img (641) 357-8001
img 103 Main Ave, Clear Lake, IA 50428
Ice is out and the docks are going in.  Let's get this rock'n summer going!!
3rd Apr


Crow’s Nest 04/04/24

The docks continue to go in the lake; some of them you’re going to need an extension ladder to get down into a boat, others will give you the illusion of walking on water if we get a bunch of rain… Some lifts are even showing across the acres of water we love! According to the USGS the lake level has come up a couple inches in the past week with the rain we’ve received.  Obviously that’s great news, now just cross your fingers for more! If you’re one of those folks with a low dock… Sorry, but my fingers are still crossed for more rain!


Don’t forget about your membership dues!  It’s easy and can be done at  Social members, go ahead and click the auto-renew option and forget about it next year… Racing members, bust out your credit card and get it done before you get busy and forget!  The deadline for getting your name in the yearbook is May 7th, just a month away!


Quickly approaching is April 27th… I hope you haven’t forgotten about the Clean Up Day at the YC building!  Margaret Oz will have all the cleaning supplies ready to go… All you need to do is bring yourself and a rake, then be ready to work!


An incredible undertaking has been in the works for over a year now and we’re inching closer to it’s stark reality.  Though it’s four months away, the ILYA Annual Championship Regatta is at the forefront of the collective Club minds. Volunteers are needed for many positions; we need everyone to be involved!


Maybe you can’t help with launching or retrieving boats but you can take spectators and/or crew on your boat; perfect we need you! Maybe you can’t be on the water all day but can help with launching and retrieving, that’s fantastic, want to help with lunches and/or dinners, give us a call or an email!  The point is we need everyone for tasks large and small, tasks that could be one day or all seven.  We can all chip in and make the regatta a tremendous success!  How do you become a valued and loved volunteer?  Simply shoot Julie Oltrogge an email and she’ll work her magic!


As I said in the previous Crows Nest, this is THE FIRST TIME the CLYC has hosted this event.  The “Juggernauts” of the ILYA, Geneva, Minnetonka, etc, have held nearly exclusive rights to this event in the past. We’ve been awarded this event due to our successes in previous regattas… WHEN we succeed here, the CLYC will not only be on the list of ILYA  “Juggernauts”, we’ll be in the National spotlight having held an amazing rendition of one of the oldest regattas in the country! This amazing success will lead to more spotlight events in the future!


Here in Clear Lake our racing fleets are expanding! That’s not been the trend nationally!  In fact, it sounds as though I’ll have to stop poking fun at the C Fleet; no promises though… Two new boats, including one brand new member to the CLYC will be racing our fine courses this year.  Welcome Merritt Becker sailing the C boat T-34 with us this year! We’ll convince you to change that T to Z in no time! Merritt is a recent transplant from Lake Maxinkuckee, hence the T.  Marcus Lundberg also makes his return to the C fleet after too many years away from it; welcome back Marcus.


The MC Fleet welcomes three new sailors this year; Leif Lundberg, Stu Schurtz and Chris Wessels; that brings the MC fleet over 20 boats I believe. The X boats should have between 8 and 10 boats, even after losing three skippers!  We’ve mentioned Leif going into the MC; Elle Ebeling with sister Georgia will be racing a Melges 15 this year as will Finley Nyhus!  Hopefully that brings the M15 fleet up to about 8 boats! The E fleet remains level at 8 boats.


Saturday, May 25th is the start of our Club racing season. The racing schedules will remain the same as they’ve been for a chunk of years now, with a couple exceptions. The E fleet has been racing several Sunday afternoons for a while now, however, this year both the E and C fleets will race on those selected Sundays. For our new members and more forgetful folks, the schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday morning at 9:30am – MC, M15, X
  • Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm – E, C, Hobie (back-to-back races)
  • Sunday morning at 10:00am – MC, M15, X
  • Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm – E and C (4 dates – back-to-back races)
    • 6/9, 6/30, 7/21 and 8/4

Don’t forget to have your radio handy (ideally turned on as well) an hour ahead of race time to hear the wisdom, wisecracks and tomfoolery of our illustrious Race Officers. That’s on Channel 72 if you’ve forgotten.


The Fleet Captains have one main responsibility for the sailing season: Host quality fleet parties… BUT wait there’s more!!! They now have responsibilities on the Protest Committee; each of the Fleet Captains got an email from the Protest Committee Chairman, hopefully it didn’t reach their Spam folder… The 2024 Fleet Captains are as follows:

  • E – Brad Price
  • C – Marcus Lundberg
  • MC – Jessie Tidrick
  • M15 – Dave Atkinson
  • Hobie – Steve Brewer
  • X – Brady Amble

Speaking of protests; sailboat racing is a self-policing sport and our Club racing is pretty friendly. Many of us have gotten very “forgiving” or “lax” regarding the rules and the effects of not calling out an infraction. You may beat the boat who failed to keep clear of you and did no circles, but what about those who didn’t beat him/her; is that fair? No it’s not; that boat should have done penalty turns. The point is to know the rules and when you break them, please exonerate yourself with circles.  If you’ve been fouled, it’s not rude to put up the “dreaded red flag”, it’s your obligation to ensure fair play and the Corinthian spirit of our sport…If a situation does arise, please remember, combative behavior is not necessary, nor welcome. The CLYC procedure for filing protests has been modernized, please take note of it in the sailing instructions.


Let’s talk about club racing safety just a bit.  Sailors – Lifejackets!!  Are you wearing one, you should be and X fleet, you have to be (from shore to shore). The Board implores spectators to be prepared to help racers in need of assistance. Following the ILYA Safety Initiative, the CLYC has prepared safety cards for members to keep in powerboats; those cards should be studied and handy if needed in the event of an emergency.  VHF radios; PLEASE have your radio tuned to Channel 72 and ready to respond if a call for assistance comes about.  It may be a great idea to check in with the RC prior to race time, saying you’re on site and available to assist. Engine kill cords; my goodness, please use these.  Most, if not all powerboats have them; very few use them… Please have them attached to you in the case of falling overboard in our occasionally rough waters.  I had planned to link a video on how to properly help right a capsized boat… Oddly enough, my searches came back with a more humorous, perhaps dangerous manner in which to do it… Let’s just go ahead and ask Mark Ebeling and Brandon Conway how to do it; they’re pros! Shhh, don’t tell them I referred you to them!


The most vital piece of our organization is without a doubt the Sailing Center; they bring in a fresh crop of new sailors every year and keep them engaged year after year!  The job of the all volunteer board is amazing and the skills of our instructors continues to impress!  This year the Center has 8 weeks of instruction for everyone!  Young to old, they can help you develop the necessary skills to enjoy the water powered only by nature for a lifetime!


With all of the excitement surrounding the early season preparation, a person should always be on the lookout for the early Blooper Award nomination worthy moments… IN FACT, we already have one blooper worthy event on the books for 2024! I can’t believe it, it’s come before Jennifer puts her cruiser in, we’ve had no reports of innocent bystanders being hugged down a ski slope and I’m not sure if Mike Starbeck has filled the gas cans, but I bet he does now! Ah, I love this part of the job!


We’ll have much more to talk about in a couple weeks, but that’s it for now!  Until next time friends….


Stay in the Clear Air,


Dan Allen
MC 2811 – Relentless

Share This :

No comments so far!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.