Sail Chicago's year-end celebration

By Pat Webster, Social Coordinator

Mark your calendars to save the date for Sail Chicago's end-of-the-season celebration that will be held at the Columbia Yacht Club on Friday evening, November 13th. We look forward to an evening of dining and relaxing with friends in this nautical setting.  

The evening will begin at 6:30 with a cash bar, followed by dinner at 7:00PM.  The Board of Directors will be on hand to recognize those who have excelled in the organization, either through their achievement or through their volunteerism.

Look for an article in the October Between the Sheets with a link to register and pay for this event.  An email announcement will also go out in October.  Space is limited so be sure to register early. This event is open to Sail Chicago members, students, and their guests.

2015 Verve Inshore Regatta

Sail Chicago's Team Recess and Team Windhorse head upwind in heavy winds during day 2 of the Chicago Yacht Club's Verve Inshore Regatta. Photo by Chicago Yacht Club.

Sail Chicago's Team Recess and Team Windhorse head upwind in heavy winds during day 2 of the Chicago Yacht Club's Verve Inshore Regatta. Photo by Chicago Yacht Club.

Sail Chicago's racing program had an amazing year with two new Intro to Racing classes and three months of great racing. Sail Chicago Colgate 26 racers fielded 5 boats in the 2015 Verve Cup at Belmont Harbor. The winds kicked up to 15-25 as Bob Cohen won second place while Adam Collins won third. Want to know what the racing crew are up to next? Follow them at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Colgate26Racing

 

Sometimes you have to Paddle

During my sailing class we came across a  deflated helium party  balloon floating in the lake.   We thought this would be a perfect way to do a good deed and practice our crew overboard skills.

The winds were light and as we were circling our deflated balloon the winds died and we were left drifting.

 One of my classmates decided this would be a good opportunity to practice paddling a sailboat.  He went into the cabin and took out  a canoe paddle and went to work.  We were successful in our "rescue" and the lake was extracted of floating debris.

Sometimes in a sailboat, you get to sail, and sometimes you must paddle or drift aimlessly.

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Summer Youth Programs

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Sail Chicago sponsors three summer community outreach programs aimed at Chicago-area youth.  Some wonderful sails have been completed and it seems likely that more than a few young people now see sailing as a sport they'd like to learn. The three programs are:

  • Urban Youth Sailing  Sail Chicago here works with Association House which is dedicated to promoting health and educational opportunities for multi-cultural enrichment. Urban Youth sailors are aged ten to 13, and they receive their first experience sailing with us on one of our Colgates. Trips out on the Lake last for an hour or two and meet at 1:00 p.m. every Tuesday in July and August at Monroe Street Harbor.
  • Schüler Scholar Program This organization works with high-potential but under-served students to prepare them for attendance at the most competitive colleges and universities.  All through high school, Schuler scholars are tutored and counseled to ensure they reach their high potential. Sail Chicago provides one of the Schuler Scholar Program's enrichment activities by sponsoring sails aboard our Colgate fleet. Sails last for two to three hours and leave at 1:00 p.m. every Wednesday from mid-June to mid-August from Monroe Harbor.
  • Lawrence Hall Youth Services For eight years, Sail Chicago has worked with this service organization to provide a sailing experience for the adolescents that they serve. The young people who sail with us get to take the helm of our cruising boat, Priorities, and learn a bit about the art of sailing.  Sails last for two to three hours and leave Belmont Harbor at 1:00 p.m. every Tuesday from mid-June to August 31.

Every youth program cruise has a Sail Chicago skipper and first mate supervising.  Counselors from the various programs also sail with us.  Sail Chicago volunteers earn service time for their sails as well as the satisfaction of helping very deserving youth...and having a lot of fun, too.   To volunteer for any of these programs contact the Sail Chicago program coordinator by clicking on any one of these:  Urban YouthSchuler Scholar, or Lawrence Hall.

Steve Colgate to be inducted into the Sailing Hall of Fame

  

Steve Colgate, designer of the Colgate 26, the backbone of our Sail Chicago fleet, will be inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame on October 4. 

Steve Colgate has not only impacted recreational boaters, he has steered his own yacht, Sleuth, to impressive wins and sailed thousands of miles of blue water racing and round-the-buoy competitions as helmsman, tactician and crew on sailboats he helped bring to the winners’ circle. Colgate started his racing career at age 19 on his first of six Transatlantic Races, racing from Cuba to Spain on the winning yacht 72’ yawl Mare Nostrum. He immediately went on to participate in his first of seven Fastnet Races; and in 1979, on his Frers 54’ Sleuth, he won his class in the 1979 Fastnet where winds hit more than 80 knots, 15 died, and many yachts retired.

                  In 1964 he turned his love for sailing into bringing more sailors to the lifestyle, and sport, of sailing. He started Offshore Sailing School with one location in New York City, and gradually expanded to its current eight locations in Florida, the British Virgin Islands, New Jersey and New York. With his wife and Offshore Sailing partner Doris (CEO and President of Offshore Sailing School), vowing to never get in the way of Colgate’s love for racing, he continued on to compete in two America’s Cup Trials, the Pan American Games, the Olympics, 20 Newport to Bermuda Races, 2 Sydney-Hobart races, 5 Antigua Race Weeks, and a host of other racing and sailing adventures too long to list here. Additionally, Colgate designed the school’s training vessel, the Colgate 26, with Naval Architect Jim Taylor. The Colgate 26 is the official training vessel of the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard and Maine Maritime Academy.


Issue #8 From the Editor... August, 2015

  

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program.  

Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.

