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7th Sep


Crows Nest 09/08/21

As the Author of the Crows Nest I’m often the recipient of many kind words, sad stories, words of encouragement and of course the most fun, stories of triumph.  2021 started with multiple sad stories; the loss of multiple members, some Past Commodores, some great great contributors in their own way.  As the season passed on, flowing in came the stories of triumph.  These stories are not possible without great members and great leadership!  Commodore Chris Long continued her long time commitment to the Clear Lake Yacht Club; during her short tenure as Commodore we gained 37 new members, with the promise of more in 2022!  That’s no easy feat friends!  Chris has a profound love of the Yacht Club, it’s members and the bright future for which we anticipate.  Thank you Chris for your efforts and genuine leadership!

Commodore Chris Long passed the cannon to now Commodore Mike Starbeck in our classic changing of the guard last weekend, with Brad Price being nominated and approved to be the next Vice Commodore and eventual leader of the Club. Five new board members have been nominated, approved and installed starting in 2022, they are: Dan Allen, Wil Cooney, Jason Gordon, Chris Krogh and Nichole Sorensen.

Speaking of triumph; those stories don’t happen without great members with a sense of belonging and deep love for the Clear Lake Yacht Club and Clear Lake Sailing Center.  A “Young Guard” has been in charge of the Sailing Center for some time now; with that comes fresh ideas and a different perspective on what will bring about a positive future.  Everyone who’s ever been involved with the Center deserves a great deal of thanks; the current members of the Board and their Officers deserve a great sum of kudos!  Their ideas for the future brought about the identification of needs; in this case, two new coach boats.  After working hard to raise funds, their goals have been met; those funds raised have been matched!  Many have donated to this cause, however, four people came through in crunch to make this need a reality!

Vince and Jenny Tomlinson who have long been involved in the CLYC decided to graciously donate the $11,000 needed to reach the Center’s goal before the matching of funds!!!  John and Carolyn Hanson who’s desire to assist the Center has been ongoing for many years, have matched the funds raised; the goal and dream of two new coach boats is being realized!!!  For once, I’m at a loss for words…  No thank you or amount of gratitude can be expressed properly in this written format to these four members or any of the rest who donated to the Center!  The lifeblood of the Yacht Club is the Sailing Center!

Championship results you ask; of course we have those!

The entire season in the X boat fleet was hotly contested.  What started off as a 3 boat show, quickly became a 4 boat show, then 5, then 6, then 7…  The entire fleet showed so much progress, so much potential and so much competitive fire!  Each race became a chess match; the smallest of wind shifts, the slightest of boat speed improvement was the difference between first and seventh.  16 friends battling it out on the water for 3 months!  For the fourth consecutive year, we have a new fleet champion in the X fleet:  Elle Ebeling sailing Z-15 came out victorious, becoming the latest addition to the X Fleet Championship Trophy.  She was also the winner of the Top Female Skipper and Top Junior Skipper. Leif Lundberg was a close second this year after winning our 2020 Edition; while he was second in the standing in Clear Lake, he won the R Lyle Bergo Memorial Trophy as the Top X Boat Regatta finisher!  Finley Nyhus was the winner of the Sailing School Racers Award and the Seamanship Award for his fine efforts this year.  From top to bottom the entire fleet sailed magnificently this year and only improved as the season progressed; much of this is due to Coaches Wil Cooney and Billy Starbeck; a special interest was taken by Stu Oltrogge and Jeff Nicholas who stepped in to offer their expertise as well!

What’s the best part of the Clear Lake X Fleet you ask?  They’re all coming back next year!  Every boat is eligible again in 2022 to race X boats; these young folks, plus a few more; we’re truly blessed!  The Season Championship lines up like this:

Champion – Z-15 – Elle Ebeling (2.25)
2nd Place – Z-11 – Leif Lundberg (2.64)
3rd Place – Z-7 – Jude Sorensen (2.91)
4th Place – Z-88 – Sam Ludwig (3.1)
5th Place – Z-00 – Danny Starbeck (3.5)
6th Place – Z-48 – Finley Nyhus
7th Place – Z-84 – Brady Amble
Participating – Z-13 – Georgia Ebeling

The MC Fleet took on a different look this year with new faces and some missing faces.  Despite the change the racing was extremely competitive!  Consistency was the key this year, second, third and fourth were good finishes as the top 10 boats were mashed up constantly.  No one sailor had big runs of race wins, in fact 6 sailors won multiple races: Todd Tesar (9), Dan Allen (6), Mark Tesar (6), Stu Oltrogge (4), Brad Osmundson (2), Eric Protzman (2).

