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Blue water, white sails and friends.  Clear Lake at it's finest!
5th Apr


Crow’s Nest 04/06/23

WoooHooo, the ice is officially out! The clocks jolted forward, the Robins are chirping, snow storms are still possible and Commodore Price has completed his first official Board Meeting! All of this means, Spring has sprung and CLYC membership registration is now open! Of course the online registration is preferable, however, a hard copy form can be printed and snail mailed, either way, please get registered soon!  While you’re registering, be sure to make a donation to the Clear Lake Sailing Center (501c.3) ; the tax deductible donation (check with your tax preparer) goes toward equipment, salaries for instructors and many other expenses.  These donations make it possible for the Center to keep tuition costs low and as many people as possible learning our great sport!


The second order of business after registering – the Spring Clean Up scheduled for April 29th @ 0900.  Once again this year Margaret Oz leads the charge of revitalizing the grounds of the CLYC building, getting it ready for Summer visitors, intrigued onlookers and the many events planned there this Spring and Summer! Cleaning and work supplies will be on hand, please come on down and you’ll be put to work! If you have any questions, please email Margaret at,


It’s going to be a busy year at the CLYC!  The first major event of the year is the West Water Clinic hosted by the Sailing Center.  This event has gained great popularity as a training regatta for the X boaters of Clear Lake, Okoboji and Minnetonka to attend before the Big Inland!  June 25-27th is when you’ll see the well managed X boat chaos here in town!  The Inland Lake Yachting Association has entrusted us with the running of the 2nd Annual Melges 15 ILYA Championship; this runs from August 3-6 and will be another “all hands” event.  If you haven’t been contacted to volunteer in some aspect of the regatta or another, please make it easy on Julie Oltrogge; give her a shout or send her an email,


We’ve got four parties this year which Vice Commodore Casey Callanan says will be “Epic.”  Ok, maybe the quote was embellished just a touch, but I have all the confidence in the world in Casey!  The first two events will be held at the CLYC in downtown Clear Lake.  We’ll make a glorious, yet very respectful return to the Outing Club for the third party of the year.  The fourth party of the year will be held at the Tesar/Oltrogge Compound on North Shore Dr.  I’ll have many more details regarding the parties in the weeks to come!


The racing schedule is mostly the same this year with the addition of the Melges 15 fleets; here’s the schedule:


  • Friday at a time TBD:  Melges 15 “Developmental Series”
  • Saturday at 9:30am: MC, X and Melges 15 “Open Class”
  • Saturday at 2pm: E, C, Hobie
  • Sunday at 10am: MC, X and Melges 15 “Open Class”
  • Sunday at 2pm: E Fleet – June 4, June 25, July 16, July 23, August 13, August 27
    • Melges 15 “Mixed + Series” (Select dates TBD)
  • Annual Russ Schurtz Memorial Dad/Lad/Mom/Lass Race – June 18th


The new fast and sporty yet extremely versatile Melges 15 fleet will make its much anticipated debut in Clear Lake this year.  While you saw them zooming around some last year, this year they’re a sanctioned fleet racing under the CLYC burgee.  Three separate series or options are available for those of differing sailing backgrounds:


  • The “Open Class” will race in the regular CLYC Championship series. As noted above, this fleet will race on the same course as the MC and X fleets.
  • The “Developmental Series” will be used for learning this hot rod.  Come on out and sail something different, learn a new skill, perhaps fall in love with a new boat!
  • The “Mixed + Series” is a chance for the ladies of Clear Lake to show their stuff on a high performance craft!  Ladies come out and take the tiller, show the men what you’ve got on the race course.  For those not familiar, Mixed + is a major initiative amongst sailing fleets all over the country: it requires at least half the crew on a boat to be female.


Don’t own a Melges 15, don’t worry about it, boats are available, let’s go give them a shot! Any questions regarding these new experiences should be directed to Jeff Nicholas.  Please email him,


Hey Fleet Captains!  Do you know you’re a Fleet Captain?  If you didn’t, you do now!  Be ready to host your Fleet’s annual gathering of madness, nonsense and loud mouths for a night!

