adding up where your boat finishes in each race.  Like golf, the low number gets the prize. 

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Coverage on this website will continue later this weekend.

To learn more about the Yacht Club and its history at Clark Lake, please click here.

 

 

Kids Triathlon Adds More Fun

The Kid’s Triathlon just got bigger.  The annual event features three events for competitors who are 12 and under.  The three courses test swimming, cycling and running.  The event, co-sponsored by the Clark Lake Yacht Club and the Raft-O-Rama Committee, will be centered around the Clark Lake Yacht Club grounds.  The competition starts soon after 10 am on Sunday, July 30th.  Below check out some of the competition from last year. 

Following the triathlon, there will be more fun activities for kids of all ages to 2 pm.  That includes blow ups, an obstacle course and derby racing.  Also offered is a hot dog lunch and other goodies. 

The swim is always a favorite.  After all, this event is at Clark Lake.

The Clark Lake Yacht Club and Raft-O-Rama Committee invite you and your kids or grand kids to come by for some summer fun, and perhaps join the winners’ circle.

42nd Run Clark Lake Is Warming Up

The weekend of the Run is also Raft-O-Rama weekend.  So you can count on it being a busy, celebratory stretch at Clark Lake. 

Run Clark Lake attracts upwards of a thousand athletes.  Some are from Clark Lake, but many arrive from distant points.

The Run is important to Clark Lake.  Proceeds from the event go to support the Spirit Trail.  This 7.3 mile path around the lake is maintained primarily by volunteers, but there are repairs and upgrades that require funding.  Two recent examples are reinstalling the path with new drainage adjacent to the post office and the extension of the trail between Rita and Grand Boulevard.

Drains being installed

Participants pickup packets and preregister on Friday, August 4th at the Beach Bar.  On Saturday, August 5th, race day registration takes place between 7 am – 8:15 am.  The 12k starts at 8:30 am, the 5k at 8:35 am, 5k walk at 8:36 am, and the 3/4k kids run at 9:50 am.  All starts are on Ocean Beach Road in front of the Beach Bar. 

Below are the routes taken for each event.

There are cash awards. Overall male and female-1st, $100; 2nd, $75, and 3rd, $50.  Master male and female-1st, $75; 2nd, $50; and 3rd, $25.   There are some additional cash awards.  Open male and female course record is $125.  Master male and female course record is $75.  Any age group record earns $50. 

You can register online through August 2nd by clicking here. Or click here to download an entry form.  Mailed registration must be postmarked on or before July 26th, and checks made payable to Clark Lake Spirit, 702 Hague Avenue, Jackson, MI 49203.  Entry fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.  Pat Dwyer is race director, and you can reach him at (517) 782-6106 or sixthdwyer@comcast.net for answers to your questions.

Click here to check out last the 2016 results along with lots of photos.   Below is an historical compilation of records reaching back to 1993.

Traffic Advisory – Jefferson Road

Paving starts tomorrow morning (Wednesday 7/11) on the section of Jefferson Road between South Jackson and US-127.  The Jackson County Department of Transportation says “flaggers will be directing traffic…and you should expect short delays.”

Michigan Paving will lay the first of two applications of asphalt tomorrow.  It’s expected that the work will be completed in two weeks, weather permitting.

2017 Crab Races Almost Here

Contestants are gearing up for the big annual competition held every year at the Beach Bar.  The kickoff is Sunday and continues through Tuesday. 

Emcee Dan Omo interviews one of the crabs before launching a heat.

Below you’ll find an outline of all the activities including the Kids Matinee on Sunday and the semi-finals/finals on Tuesday. 


Looking back at 2016, you get the picture of how the faster crabs win the prizes.  The crescendo of competition continued to build until the final round.  It was Deb Foley, trainer, of “Puff” who walked away with the grand prize of $500.  Dan Omo’s crab “Danny” came in second for $350; and Cheryl Nidecheff’s “Judy Judy” earned her $200. 

Here was the final race when the big money was won.

wasn’t about Faster Horses tonight at the Beach Bar, it was about faster crabs.  The crescendo of competition continued to build until the final round of the 2016 Great American Crab Races.  It was Deb Foley, trainer, of “Puff” who walked away with the grand prize of $500.  Dan Omo’s crab “Danny” came in second for $350; and Cheryl Nidecheff’s “Judy Judy” earned her $200.  For the complete rundown of who won what when, please see the tally board below.

Here was the final race when the big money was won.

wasn’t about Faster Horses tonight at the Beach Bar, it was about faster crabs.  The crescendo of competition continued to build until the final round of the 2016 Great American Crab Races.  It was Deb Foley, trainer, of “Puff” who walked away with the grand prize of $500.  Dan Omo’s crab “Danny” came in second for $350; and Cheryl Nidecheff’s “Judy Judy” earned her $200.  For the complete rundown of who won what when, please see the tally board below.

Here was the final race when the big money was won.

wasn’t about Faster Horses tonight at the Beach Bar, it was about faster crabs.  The crescendo of competition continued to build until the final round of the 2016 Great American Crab Races.  It was Deb Foley, trainer, of “Puff” who walked away with the grand prize of $500.  Dan Omo’s crab “Danny” came in second for $350; and Cheryl Nidecheff’s “Judy Judy” earned her $200.  For the complete rundown of who won what when, please see the tally board below.