In the end, Mark Tesar was the epitome of consistency winning the Championship with “Little brother” Todd Tesar in second and Stu Oltrogge in third.  A new award in the MC fleet this year is the Silver Cup; this award is to recognize the “Up and Coming Sailor” in the fleet, a sailor whether newer or veteran who hasn’t placed in the top 5 in a Series in the past 3 years.  In this, the inaugural year, the Silver Cup goes to Jake Sorensen.  A travelling trophy is in process of being made; once it’s complete it will be handed over to it’s rightful winner.  The MC Fleet Championship shook out as follows:

Champion – 2718 – Mark Tesar (2.19) 6th Place – 2605 – Brad Osmundson
2nd Place – 2790 – Todd Tesar (2.52) 7th Place – 2574 – Randy Kotz
3rd Place – 2606 – Stu Oltrogge (2.9) 8th Place – 2401 – Jake Sorensen (Silver Cup)
4th Place – 2811 – Dan Allen (3.35) 9th Place – 2794 – Steve Dunbar
5th Place – 2569 – Eric Protzman (3.68)

The C fleet season was very short, having sailed just two races on one single day in Clear Lake.  In this edition of the Crows Nest, I will back off as they have had a number of unfortunate events occur which were the limiters of their season.  They’re a tight knit small group and when one is in trouble, they all stop and help.  Whether it be the passing of a CLYC fixture and icon, a sailor with a possible major health issue or simple boat breakdowns they’re all there.  All 3 C fleet members managed to make it to the ILYA Championship in Okoboji and had great results in races.  Tom Birdsall had a 3rd in the second race, Bill Nicholas an 11th in race one while Steve Swift was consistently in the mix during the regatta.  No matter how much or how little these three sail, they always show their mettle and are impressive.

Champion – Z-100 – Steve Swift
2nd – Z-2 – Tom Birdsall
3rd – Z-3 – Bill Nicholas

Who doesn’t get excited at the sight of a 28 foot long surfboard with the ability to do 20+ knots across the lake?  The sight of colored spinnakers (sorry Brad and Wil but white is boring) flying with team work at hyperspeed is amazing! The First Series started off with just 5 races; the Second Series showed up and 14 more races were sailed.  Finally the E boats get in a decent number of races!  Z-23 Team Loon put together a fine second series and handily won the Championship due to those efforts.  A much different year for Team Loon as the Syndicate Head, Stu Oltrogge stepped in to skipper when Emily felt she had enough.  For those who don’t know, Emily sailed well into her pregnancy and boy did she do a bang up job!  It’s truly dual credit to Father and Daughter for driving the team to victory.  Team Mayhem, powered by the Tesar brothers and Jeff Griffin were second overall and Team Little Wing, Eric Protzman with crew Paul Gordon and Jason Gordon in third.

Champion – Z-23 – Emily Haugerud, Stu Oltrogge, Dave Haugerud, Sam Ludwig and Deb Tesar
2nd Place – Z-13 – Mark Tesar, Todd Tesar, Jeff Griffin
3rd Place – Z-94 – Eric Protzman, Paul Gordon, Jason Gordon

Several special recognitions are given each year; some of these are earned by sailing performance, others are earned due to a constant nature of giving, others yet are earned because, well, sometimes we just do dumb things!  Each award this year has a story behind it; each one special in it’s own regard, let’s recap…

R Lyle Bergo Trophy – This award is given to the X Boat sailor with the best overall off lake performance.  This year Leif Lundberg had a bit of a rough start, perhaps getting a little discouraged with less than anticipated results; like a trooper and real sailor, he turned things around!  At the GLSS event Leif finished in 16th position having sailed two top ten races against a very competitive 70 boat fleet.  He was also the top Clear Lake sailor at the ILYA Championship finishing 24th at the event and capped off the event with a 9th place finish.  Nice work Leif!

The Tom MacNider Memorial Trophy – This award is given to the most improved sailor in the CLYC fleets.  As Mark Tesar pointed out at the awards ceremony, Dan Allen used four different boats on the way to earning this recognition.  Already sailing fast, it was a confidence boost and small lessons finally clicking at once to bring together a great year!  (As the author of this newsletter, I now realize how tough it is to write in the 3rd person.  The great thing, however, is I get to use it for personal reasons sometimes.  With that said, I would like to thank Steve Taylor and Mark Tesar for the use of their boats.  Steve was kind enough to let me use 2410 for 3 weekends after I sold my previous boat and my new boat hadn’t shown up.  Mark was kind enough to let me use his older boat, 2178 after “my mast durability test” at the Big Inland, while waiting for a new mast.)

The Marie O’Brien Alcorn Memorial Trophy – Presented to the sailor with the top overall off lake performance.  Second Place overall at the ILYA MC Championships will certainly make you a contender and in this case winner of this award.  Mark Tesar put together an incredible series to take second at the Big Inland in very challenging conditions.  Big, shifty wind, WAVES and 45 of the best sailors in the country!  Maybe the best storyline of the regatta; taking 2nd place to a professional sailor…. Ok, that’s not the best part…. The best part; having your best friend and neighbor put together a series score just one point higher than yours.  As Mark so graciously pointed out in his acceptance speech, Stu Oltrogge with crew Deb Tesar finished 3rd at the Big Inland, just one point behind Mark!  Congratulations Mark, nice racing and incredible class!

