Category Archives: Racing

Sail-A-Bration Goes Off with a Bang!

Almost 90 members and guests came to Waukegan Yacht Club on Saturday, November 16, to celebrate the 2019 boating season, our racers and Commodore Jim Hellquist. The club opened at 6pm and our guests started to gather for cocktails and appetizers.

Cocktails at the Sail-A-Bration
Cocktails at the Sail-A-Bration

Dinner was served at 7pm. The buffet of mandarin orange salad, roast beef, chicken piccata, grilled vegetable medley and mashed potatoes was generous and delicious.

Dinner was served at plentiful and delicious.

The sail awards were given out at 8pm. Among the winners were crews of Sirocco III, Spitfire, American Dream, Unplugged, FasTen, Elecktra and Lucille Marie. Click here to check out all the awards.

Sirocco III took home many honors at the Sail Awards.

After the awards were completed, the band Sons of Chicago kicked off the dancing. The dance floor was full of revelers most of the evening.

The Band Sons of Chicago played after the awards.

Last Race Race to Kenosha Huge Success!

The Waukegan Yacht Club hosted the annual Last Race Race the culmination of our racing season. This race has been held every year for many years since the club was founded. The race is sponsored in conjunction with the Kenosha Yacht Club who hosts the racers at their dock wall for drinks and dinner. 

Fifteen boats participated this year, half coming from Wisconsin. Most arrived at the club around 0900. The club was opened and a bartender served the racers as they arrived. Many of the boats had to leave earlier from Kenosha to make it to Waukegan in time for the start.

last race racers docked along the wall
Boats dock along the wall north of the Waukegan Yacht Club preparing for the race

The boats tied up along side the dock wall picking their spots carefully so they could get a good start at the proper time. The Last Race Race uses a Le Mans style race start. All skippers have to come inside the club and wait for their starting time, determined by a reverse PHRF calculation. The fastest boats are given starting times staggered to take into account their typical speed over distance.  

Unplugged ready for the race

Unplugged, a Waukegan boat, is readied for the start

The racers came in all sizes and the smallest was actually an 18-foot Buccaneer, which actually finished well up in the pack. 

Small racer

Racers came in all size, big and small, like this 18 ft Buccaneer.

The weather was cloudy with blustery winds coming from the southwest. Waves were one to two feet. Many boats launched their spinnakers after leaving Waukegan harbor or deployed spinnaker or whisker poles to sail wing on wing north.

The wind hit 15-20 knots at points in the race and running downwind the boats hit hull speed or better if flying their spinnakers. Many reported surfing on the fast moving waves. All the boats were moving quickly and promised to arrive in Kenosha in record time.

Hitting high speeds during the race

Final Results

The following results are final. We have received confirmation of finish times by several participants. One racer noticed that our original handicapped starting times were incorrect due to an incorrect distance used from Waukegan to Kenosha. After correcting the error we applied the resulting difference to all finish times to achieve the following standings. We apologize for the previous error. Congratulations to all the participants in this fun race! If you notice your corrected time is wrong please contact Sail@waukeganyachtclub.com and we will update the results as soon as possible. (Updated 9/28)

