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

87th Chicago-Waukegan Race Great Success!

On June 16th the Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club hosted the 87th annual Chicago-Waukegan sailboat race. Nearly 130 boats registered for the race and over 100 took part in the race.

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

This year the weather was unpredictable as usual. The wind started briskly coming from the south from 5-7 knots. Most boats immediately launched their spinnakers and the various sections started to battle it out for the lead.

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

A little over an hour after the last boat crossed the starting line the wind abruptly swung around to the northeast at over 10 knots. The shift caught many boats unprepared as their crews jumped into action to dose their chutes.
Now the race had shifted to a close hauled beat to windward. But, as they say, “if you don’t like the weather in Chicago, wait five minutes.” Less than another hour passed and the wind began to shift around to the east and not long afterward back to the south once more.
Chutes came out again and this to stay. At first, the wind was steady and strong, but ebbed over the next few hours. Fortunately, for most of the fleet they were able to stand to Waukegan and the finish line. By 2:00pm, the majority of racers had crossed the line and retired to the north harbor where they rafted off the club dock, or to berths they had rented in the south harbor. Waukegan racers simply went off to their own berths.

sailboats finishing race with spinnakers
Boats finishing the 87th Chicago-Waukegan race

The weather in Waukegan was sunny and warm and perfect for a cookout. Grills were fired up and many racers grabbed a burger, brat or hot dog and a cold brew or rum and coke. The club and dockside was alive with members, racers and guests.

dockside at the club
The dock was filled with members, racers and guests

Dinner was an Italian buffet and was served starting at 5:30pm. Food went fast and actually ran out by 8:00pm. Live music started by 7:30pm and rocked the club for a few hours before the awards were made. The party continued well into the night.

people drinking at the club
All parts of the club were humming with conversations, laughter and sea stories.

Sunday morning came early and many sailors and guests took advantage of Bo Harper’s Bloody Mary bar! Many took advantage of the hot breakfast provided by the club. By 8:00am, the Committee boat cast off to set up the starting line. The first section started at 9:05 and each following section went off in 5 minute increments. In less than an hour all 9 sections were gone.

sailboats racing away
In a blink of the eye the racers were gone, headed back to Chicago

The Board of Directors would like to thank the following volunteers who made this event a major success:
Claudia Aisenberg, Larry Beliant, Jeff Bernachi, Colin Classen, Richard Fee, Yvonne Fee, Mary Ellen Giffels, Jose Guzman, Bo Harper, Lynne Hellquist, Erik Hellquist, John Johnson, Barbara Klupiec, Chris Klupiec, Mark LeVan, Jim Maivald, Paul McEntee, Aaron Milks, Kim Nerheim, John Rouse, Viktoriya Rouse, Tom Sivia, Nikki Sullivan, and Al (Jeep) Trefts. Let us know  if we missed your name.

volunteers selling tickets for food and drink
Volunteers made this year’s event a tremendous success

Thanks to our volunteers the club is ready for the holidays!

Please join us in thanking the wonderful volunteers who helped to decorate the club on Sunday! We had great group of decorators.

The trees were trimmed with care.
The trees were trimmed with care.

We’d like to thank Howard Larson, Andy, Anna and Robert Kepinki, Dave and Kim Perrone, Denise Lapins, Jim, Lynne and Erik Hellquist, Jim and Susan Maivald for making the club look so festive.

Lynne Hellquist brought holiday cheer to the club.
Lynne Hellquist brought holiday cheer to the club.

The club is available to rent for private parties and corporate events. You can’t have a better venue for your holiday party!  Call Jim Hellquist at 847-623-4188 for more information. There are still some gnomes available for adoption. For a minimum donation of $50 you can take one home this year! All proceeds help to support the club.

Looks like Santa needs a few more cookies.
Looks like Santa needs a few more cookies.

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?