The Loose Anchor Award – This is awarded to the person who contributes to the Club, mostly behind the scenes but always has an overwhelming impact.  Yes, I editorialized that a bit, but it fits, especially this year!  It goes without saying; if you need something done at a regatta; find Julie Oltrogge!  If she doesn’t physically do the task, she’s the one who finds the right person for the job.  She’s the best person to organize volunteers, coordinate anything you need, she’s the cornerstone of a regatta foundation!  Julie contributions to many regattas over the years are plentiful and difference making; thank you Julie for everything you do!

The Charlie Crane Memorial Trophy – Awarded to a person for their contributions to the club and the most devoted sailor.  With that description, how can a club not award this trophy to Eric Protzman.  First, last, mid fleet, windy or drifting, Eric always has a smile on his face.  A consummate gentleman with a true passion for sailing, the Clear Lake Yacht Club is truly blessed to have a person like Eric around.  He’s the first to shake hands with visiting sailors, the first to recruit others to step on his boat; it could be MC racing, E racing or a dusk cruiser ride, Eric is always quick to include as many as possible to share in his passion.  Did I say devoted sailor?  Oh yeah, Eric didn’t miss a single race in the MC or the E fleet…  That’s right, every race held in both fleets, he was there on the starting line!  That’s devotion, friends.  Eric you’re an inspiration and a great friend to all, thank you for everything you do!

The Blooper Award – Awarded to the person with the largest contributions to hilarity, misfortune and deflated egos… Let’s face it, we all have our moments where things happen that just shouldn’t; those lapses in judgement, when they happen you know immediately, you should have known better… This year provided plenty of the described actions; the final nominees brought before the club for voting.  First was the Starbeck family, perennially a finalist; running out of gas on the way in from watching races… Not in the middle of the season, the very first weekend of the season in their brand new boat; you would think Mike would have checked the gas tank… Second was Eric Protzman’s drifting powerboat… I’m not sure what’s more funny about this story, the boat drifting or Danny Starbeck circling the boat to make sure Eric and Nancy weren’t on there!  Third was Dan Allen for his pressure and strength test involving a mast and a powerline; not just any mast, his brand new mast.  Since he wasn’t electrocuted and feared execution at the hand of his wife, this is a great nomination!  The last nomination and eventual winner was the faulty knot tying and possible destruction of not one, but two new boats by Stu Oltrogge.  While being generous as always, he was towing Dan Allen’s boat back to the Compound… After his bowline came untied and the tow line became wrapped around his prop, he had to make the desperate SOS call to Mark Tesar.  Like a great wingman, Mark came to the rescue, towing both Stu’s Cobalt and Dan Allen’s MC back to the Compound, of course no amount of bribery or begging could contain this lapse, especially when…………….In a second incident, this time in Okoboji; Stu was responsible for tying up boats to moorings.  Stu got his boat tied up safely then moved on to Mark’s MC.  All is well and good with the world as they make their way to the yacht to enjoy the company of friends; thankfully Dave and Emily happened to be coming across the lake pulling Dave’s MC when they noticed Mark’s MC perilously close to the rocks on shore after Stu’s knots came untied….  Winner, winner, chicken dinner…  Remember folks, don’t let Stu Oltrogge tie up your boat!

For Sale:

2014 Melges MC # 2605: Very fast, closed cockpit MC. Includes a Melges trailer (with mast support), full deck cover, envelope cover, rudder cover and 1or 2 North Z-Max sails. It’s been stored in a heated garage every winter.  Price is $12,500 (which is a steal) Contact Brad Osmundson at or 612-419-8473

Sadly another season has come to a close too quickly; our early exuberance has turned to the memory of a great season and soon groans of displeasure for the inevitable removal of docks and freezing of the lake.  Great parties were held throughout the year, along with the crowning of new champions in each class.  Covid was there, then it wasn’t, then it came back; hopefully this fall and winter will bring about brighter outlooks for the future.  For better or worse, 2021 will not soon be forgotten!  It’s my intent to keep everyone in the loop occasionally over the bleak-season with results from those travelling down South for regattas, different happenings with our members and of course any other news of consequence.

Once again this year, it’s been my distinct pleasure to bring you the news from the Club.  I hope you’ve all been entertained, uplifted, laughed a little bit, hopefully not cried too much and found some joy in the Crows Nest.  I look forward to invading your Inbox again soon!  Enjoy your winter; and as always….

Stay in the Clear Air,

Dan Allen
MC 2811

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