Distance to kenosha

Place Boat PHRF Corrected Start Actual Start Difference Finish Corrected finish
1 DERAILER 165 10:41:02 AM 10:39:36 AM 0:01:26 12:38 PM 12:39 PM
2 JOAN CLAIRE 153 10:43:48 AM 10:42:00 AM 0:01:48 12:50 PM 12:52 PM
3 UNPLUGGED 168 10:40:21 AM 10:39:00 AM 0:01:21 12:54 PM 12:55 PM
4 MADCAP -30 11:25:53 AM 11:22:00 AM 0:03:53 12:53 PM 12:56 PM
5 PATRIOT 150 10:44:29 AM 10:42:36 AM 0:01:53 12:58 PM 1:00 PM
6 KOOKABURRA 132 10:48:37 AM 10:46:12 AM 0:02:25 1:02 PM 1:04 PM
7 RHEA 213 10:30:00 AM 10:30:00 AM 0:00:00 1:07 PM 1:07 PM
8 SIROCCO -3 11:19:40 AM 11:13:12 AM 0:06:28 1:01 PM 1:08 PM
9 SERENITY 153 10:43:48 AM 10:42:00 AM 0:01:48 1:10 PM 1:12 PM
10 TAKEDOWN-2 90 10:58:17 AM 10:54:36 AM 0:03:41 1:09 PM 1:12 PM
11 LUCILLE MARIE 186 10:36:12 AM 10:35:24 AM 0:00:48 1:14 PM 1:14 PM
12 CARAMAR 207 10:31:22 AM 10:31:12 AM 0:00:10 1:16 PM 1:16 PM
13 SMOKIN’ J 87 10:58:58 AM 10:55:12 AM 0:03:46 1:15 PM 1:19 PM
14 FREEDOM 201 10:32:45 AM 10:32:24 AM 0:00:21 1:24 PM 1:24 PM
15 CLARA MARIE 204 10:32:04 AM 10:31:48 AM 0:00:16 1:29 PM 1:29 PM

88th Annual Chicago-Waukegan Race amazing!

On June 22, the Waukegan Yacht Club hosted the 88th Annual Chicago-Waukegan Race. Over 120 boats participated in this year’s race. Over 500 sailors descended on the club and the weather turned out nicely although rain threatened all day. Want to know who won? Check out the list of finishers here.

Sailboats preparing to start a race
Chicago-Waukegan race start off Montrose Harbor

Over all the racers who participated in the race in 2019, many chose to dock and raft off at the club. The dock offered food and drink to the thirsty and hungry racers. Mount Gay flowed liberally.

Racers rafted off the dock by the club.

Dinner was served starting at 5:30pm and ending at 7:30pm. A live band played after dinner and well into the night and the dance floor was full. 

Many volunteers turned out to help with the committee boat, ticket sales, dinner, and the party on Saturday night and for the breakfast on Sunday. Thanks to all those volunteers who came out to help. We could not have done it without you!

Chicago-Waukegan volunteers Joanna Tarnawski, Eleanor Vick and Erik Hellquist.
Chicago-Waukegan volunteers Joanna Tarnawski, Eleanor Vick and Erik Hellquist.

Want to get a piece of history? Buy our 2019 commemorative Chicago-Waukegan Race t-shirt. The 100% heavy-weight cotton t-shirts were very popular Saturday and Sunday, but we still have some shirts on hand for sale. Order one today and pick it up tat the club, or have it shipped right to your house. Don’t wait. we only have a few shirts left in each size!  

Chicago-Waukegn comemorative t-shirt

Click here to order your shirt now

Buy your 2019 Chicago-Waukegan Race T-shirt now

The commemorative t-shirt for the 2019 Chicago-Waukegan Race is now available for pre-order. This year’s shirt features an original design that honors two great cities and a historic sailboat race. Over 100 sailboats are participating in this year’s race and all the names of the racing boats are featured on the back of the shirt.

Order your shirt(s) today to be guaranteed delivery on Saturday, June 22. Shirts ordered before Saturday, will be available for pickup at the club after the race. Only a limited number are being made. Don’t miss your chance to capture a bit of history.

Click here to order a shirt now

Last Race, Race to Kenosha Great Success

The Last Race, Race drew over 20 boats to participate in our last port-to-port race for 2018. Boats sailed down from Kenosha that morning and Waukegan boats came over to dock at the club for our Le Mans start sequence. The sun came out and the wind died as the racers left the harbor and for the first hour the boats floated just past the breakwater by the red lighthouse.

Photo from a racer in the last race, race
Winds were strong from the Northwest making the trip north a long slog.