Here was the final race when the big money was won.

It wasn’t about Faster Horses tonight at the Beach Bar, it was about faster crabs.  The crescendo of competition continued to build until the final round of the 2016 Great American Crab Races.  It was Deb Foley, trainer, of “Puff” who walked away with the grand prize of $500.  Dan Omo’s crab “Danny” came in second for $350; and Cheryl Nidecheff’s “Judy Judy” earned her $200.  For the complete rundown of who won what when, please see the tally board below.

Here was the final race when the big money was won.

It wasn’t about Faster Horses tonight at the Beach Bar, it was about faster crabs.  The crescendo of competition continued to build until the final round of the 2016 Great American Crab Races.  It was Deb Foley, trainer, of “Puff” who walked away with the grand prize of $500.  Dan Omo’s crab “Danny” came in second for $350; and Cheryl Nidecheff’s “Judy Judy” earned her $200.  For the complete rundown of who won what when, please see the tally board below.

Here was the final race when the big money was won.

Rebel Nationals this Weekend

Rebel sailboats from all over the country will converge on Clark Lake this weekend.  The Rebel Nationals will take place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (July 14 – July 16).  Last year the event was held in New Jersey.dsc_0912_963At least 15 competitors are expected to compete, and the Clark Lake Yacht Club will serve has headquarters for the regatta. To give you an idea of scale, 29 boats participated in the Yacht Club’s Fall Regatta in 2016.  At the Fall Regatta, several class of boats were represented.  Hugh Harris, of the Clark Lake Yacht Club, says to expect at least three races per day. 

The map, above, indicates where the course markers will be found.  The actual course for each race will likely vary depending on wind and weather conditions.  This is often decided at the last minute.  

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Rebels have a long history at Clark Lake.  The first Rebel was built by Ray Greene in the late 1940s.  Rebels bear the distinction of being one of the first fiberglass boats. There have been other manufacturers over the years.  Rebels are currently built by WindRider in Flint.  The company also builds other one design sailboats including the Lightning, JY15, Buccaneer, and Mutineer.

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Not only do sailboats paint an amazing picture as they sail the lake, but the sport itself is competitive with thrills to be had for the sailors.  Spectators also find racing engaging when you understand the game.  To learn about sailboat racing on Clark Lake, including background on Rebels, please click here.  Bill Leutz researched Rebels, along with another boat built by Ray Greene, the Nipper.  Click here to read his story.

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It Rained!

So far in July, there has been only 3/4 inch, including today.  So when the rain hit the ground, you could hear thirsty lawns and gardens slurping it up. 

The sky progressively darkened around 8 am, followed by flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder.  Then the rain began.  Diane Deming, on the south side of the east end, captured a lightning bolt in action, as she pointed her camera due north. 

At first the rain was heavy, then tapered off to a light, but consistent sprinkle into the midday. 

A Clarklake Community Church First

It wouldn’t be the first time Clarklake Community Church has invited residents to an ice cream social.  But this is something new.  Following the ice cream social on Saturday, July 22, there will be line dancing.  A local line dancing group is expert at this and is adept at showing others the moves.  After the demonstration, visitors will be encouraged to join them for a couple dances.  The event will take place in the church’s parking lot on Hyde Road, or move inside if weather conditions dictate.

The free ice cream and root beer floats will be served at 6 pm and the line dancing begins at 7 pm. 

July 8 Fireworks

Dozens of rafts and boats gathered at the east end of the lake creating their own kind of amphitheater for tonight’s big show.  It was the Menard’s annual fireworks extravaganza, scheduled this year on July 8th.  Packed into 25 minutes was an impressive display of one dazzling effect after another.

BJ Lyon’s drone gives us the view from east looking west.  As you view these photos of the fireworks, you can also see boats and rafts with their colorful lights reflecting on the water, against the afterglow of the sunset.   

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Catching the brilliant splashes of color etched upon the night sky is heightened by freezing the action in an instant.  Diane Deming did that and captured the intricate detail that is easy to miss when you view the event live.  Her photos are from the south side of the east end of the lake.

Here’s video from up above via BJ’s drone:

The photos below provide a different view as these were taken from a boat where the motion of the waves created their own special effect.  

The event started with the National Anthem.  As the last notes played, the fireworks began.

The Menard’s have been adding to their Independence Day fireworks each year.  Click here to learn about how this family affair has turned into a tradition for the whole lake.

On behalf of the lake, thanks go out to the Menard’s whose investment in time, skill (and cash) made this awesome event possible, and to Diane Deming and BJ Lyons who greatly enhanced coverage for all to see. 

Biting Off More than You Can Chew

This pike paid the price.  Ron and Beth June’s nephew from Maumee, Ohio, found this pike and its undigested fare floating at the end of their dock.  Steve Krzyminski fished this visual spectacle out of the water and held it up for the photo op.

Pike versus the sunfish.  Which one won?  Ron June says “after the photo was taken, Steve managed to pull the sunfish out of the pike’s mouth, tossed it in the lake, and it swam away!  The pike, however, was a goner.”  Now you know the rest of the story.