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Blue water, white sails and friends.  Clear Lake at it's finest!
13th Sep


Crow’s Nest 09/07/23

And with a snap of the fingers, the 2023 sailing season is a wrap… Odd wind and weather conditions plagued our weekends the entire season.  Despite the conditions our Race Committee teams did a fine job all summer running quality races! Commodore Brad Price did a fantastic job setting the YC in a positive direction for the year! The parties couldn’t have been better, Vice Commodore Casey Callanan and wife Hunter did a fantastic job putting events together!  From the events at the Club to the Outing Club and the Compound we as a membership are extremely grateful for their efforts! A fantastic ILYA Championship for the Melges 15 Class was run; from the volunteers to the conditions, it was near perfect! We can say with certainty, 2023 was a tremendous success!


The last chance to earn some hardware is Labor Day weekend; can you believe it the wind actually blew! Two great comments from the weekend; Charlie MacNider referring to our conditions as being a beautiful June day and Todd Tesar remarking that we don’t know how to sail in SW breeze AND the SW breeze didn’t know how to blow properly… It was shifting all over, but at least it was blowing fairly hard; in fact very hard during the E races! The winners of the Labor Day Regatta are as follows:


E Fleet – Z-23 Emily Haugerud
MC – 2878 Mark Tesar
M15 – USA 110 Dave Atkinson
X – Z-15 Elle Ebeling


Commodore Brad Price held the Annual General Meeting last Sunday, covering our budget, cash position, nominees for Board Members, Head Race Officer and Flag Officers.  I won’t go into the budget as I can’t remember all that stuff off hand, but I do remember all the nominees:


The new Board Members are: Jesse Tidrick, Kristin Ebeling, Molly Cunningham, Brian Tisor and Will Finstad.  Thanks in advance to you five for agreeing to step up and help the Club advance into the future.


The Head Race Officer will be Charlie MacNider of course… He will have that position until death if we have our way!


Flag Officers – Commodore Casey Callanan, Vice Commodore Dan Allen and Past Commodore Brad Price.


Following the formalities of the evening both Brad and Casey gave some very touching remarks about their time as members of the CLYC; both are very passionate about the CLYC family and their own families being involved and helping in the activities and duties which surround the Flag Officers.  Brad thanked his wife Kate for her continued support and allowing the entire Price family to be involved; Casey, while he may have failed to mention her name in his remarks, is incredibly proud to have his lovely wife Hunter supporting his every move as an Officer and in many cases running the show at social events!


I’ve mentioned again and again the oddities of what was the 2023 sailing season; we had light winds from odd directions, heat, smoke, less wind, heat, smoke again followed by a touch more wind from odd directions and more heat…! We all made the best of it and had such a fantastic year of sailing; here’s a recap from each fleet:


X Boat Fleet – Leif Lundberg started off 2023 on a hot streak that continued through the first series.  It looked as though he was going to run away with another Fleet Championship uncontested, but not so fast… Elle Ebeling, Jude Sorensen and the rest of the fleet turned up the heat and made the task of winning a Championship a daunting one.  Elle, Jude and Brady Amble started putting bullets of their own on their score lines and the season scores bunched up!  It seemed as though the West Water Clinic may have had an extremely positive impact on the level of sailing our kids are doing!  From top to bottom the races compressed and race wins were tougher to come by.  In the end, however, it was Leif Lundberg who enjoyed the spoils of victory and took the 2023 X Fleet Championship.  This is his 3rd Fleet Championship in 4 seasons as a skipper (Elle Ebeling won in 2021). Congratulations to Leif on his victory.


Fleet Champion – Z-5 Leif Lundberg
2nd Place – Z-15 Elle Ebeling
3rd Place – Z-7 Jude Sorensen
4th Place – Z-84 Brady Amble
5th Place – Z-48 Finley Nyhus
6th Place – Z-4 Avery Tidrick
7th Place – Z-53 Grayson and Griffin Harris
8th Place – Z-24 Charlotte Tisor


A huge congratulations and good luck to all those either aging out or moving on from the X boat next year:  Elle Ebeling plans to race in the Melges 15 fleet with her sister Georgia as crew and race aboard the E boat Z-10 (if Mark and Casey decide to get on the water).  Finley Nyhus will also be racing in the Melges 15 fleet with old friend Matthew Doane next year; it’s great to see old friends getting back together, especially around sailboat racing!  Leif Lundberg has his MC and is ready to do battle.  He’s sailed a few races already this year in the fleet and is finding his footing ahead of the 2024 season!


