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Blue water, white sails and friends.  Clear Lake at it's finest!
15th Jun


Crow’s Nest 06/16/21

Beginning this week’s Crows Nest is especially difficult due to more tragic news. Thomas Zanios, standout sailor, winner of the 1996 ILYA X Boat Championship, passed away suddenly at his home in Watch Hill, RI on June 11th…Thomas will forever be remembered as a fantastic sailor and a man who gave back much of his knowledge and ability to the Clear Lake Yacht Club and the Sailing School.  Our deepest condolences go out to his wife Emily and their two girls Eliza and Maisie, the entire Zanios family, especially Jamie, Nancy, Whitney and Parker, as well as the countless friends he had made through his journey. Visitation will be held at  Ward-VanSlyke Colonial Chapel Thursday June 17th from 4-6pm and at the Yacht Club Friday June 18th from 2-4pm.  A private funeral service will be held Friday morning. The full obituary can be seen here. Godspeed, fair winds and following seas Thomas.

This weekend brings two chances for fun and excitement within the YC……  The first is Saturday night with our second social event of the year.  It will be held at the Yacht Club building downtown beginning at 6:30. Beer, wine and soft drinks will be available; please remember no hard liquor is allowed on premises.  Brad’s BBQ food truck will be on site to fill our collective bellies with culinary delights; no need to bring anything to share.

The second is the Annual Russ Schurtz Memorial Dad/Mom/Lad/Lass race on Sunday afternoon at 2pm.  Here’s the chance for you X boat Parents/Grandparents/Aunts/Uncles whatever it may be to take the race course by storm.  Oh yeah, and deal with constant beratings from your children for going the wrong way, not going fast enough and any other action they may deem as being incorrect!  Most of all though, it’s a great event to showcase the family atmosphere and full circle nature of the club; going from youth to adult and being allowed to go back, even if it is only one race!

The next two weeks in our quiet little town are going to be LOUD; check out these events:

116 boats and counting! This is the 50th MC National Championship Regatta and it begins in just 8 days. This is the 5th time we’ve hosted the MC Nationals and it just seems to keep getting better with each edition!  While the social events at the regatta are for participants, tickets are available to the membership, they’re $30/person per event and only available until Sunday June 20th.  If you would like to purchase tickets please email Dan Allen by Sunday June 20th,

Assistance is still needed during the regatta; do you think you may be able to help?:

Would you like to crew at MC Nationals?!?!  We’ve got an ever growing list of sailors who will be needing crew during the event.  Young by age or young at heart, it doesn’t matter. Please contact Stu Oltrogge, to be put on the list of potential crew.

Spectator/tender/crew boats; we’re going to need plenty of them! Vice Commodore Mike Starbeck has been charged with the lofty quest of finding enough boats to get everyone out to the course, whether it be to watch or stand ready to jump aboard a boat as crew.  He’s made contact with some of you certainly; if he hasn’t, please take some pressure off his shoulders and contact him:

100+ boats on the water racing is going to be a task for the Race Committee; the larger issue………… Getting those boats in and out of the water………. Members with ATV/UTV/Gator type vehicles; we need your help.  If you’re willing to let us borrow one, willing to bring and drive yours to put boats in and out, we want to hear from you!  The easiest way to get all of the boats on trailers and out of the water, with plenty of space for everyone; ATV/UTV’s, don’t allow cars/trucks/SUVs into the park… We’ll pull the trailers and boats out of the water, put them in a predetermined parking spot, then they unrig, then they go home…… Sounds simple right?  Right…. Please contact Mark Tesar, we could really use a hand!

At the conclusion of the flawlessly executed haul out of 100 or so MC’s, the X boats will roll in!  The West Water X Clinic will be run Monday and Tuesday, June 28 & 29th.  None other than Ted Keller of Melges Boat Works, Quantum Sails and owner/operator of TK Sailing will be on hand coaching the young sailors.  Sailors from Clear Lake, Okoboji and several Minnesota lakes will be in attendance to take advantage of Ted’s knowledge and skill.

Following the two regattas, the excitement continues in Clear Lake.  The Carnie invasion begins the 30th of June continuing through the 5th of July; The 2nd Annual Boat Parade will be happening on the 4th of July along the same route as last year; On the 5th of July, the Annual Parade down Main Street.  For more details on all of the local festivities head to

We all know maintenance of boats is necessary, we also know kids can be tough on boats, especially when kids are using the boats to learn; that required maintenance can’t be done without proper tools and most have mysteriously vanished. Tool kits with sockets, wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, etc are very much needed; would you consider buying these for the Center?  Please contact Andi Tisor or Mark Ebeling for specific needs. or

In local racing news we had a flip-flop from last week; the E fleet got in two windy races Saturday afternoon while the X and MC fleets were skunked both Saturday and Sunday morning.

The 2020 E Nationals was contested last week, yes I said that correctly 2020…. Brad Price with crew Will Price, James Howarth and Kelly Purviance were out in Little Egg Harbor, NJ testing the skills at the delayed event against the best in the class.  Thanks Brad and crew for representing the Z, nice work and congratulations on your efforts!

Camp Olson, a YMCA camp located in Longville, MN is looking for equipment donations of any kind. They are always looking for sails, rigging, parts, sail bags….really anything for an MC, C or E scow! They will provide you with a donation receipt and it is going to a really good organization that is planting the seeds for future sailors here in the upper MW. Chris Wessels, will be heading North on June 22nd with items, please contact him,, if you have any items you’re willing/wanting to part with.

The Blooper Award… Mind your mistakes…!  Nominations continue to hit Stu’s Inbox, you’re never outside the watchful eyes of the Big Brother Blooper…

Currently for sale:

MC 2577 – Available after Nationals – 2013 Melges, all white in great shape with 2 sails and trailer. A reduced price is being offered to keep it on the lake. Lots of extras including additional sails are available.  Contact Dan Allen at for more details.

Stay in the Clear Air,

Dan Allen
MC 2577

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