Clark Lake Yacht Club Commodore Pat O’Harris says “sailing is back at Clark Lake.”  Pat says the Yacht Club has attracted more sailors than they have seen in years.  During the summer, the Club has conducted Sunday races, a longstanding tradition now being reinvigorated.  The last regular race of the season will take place tomorrow, Sunday, August 28.  With new members on hand, Pat “expects 2023 will be noticeably different on Sundays.”  Click here for details on Sunday races.  Scroll down for a look at the scoring so far this summer.

The big event for 2022 is still ahead.  Once again, the Yacht Club will host its annual Regatta September 15 through 18.  Pat O’Harris says they may host 50 to 60 boats from all over the US and Canada.  What’s different this year?  The Buccaneer National Championship, Sunfish Midwest Regional Championship, and the club’s own invitational for Rebels and Wayfarers.

The Buccaneer Championship will start two days prior to the Regatta on Thursday and Friday, September 15th and 16th.  Buccaneers will also take part in the Regatta, but with separate starts.

Twenty to 30 Buccaneers are expected to arrive from places like Virginia, Wisconsin, Kansas, Colorado, New York, Oregon and Canada.  The farthest location from Clark Lake?  Alaska.  Previous North American Championships have been held at Solomon Island, Maryland; Mystic Seaport near Long Island; San Diego, Houston, and Kenosha, Wisconsin.  This will be the 4th time the Clark Lake Yacht Club has hosted this championship.

A local Yacht Club members sails a Buccaneer.  Larry Schmida will be part of the competition, but this is not his first.  Most recently he competed at the Championship races in Lake Dillion, Colorado; on Lake Michigan at Highland Park, Illinois; and Toronto, Ontario.

The Buccaneer is an 18-foot sailboat with both a jib and mainsail.  Spinnakers are also used to gain an edge when tacking before the wind (wind from behind pushes the boat forward).  Spinnakers usually create a striking visual as some display dramatic designs and colors.

The Sunfish Regional is usually held at Devils Lake, but this year it will be held here.  Connections with Devils Lake has a history.  In the days of the Pine Riders, skiers from Devils and Clark Lake competed fiercely in tournaments.  A contingent from Devils Lake always showed up for Clark Lake’s Labor Day tournament.  For several years, the tournament was sponsored by the Citizen Patriot.  Later, the Pine Riders hosted.  The slalom course was set at the west end, parallel to Hyde Road.  Activity centered in the schoolyard, which is now the Township Park, as illustrated below.

At one time, Clark Lake wore the nation’s Hobie crown.  Clark Lake’s Fleet 58 had more Hobies than any other inland lake in the country.  Here’s an interesting statistic from the Clark Lake Boat Count conducted every July 4th.  At the Yacht Club In 2020, there were 2 Hobies, in 2021, 4.  This year, 13.   Hobies won’t be part of the Regatta this year, but could be in 2023.

Pat O’Harris points to several Club members who have made a difference.  Scott Rosenbeck keeps Sunday race results up to date.  Bruce Chipman is rear commodore and sailing instructor; and Mark Sokoll, membership director.  Several younger Hobie sailors, like Ian Buckley and Chance Winnie, have helped the Club build interest in the sport.

Below is a review of scoring for the 2022 Sunday races.  You may notice that numbers are missing for the August 21st race.  That points to what can happen in sailing—the sailor is dependent on the wind.  Last Sunday, there was not enough wind to hold the race.

In this video, Pat O’Harris and Bruce Chipman describe the Yacht Club’s Learn to Sail program.