  • X Boat – Elle Ebeling
  • Melges 15 – Wil Cooney
  • MC – Dave Haugerud
  • C – Steve Swift
  • E – Jake Sorensen
  • Hobie – Steve Brewer


We’ve highlighted the Melges 15, but what about the other fleets? The sport of sailing around the world has been slowly declining in numbers, however, due to strong efforts of the CLYC membership, racing in Clear Lake is doing very well!  The X fleet is expanding in numbers, approaching 10 boats again!  The E scows, celebrating their 100th Anniversary nationally, are going strong with 10 boats.  The MC fleet is very strong, experiencing growth nationally and our local fleet is approaching 20 boats. Our C boat fleet knows some of the best fishing holes in Minnesota and Canada………Hopefully they remember where their life jackets and sailing gloves are this year!


The Clear Lake Sailing Center will be open for lessons starting June 5th.  The schedule is on their website,, along with program pricing.  Billy Starbeck and Easton DeVries will lead the charge of training youth sailors this year!  Both have a tremendous amount of experience in and around boats and they’re truly great young men! Sign your kids up early, the class slots will fill up fast!


I would certainly hope everyone has seen the CLYC website,, and our Facebook page, they’re both fantastic and kept up by Stu Oltrogge, he puts a lot of work into both!  Of course, Stu is retired so we need to keep him busy! Commodore Brad Price is asking for new pictures for the website and Facebook page; everyone has a cellphone, please snap pictures and send your favorites!  He wants to keep things fresh so please continue this new found fun throughout the year!


While we all love to be on and around the water and feel carefree while doing so, we should remember that safety is of the utmost importance!  During the summer racing Commodore Price urges everyone out watching to familiarize and arm yourselves with a few different pieces of information and equipment. First is the “Safety Card” which shows the geography of the lake and points to reach in a medical emergency; you may remember these were created a couple years ago in conjunction with the ILYA. Yes, most of us know the lake, but can you operate with your adrenaline pumping? A reminder never hurts! Secondly is a VHF/UHF marine radio, these are widely available online, your local hardware or sports store can order them as well… Our race committee and the sailors are all on channel 72, you can enjoy our PRO’s reports and be kept abreast of any situations which may arise; problems are much easier to solve when we’re all on the same page!  Please contact Commodore Price or myself if you have any questions, or


Since the last Crows Nest, Mark and Deb Tesar made their way down to Florida for a Midwinter vacation which included the first major MC regatta of the year… The MC Midwinter Championship was sailed on Lake Eustis, FL a few weeks ago.  Mark, racing his brand new boat, sailed his way to 15th overall in a very solid 60 boat fleet.  Deb jumped on as crew, sailing with a female skipper (Cailin Consindine from Pewaukee/Chicago) and finished 18th overall.  Mark then decided he hadn’t had enough of Florida and stayed, serving on the race committee for the third leg of Melges 15 Winter Series at the Jensen Beach Sailing Center (US Sailing Center of Martin County).


For Sale:

Z-9 E boat: 2-owner boat.  Full racing package.  2008 hull, 2018 mast, 2017 boom, everything else at least 2018 or later, including all running rigging.  Upgraded Melges trailer, 2017 envelope and full deck cover, Velocitek ProStart x2, flotation panels, 2 full sets of North sails.  All work done at Melges, including weigh-in and weight certification.  Always stored inside.  Asking $27K. Please contact Brad @ for further details.


E Scow sails available:  2022 North J4 Jib (class legal) used one weekend – $800,  2019 North Whomper (solid white) used one season – $800.  Please contact Dan Allen for more info –


I believe that’s it for now!  Until the next time I invade your Inbox…


Stay in the Clear Air!


Dan Allen
MC 2811 – Relentless

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