M15 Fleet – What a successful year one they had! A brand new fleet hosts the ILYA Championship…?  That’s unheard of!  Riley Cooney started out gangbusters with Dave Atkinson and company right on her heels.  Brand new sailors, Brad and Mary Thompson quickly gained confidence and knowledge while the young veteran sailor Will Finstad worked out some flaws and became part of the conversation as well!!!  The second series was all Dave with one of his crews, he used 4 different crews this year, which led him to inaugural Fleet Championship. This is Dave’s first Fleet Championship in 40 years!  Congratulations Dave and crews!!


Fleet Champion – USA 110 Dave Atkinson
2nd Place – USA 617 Brad and Mary Thompson
3rd Place – USA 618 Will Finstad
4th Place – USA 385 Riley Cooney
5th Place – USA 619 Ashley Stokke
6th Place – USA 3 Stuart Schurtz
7th Place – USA 157 Greg Nicholas



MC Fleet – From top to bottom the MC fleet could be called, “congested.”  It seems as though every race is decided by feet and inches and by timing of critical decisions.  This year’s winner was decided by just .05 points.  That’s right 5/100th’s of a point after an entire season of racing. Mark Tesar started off stronger than anyone claiming the First Series, but Stu Oltrogge made his run in the Second Series, doing just enough to squeak out the Championship.  One simple mistake in this fleet can be the difference between a race victory or a 15th place. The MC fleet has an award known as the Silver Cup, this goes to the sailor who is up-and-coming in the fleet, just on the verge of upper echelon; this year, that award goes to Steve Dunbar.  Steve is scary fast every time he hits the water and is never out of a race! Congratulations Steve! Only once since 2006 has a sailor other than Stu Oltrogge or Mark Tesar won the MC Fleet Championship (2012 – Jeff Nicholas)… Can they be taken down in 2024???


Fleet Champion – 2842 Stu Oltrogge 6th Place – 2569 Eric Protzman
2nd Place – 2878 Mark Tesar 7th Place – 2340 Emily Haugerud
3rd Place – 2790 Todd Tesar 8th Place – 2574 Randy Kotz
4th Place – 2811 Dan Allen 9th Place – 2401 Jake Sorensen
5th Place – 2818 Brad Osmundson 10th Place – 2600 Chris Krogh


The MC’s have seen tremendous growth over the past 5 years and continues to grow each year!  This year we had 3 new members; Al Ludwig, Sam Ludwig and Steve Benitz.  Next year we’re looking at two more sailors joining the fleet!


C Fleet – The C fleet doesn’t make it out as much as they used to, but they made it out more this year than they have in recent years.  A grand total of 4 races were sailed this year and each race was extremely competitive.  Bill Nicholas in the Z-3 came out victorious in 2023.


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



E Fleet – What’s better than watching these 28 foot machines ripping across the lake?  Not much, especially when their proximity to one another is so close!  Even from shore, you can feel the adrenaline! Mark Tesar took full advantage of Emily Haugerud’s case of the tipsies in the First Series to jump out to a small lead over the rest of the fleet.  The top four boats, Mark, Emily, Brad and Eric were all within one point of each other, making this one of the closest contests in recent memory.  In the Second Series the Z-23 and Z-13 traded bullets; eventually Emily and the Z-23 team collected more bullets and pulled out the Championship over Mark and Brad.  Congratulations Emily and the entire Z-23 team on their 4th consecutive E Fleet Championship!



Fleet Champion – Z-23 Emily Haugerud
2nd Place – Z-13 Mark Tesar
3rd Place – Z-9 Brad Price
4th Place – Z-94 Eric Protzman
5th Place – Z-16 Jake Sorensen
6th Place – Z-7 Wil Cooney


Each year the sailors who attain results above all other sailors are awarded trophies memorializing great members of the past.  Those awards and their winners are:


The R Lyle Bergo Memorial Trophy is awarded each year to the X Boat skipper with the best “Off Lake” performance.  This year, the award goes again to Leif Lundberg.  Among his many high finishes were a 13th Place finish at the TRAP Regatta, 17th place finish at the ILYA Championship and another Blue Chip Invitation! Congratulations Leif on all your accomplishments in the X Fleet!