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By Gary Thrane, Associate Editor

Well, the weather has finally turned summery!  All through June, it seemed like it was never going to clear up, or even warm up.  But at last, sailors can go forth without automatically donning their foul weather gear.  If you're a skipper, we hope you've been out for private sails.  Members can also get  out on the Lake with MCOs (Member Cruise Outings).  Students can sign up for, and skippers can lead, Tiller Times. Skippers can also have fun as they fulfill their volunteer duties out on the water (see "Summer Youth Programs" article below).  

If you're looking to go out with an experienced skipper or you are a skipper looking for crew, consider the Sail Chicago Share-a-Sail program (see article below).

(An error on the Sail Chicago web site has been corrected:  the maximum number of people who can sail on Priorities is seven as has always been the rule in the Sail Chicago Rules and Regulations.)

 

Crew Overboard ... Something to be Serious About

  By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator John Lemon Recently an experienced racer and sailor fell overboard during a race on the Columbia River.  For those of you who have wondered what the experience is like, here is a first-hand account. The story underscores the importance of: 1)     Regularly practicing crew overboard maneuvers, on as many different boats as you can, and 2)     ALWAYS WEARING A LIFEJACKET! This account may also convince you to resist the temptation to try to practice a "live crew" overboard maneuver.  The risks are simply too great for all but the most experienced sailors under tightly controlled conditions.  Instead, practice with a fender with a length of line attached.  Using a lifejacket is not recommended, as other boaters may see the lifejacket in the water and put in a call to the Coast Guard and/or Marine Police. If you have questions about proper execution of crew overboard maneuvers, contact one of Sail Chicago's volunteer sailing instructors.  Details of the standard maneuvers, the Quick Stop and the Quick Turn, are shown in the US Sailing Basic Keelboat manual distributed to all students.   

 

By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator

John Lemon

Recently an experienced racer and sailor fell overboard during a race on the Columbia River.  For those of you who have wondered what the experience is like, here is a first-hand account.

The story underscores the importance of:

1)     Regularly practicing crew overboard maneuvers, on as many different boats as you can, and

2)     ALWAYS WEARING A LIFEJACKET!

This account may also convince you to resist the temptation to try to practice a "live crew" overboard maneuver.  The risks are simply too great for all but the most experienced sailors under tightly controlled conditions.  Instead, practice with a fender with a length of line attached.  Using a lifejacket is not recommended, as other boaters may see the lifejacket in the water and put in a call to the Coast Guard and/or Marine Police.

If you have questions about proper execution of crew overboard maneuvers, contact one of Sail Chicago's volunteer sailing instructors.  Details of the standard maneuvers, the Quick Stop and the Quick Turn, are shown in the US Sailing Basic Keelboat manual distributed to all students. 

 

From the Editor/July 2015

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By Steve VanderVoort, Editor                                      

Summer is here at last and after an extended period of unpredictable weather, the long term forecast seems to be warm and sunny.  We hope you've already had a chance to get out on the water, even with the unpredictable weather patterns.  Now that things seem to be improving, there's really no excuse not to be enjoying sailing on Lake Michigan in our fleet of Colgates, Rhodes, Ideals, and our cruising boat, Priorities.  If you're a Sail Chicago certified skipper, you can schedule a boat for private use when it's not being used for other program functions.  If you're not a skipper yet, schedule a Tiller Time if you've taken an instruction class in the past year, or sign up for a Member Cruise Outing. Both are free for members.  And if you feel more energetic, you can always sign up for our Colgate Racing program, where you can quickly hone your sailing skills.

Don't forget our social events.  The biggest one of the summer is coming up in a month.  It's our annual Sail Chicago picnic.  Here you can not only stuff yourself with gourmet delights, meet new sailing buddies, and swap sailing stories, but you can go sailing on one of our Colgates or on our cruising boat as well.  Look for more detailed information in the article below.

Boating safety is always a concern here at Sail Chicago. Our Rules and Regulations state that no alcohol is allowed on any boat in our fleet, and that everyone on a boat must wear a life jacket at all times (see article below).  Also, there is no swimming off any of our boats. 

Finally, remember that we are an all-volunteer organization.  This means that we've all got to pitch in and do our part to keep Sail Chicago strong and thriving. Several important positions in the organization need to be filled quickly (see article below).  Without people who are willing to step up, some of our programs will come to a halt.  All of these positions allow members of fulfill their annual service requirements, and some of them offer sailing credits.

Solstice Rebate! Get 50% off Your Boat Usage Fee!

Saturday, June 20, is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and the astronomical start of summer.  Your Board wants to see as many of our sailors as possible out on Lake Michigan that day.   

So, we're offering a 50% discount on all boat use fees for that entire day (June 20).  Reserve a boat as you normally would, and we will give you back half of your fee in sailing credits.  

Let's get out on the water!

The Sail Chicago Board

Pointers for Peaceful Sailing

By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor

We all enjoy sailing for its peace and quiet, and your sails should be as silent as you can make them, not just for a peaceful sail, but also to reduce wear and tear on thesails.  You can ensure a quiet sail by proper sail trim for your point of sail.  Thesame goes for sitting at the can; do not raise your sails until you are ready to cast off and you have already gone through your departure plans (including plans B and C) with your crew.  Luffing the sails at the can is loud, uncomfortable, and hard onthe material. 

One additional point about sail care:  Boat Maintenance has asked us NOT to raise the main with a winch.  It's not necessary for complete hoisting, and using a winch tends to stretch and distort the sail cloth.

Another reminder is to not practice or sail too much around the busy harbor mouth. Also, don't forget that tender drivers and boat owners can get nervous (especially those sitting on their boats) as we sail through the harbor.  Finally, remember that the west channel tends to have fluky, light winds and a lot of big boat traffic; stay away from the west channel as much as you can and when prudent.  

As we get into high summer, here's wishing you lots of peaceful and quiet sailing!