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Blue water, white sails and friends.  Clear Lake at it's finest!
22nd Feb


Crow’s Nest 02/23/23

Welcome everyone to the 2023 Clear Lake Yacht Club season! That’s right, it’s back, the only slightly famous, moreso infamous Crows Nest; the first of the year invading your Inbox. The winter has been dark, cold and snowy, but that’s par for the course! By now I’m guessing most of you are itching to get boats out of barns or at least think about getting boats out of barns… March 25, 2022 – March 23, 2021 – March 29, 2020 – April 19, 2019 are the last 4 official “Ice out” dates.  What do you think it’ll be this year?  The sooner the better as far as I’m concerned… Soon enough friends, we’ll be celebrating the wondrous time we call the CLYC Summer!

Whoever says or thinks that Clear Lake becomes a ghost town in the winter is absolutely wrong!

Thanksgiving, Christmas by the Lake and New Years were celebrated with gusto; so too was the largest storm of the winter, the Winter Dance Party hosted by the Surf Ballroom. The Color the Wind kite festival was last weekend and for many, marked the end of large scale winter activities in North Iowa. We will have a few more actual storms to contend with yet this winter I’m sure, including the one happening right now as I type!

Some of us have continued our sailing or other warm water obsessions through the winter; Dave Atkinson and Jeff Nicholas have been sailing in Sarasota; Charlie MacNider has been on the opposite coast of Florida continuing his role as a Race Officer. Mark and Deb Tesar will be heading to Florida for a vacation which will include both racing and judging.

I certainly hope you all know Brad Price is our Commodore in 2023 and his Vice Commodore is Casey Callanan; both are ready to lead us through an exciting season! Brad gets to sit at the head of the table during Board Meetings and give the occasional speech at a party or regatta; Casey has the really important job!  Casey, as VC you’re #1 priority is putting on great parties… Hunter, that means you’re in charge; Kristin and Andi, that means you have to help!  Mark and Brian, get ready for madness! You’re following two great years of Club parties; everyone is confident you won’t disappoint! The gauntlet has been thrown…

Speaking of Board meetings – The new Board Members are: Ryan Amble, Dave Atkinson, Oz, Mark Tesar and Nancy Zanios. Board members, especially the new board members (hopefully you now know who you are if you didn’t before), please monitor your email closely as the first meeting of the year is forthcoming soon.  I believe (definition – to accept something as true; to hold as an opinion; to think or suppose) it’s usually the third week of March, but we don’t have an official date yet.  Commodore Price or Secretary/Treasurer Meg Casey-Payne (sorry Meg if I got your preference wrong yet again) will be sending out an invitation with the specifics.

A new fleet of non-scows in Clear Lake…it’s blasphemy I tell you… ok it’s certainly not blasphemy, it’s a positive step toward the future! The Melges 15 is now an adopted, official fleet at the CLYC and will tout 6 boats to start 2023 with hopes of growth in the coming years. Spearheaded by several members, the speedy double-hander fits the bill for many sailors. Whether it’s non-official racing during the week or weekend points racing, it will be a treat watching them zoom around the lake!  Better yet, join in the fun; give a ring or a ping to any of the boat owners and see for yourself!

Our traditional fleets are alive and kicking! The X fleet will have 6 or 7 boats. Let’s all cross our fingers the C boat trio is healthy and remains that way throughout the season! The E fleet stands solid at 10 boats and the competition gets tighter every year!  Finally the MC fleet has two new sailors on the roster and again, fingers crossed, a few of the veterans will be able to make a glorious return to push the tally ever so close to 20 boats!

July 2023 will bring a monumental event; the 2nd Annual ILYA Melges 15 Championship! Our brand new fleet will welcome 50+ 15’s all vying for the title of ILYA Champion!  The regatta organizing committee has been hard at work already this year; as always, the volunteerism of our ever-giving membership will be needed! The master of calling volunteers to arms, Julie Oltrogge, will be expecting your phone calls or emails; don’t make her come looking for you!

Until next time friends!

Stay in the clear air.

Dan Allen

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