Clark Lake Yacht Club readies for the annual Fall Regatta that takes place this weekend – Saturday and Sunday, September 16 & 17.  The first race is expected to begin at 1:15 pm on Saturday, and could be followed by up to two more.  Sunday’s starts at 10 am.  All races are weather dependent.  That means no storms, but having enough wind to fill the sails.

Piloting the Yacht Club Committee boat, Scott Rosenbeck will call for the raising and lowering of signal flags and oversee scoring.  Bruce Nowak is race director, a familiar role for him.  Last year, Neil Robb was race director.  Hugh Harris piloted, and along with his wife Helen, conducted the scoring.

As a race begins, boats cross an imaginary line near the committee raft.  Boats are segregated by class.  The order starts with Hobies, followed by Buccaneers, Lasers, Wayfarers, Rebels, Interlakes, and Sunfish.  In order for a fleet to qualify, three of that class must participate.  As of late morning today (Thurs 9/14), about a dozen sailors have registered their boats.  More are expected to sign in on Saturday between 9 am and 12 noon.  This is truly an international event with Canadians usually joining the competition.

Last year’s event was unusual because of its breadth.  It featured the Buccaneer National Championship, Sunfish Regionals, as well as the annual Clark Lake Invitational or Regatta.  Check out last year’s results by clicking here.     Watch the video and you’ll hear from those who traveled thousands of miles to their Clark Lake destination.

Hugh Harris is a former Commodore and held the position of treasurer for many years.  Having been a longtime member, he notes recent changes to the Yacht Club.  “At one time Rebels dominated.  That has changed.”  Hobies are the most popular sailboat at the Club.

Hugh and Helen Harris

As this website reported, Hobies at the Yacht Club are now part of the newly reestablished Fleet 58.  New enthusiasm for the class led to regular competition over the summer.  Fleet 58 Hobies rose to the challenge on Thursday evenings.  In this photo, you will see the skippers meeting held by Fleet 58 Commodore Chance Winnie.

Many Clark Lakers remember Fleet 58 at its zenith.  At one time, more Hobies raced on Clark Lake than any other inland lake in the United States.  In July, Mike McKay presented Commodore Chance Winnie with an item of special significance to the Fleet 58 legacy.

Here’s the rest of the story.  Mike McKay had a Hobie sail crafted into a tote bag. Back when the Dunigan’s owned what is now the Eagle’s Nest, Mike had the insignia designed and sewn on the sail.  He then mounted it in the foyer and installed floodlights to highlight it.  When the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation sponsored a Fleet 58 Reunion and Regatta in 2014, the sail, with its insignia, was draped over the railing during the awards ceremony.  Each participant in that meet signed the sail.   Mike suggested to Chance that he also sign and date the sail, and have future commodores do the same.

Hugh Harris points to the Yacht Club’s resurgence in membership, going from 80 families to 110.  He adds “we are not a marina.”  Only one raft is docked at the Yacht Club, and that’s the Committee boat.  Reflecting on the club’s culture, I like to think of the Yacht Club as a community.”

Below, Kid’s Triathlon, held at the Yacht Club in conjunction with Raft-O-Rama.


For those who will be on the lake during the Regatta, what are the boating rules?  Click here for more.