About an hour passed and a line of clouds moved in from the west and brought some light winds that built all morning and into the afternoon. Most boats arrived in Kenosha before 3pm. Leading the way was Madcap Express which took the trophy but everyone had a great time for the last major race of the season.

The wind clocked around to the east overnight and built to 15 knots or higher. Four foot waves were pushed in from the east and provided a bumpy ride for the boats that stayed at the Kenosha Yacht Club that night. In the morning, the race back was canceled due to weather, but the concern over high winds and choppy waters was misplaced. The wind and waves fell off all morning until by 1pm the lake was nearly calm and the winds dropped to 5 knots or less.

Flying Spaghetti Monster passes Lucille Marie heading back to Waukegan.
Flying Spaghetti Monster passes Lucille Marie heading back to Waukegan.

On Sunday only two boats decided to race back to Waukegan. Lucille Marie was the only boat that completed the entire race under sail. At the 2019 Sail-A-Bration the Last Race, Race trophy was presented to Captain Jim Maivald and his crew Howard Larson. 

Howard Larson and Jim Maivald accepted the trophy for the Last Race, Race
Howard Larson and Jim Maivald accepted the trophy for the Last Race, Race

Race to Racine fun for all

The Fall Series of Waukegan Yacht Club kicked off Saturday, Sept 15 with light winds. Racers worked every gust and lift to make their way north. The first boat finished just after 2pm.

The lake was full of boaters coming out of every harbor.

Lanteen-rigged sailboat on Lake Michicgan
Lanteen-rigged sailboat sails from Kenosha, Wisconsin.Lanteen-rigged sailboat sails from Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Lighthouse at Racine Harbor entrance
This lighthouse welcomes visitors to Racine Harbor

crew of sailing vessel Spitfire at dinner
The Spitfire crew waits for their food order after finishing first

Welcome to the Waukegan Yacht Club

Harbor view of Waukegan Yacht Club
Harbor view of Waukegan Yacht Club

The Waukegan Yacht Club provides a full-service yacht club to boaters and watercraft enthusiasts on the north shore. During the sailing season we have weekly club races and a special schedule of fall races. When the harbor is open the club offers dinner service for members and guests on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Off-season the club is also open and available for special events and parties. Members can access the clubhouse 24/7 to use the showers and bathrooms and for safe harbor.

cocktail bar at Waukegan Yacht Club
Have a cocktail at the bar or order a tasty treat from the kitchen.

Not interested in racing? We boat along one of the best cruising grounds in North America. Whether you want to go for a weekend or for a month, there are places to go. Cruising with a group gives you the added camaraderie of boating with friends and the added security of numbers. Power boaters will get there faster and sailors will get there cheaper but, on the dock, the drinks and food and love of our lake are the same.

people riding in a powerboat
The club has an active power squadron

Cruising with the Waukegan Yacht Club is a no–host event. We try, when possible, to have slips close together. On the day of the cruise, we meet for a brief “captains’ meeting” to work out final details.  First boat to the destination helps the later arrivals. Generally, we have a get-together on the dock where each boat brings an hors d’oeuvres and their favorite beverage. There is then the opportunity to go out for dinner as a group or eat aboard. On the return departure, guess who helps with the dock lines!

clouds reflected on the water in Waukegan Harbor
Another beautiful day in Waukegan Harbor

Don’t own a boat? No problem, the club owns an impressive fleet of dinghies and small sail craft that are free to use by all members. In 2017, the club received the donation of a 27-foot sloop. In 2018, this boat will be available to members for both racing, cruising or just daysailing.

Three smiling people sailing on lake michigan
Sailing on the lake is a fun group activity.

Don’t know how to sail? The Waukegan Yacht Club offers and hosts classes for adults, youth and children in sailing, crewing, basic seamanship, sailboat racing and even navigation. Classes are free or discounted for members.

sailing dinghies in the harbor
The club’s fleet of sailing dinghies and small sail craft are all available to members

You can see that there are many reasons to join the Waukegan Yacht Club. So, what are you waiting for?