The Tom MacNider Memorial Trophy is awarded each year to the skipper/team with the best improvement in overall average versus the prior year.  In 2023, as it did in 2022 goes to Brady Amble!  Brady’s constant improvement over the past two years has been remarkable! The Club’s “Man among children” as he’s often referred to due to his incredible height, is now most often in the hunt for every race and will have his eyes set on the 2024 X Fleet Championship!  The Amble family was a “non-sailing” family before the kids became involved, now they’re all in!


The Marie O’Brien Alcorn Memorial Trophy goes to the sailor with the best off lake performance in the “adult” classes; E, C, MC, Melges 15.  The 2023 edition was won by Todd Tesar for his fantastic result at the MC Masters National Championship.  Todd recorded an amazingly consistent score line including a win in the final race to propel him into 5th place overall.  Congratulations Todd on a fantastic regatta and winning this award!


The Commodore each year is responsible for making the tough choice of whom to award the following two trophies to:


The Charlie Crane Memorial Trophy is one that recognizes contributions to the CLYC. Mark Ebeling is certainly a person who embodies the meaning of this award. Not only is he the President of the Sailing Center which is a feeder organization for the YC, he’s the one who is always there when a person needs help on or off the water. Case in point; a new MC sailor tipped over and was ok, however, could use a little help.  Mark was there, flipped the top of the mast up, scooping the skipper into the boat… The skipper was self loathing at the time, told Mark he should just tow him in.  Mark’s no response; “No you can sail in, you’re fine.”  Now that may sound crass, but that statement made the skipper want to come back and give it more effort!  That’s a contribution not many would be able to make.  Nice work and congratulations Mark!!!


The Loose Anchor Award is awarded to a person who makes contributions behind the scenes the general membership never sees or hears of.  Nichole Sorensen couldn’t be more deserving of this award in 2023.  Commodore Brad Price was right when he said, “she just does everything and we don’t know how!” From getting her own sailors ready for battle, to getting others on the water to watch that battle, making meals for all of them, then volunteering for regatta duties, taking care of other sailors whenever they need it, she’s simply THERE… She’s just the best there is at doing what needs to be done, no matter who and when someone needs it.  Thank you Nichole for all your efforts for everyone and congratulations on receiving this award!


The final award of the year is the most famous, perhaps infamous in the Club’s repertoire; voted on by the membership with cheers, jeers and applause!:


The Blooper Award, what can say about the Blooper Award aside from, ooops… We all have our fair share of ooops moments but this one takes the 2023 cake.  I guess the Oltrogge family hadn’t grilled any dinner for a while and Stu doesn’t practice basic grill safety procedures by opening the top when lighting… I guess he also forgets about text messages stating that important articles were going to be dropped and the only place to be found to drop them was in the grill that hadn’t been used in weeks… So, using very unsafe procedures to light his grill and eventually smelling something odd coming from the grill, Stu investigates only to find an envelope full of YCA Reciprocity Cards being cooked to a beautiful medium rare! Thankfully some were salvageable, enough in fact for all the yearbooks which were handed and sent out. For this lapse of judgment Stu Oltrogge has been awarded the 2023 Blooper Award.  Congratulations Stu, I expect that beautiful trophy to adorn your annual Christmas cards!


While the CLYC season may have come to a close, the regatta season has not.  The E Scow National Championship starts today in Madison, WI at Lake Mendota with registration and tuning.  At 100 years old, the E scow has impressed even the most high-performance thirsty sailors across the country. This year 130 teams will gather to do battle for the largest E boat regatta ever assembled; two teams from Clear Lake will be attending… Our resident road warriors, the Z-9 Team skippered by Commodore Brad Price and the Z-23 Team, our current Fleet Champs, skippered by Emily Haugerud.  Be sure to check as well as Facebook and YouTube for updates, stories and video from multiple sources. We have two gentlemen attending to work on the race committee, Mark Tesar and Eric Protzman. It sounds like part of their duties will be on the pin end of the starting line, which will be around a mile long… Yes, a mile…


I’ll have a wrapup of the E Nationals next week and provide some commentary and feedback from the sailors themselves.


Finally, your friend and mine Steve Taylor has decided to retire from racing and is listing his MC for sale.  He would REALLY like it to stay in Clear Lake, if you’re in the market, hit him up!


2007 Melges MC #2410, white on white hull, completely rerigged, top cover, envelope cover, new sail, newer trailer and lift – $9500.  This boat has been lightly used and is in excellent condition inside and out.  Contact Steve at or give him a call, that number is in the yearbook.


Until the next invasion of your Inbox…



Stay in the Clear Air,


Dan Allen
MC 2811 – Relentless

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