Save the Dates! WYC will be hopping this Fall

The Social Committee has been working hard to set up our social calendar this Fall. Check out the offerings below. Mark your calendar and join us for some exciting new and traditional events! Details of each event will be sent out soon

Waukegan Yacht Club 2022 Calendar

August

Saturday, August 13, 2022 Milwaukegan Race Dinner at WYC
Friday, August 19, 2022 WYC Crab Boil
Thursday, August 25, 2022 Ice cream Social 
Saturday, August 27, 2022 End of Season w/ Elvis

September

Friday, September 2, 2022 HAMM It Up
Friday, September 9, 2022 Race/Cruise to Winthrop
Friday, September 16, 2022 WYC Crab Boil
Friday, September 16, 2022 Race/Cruise to Racine
Friday, September 23, 2022 Race/Cruise to Kenosha (Last Race Race)

October

Saturday, October 1, 2022 OktoberFest
Friday, October 7, 2022 HAMM It Up
Saturday, October 15, 2022 Black and Blues Dinner (live music)
Saturday, October 22, 2022 Clean Up Drive
Monday, October 24, 2022 NWS Sailing
Thursday, October 27, 2022 Halloween party 

November

Friday, November 4, 2022 HAMM It Up
Sunday, November 13, 2022 Sail Awards
Wednesday, November 23, 2022 Thanksgiving 

December

Friday, December 2, 2022 HAMM It Up
Saturday, December 17, 2022 Commodore’s Ball
   

The 2nd Annual Milwaukegan is almost here

Scheduled for August 13th, the 2nd Annual Milwaukegan is only one week away! It not too late to sign up, registration is still open. Early bird price has been extended! The race is starting in Milwaukee this year and finishes in Waukegan and covers about 42 nautical miles along the shoreline of Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

2021 Milwaukegan welcome dinner.
2021 Milwaukegan welcome dinner. This year the welcome dinner is being hosted by MYC.

A big party and dinner for Friday, August 12 at Milwaukee Yacht Club. All racers and members are invited to attend. The race starts at 8am and finishes of the Waukegan North Harbor entrance. The Club will be open for dinner Saturday night and all members and racers are welcome. Come out and congratulate the winners!

Milwaukegan race
Milwaukegan race

 

Click here to register for the 2022 Milwaukegan

Race Rules and Procedures

Do you know the rules of racing and race procedures? It’s come to our attention that many racers either don’t know some basic rules or don’t pay attention to the signals from the Committee Boat. Many racers have become complacent and accustomed to the procedures followed by committee boats in the past or ones from clubs they may have belonged to in the past. It’s vital that all racers understand what signals can be given by the Committee boat and what they mean to maintain safety and make racing fun and enjoyable.

WYC follows the latest edition (2021-2022) of the Racing Rules of Sailing that you can find at this link

The most important rule in racing is that the Committee Boat is in charge at all times. All racers should observe the Committee Boat prior to starting a race and obey all signals and commands when given. Remember, commands may be given by radio, hail, flags, horn or cannon. For WYC races, boats should always monitor VHF channel #69. However, radios malfunction and signals are not always received. If a racer is not responding to a radio hail racers nearby the boat being hailed should relay the message, if possible. 


Avoid Collisions

“Safety” guides all rules and racing procedures. All racers must do whatever it takes to avoid a collision at all times. No privilege or rule of the road gives you the “right” to collide with another boat or racer. If another boat or racer violates a racing rule and causes you to change course or miss a mark you may protest that boat but you must avoid a collision if possible to do so. Redress will be made after the race if the violator does not take a proper redress on the course. 


Checking in

All racers are required to check-in at the committee boat prior to first warning. Do not check-in during any starting sequence. So, it is important that all racers be at the starting area sufficiently early to check-in prior to first warning.


Sections

All racers are assigned to a racing section. WYC uses three sections when sufficient racers are present. When checking in, the racer should announce the boat name and section it is racing that night. If possible, racers should fly the number pennant associated with their assigned section. 

Section 1


The number 1 flag is a white pennant with a red dot. Section 1 is a Spinnaker section for the fastest PHRF racers. 

Section 2

The number 2 flag is a blue pennant with a white dot. Section 2 is a Spinnaker section for the slower PHRF racers.

Section 3

The number 3 flag is a red, white and blue pennant. Section 1 is a section for the non-spinnaker racers. Racers in spinnaker section may fly a spinnaker or choose not to. Racers in Section 3 may not fly a spinnaker during the race at any time.


Starting Sequence

The starting sequence is determined solely by the Race Committee on the Committee Boat. While the First Warning and Start Time is published in the Notice of Races and on the website, the Race Committee may change this at any time without prior notice. Please observe and obey signals given by the Race Committee on station. 

The starting sequence normally starts with Section 3 (slower boats) and finishes with Section 1 (fastest boats). If insufficient racers are present, Sections 1 & 2 may be combined to save time. 

The starting sequence starts when the Section flag or pennant is raised with a horn signal. 

First warning Section 3

Section 3 pennant is raised, one (1) horn blast.

 

Prep Flag Raised

One (1) minute after First Warning. One (1) horn blast.

Prep Flag Lowered

Four (4) minutes after First Warning. One (1) horn blast.

Section 1 Start

Five (5) minutes after First Warning. One (1) horn blast or one (1) cannon blast.



When Section 1 starts, the starting sequence for Section 2 commences in the same fashion. 



Over Early

No racer may cross the starting line prior to the start for their section. A boat that does is considered over early and must turn back and recross the line. During this procedure the racer may not interfere with any other racer either in their own section or the section in its starting sequence. The Race Committee may signal that a boat is over early by voice or radio hail. All racers should monitor VHF channel #69 and relay the signal to any offender if they do not hear the hail. 


Postponed Race

When condition are unfavorable for starting a race the Race Committee may decide to postpone the start anticipating that conditions will improve. In that situation the Committee Boat will fly the AP flag.



When you see the AP flag it indicates the race is postponed temporarily. When this flag is lowered, it indicates that the first warning will be given in one (1) minute.


Abandoned Race

When conditions have not improved or degrade to a point where it is unsafe or impossible to start or finish a race the Race Committee will fly the November (N) flag.


When you see the November (N) flag it indicates the race is abandoned for the night and boats are free to return to the harbor.

Other flags
Click here for a handy website resource for what racing flags can be used and what they mean.

I hope this email was helpful. Please share it with you crews and other sailors. Feel from to send in questions and comments to sail@waukeganyachtclub.com

Blessing of the Fleet Fun Family Affair

The Waukegan Yacht Club conducted its annual Blessing of the Fleet Saturday, June 11, 2022. The club was open all day Saturday for the first time this year. The club offered a sumptuous menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was great to see people in the club on a Saturday.

Blessing of the Fleet breakfast
Members came early to have breakfast before the Blessing.

All boaters were invited to participate and several brought their boats to the club decorated smartly for the ceremony. Families were in attendance with their kids and grandkids

Blessing of the fleet
Participants dressed their boats for the Blessing.

Commodore Jason Fergurson kicked off the Blessing by welcoming our members, guests and participants and introducing Mayor Ann Taylor of Waukegan. The mayor spoke and remarked how Waukegan’s past, present and future were tied to Lake Michigan and the harbor. She talked about how the city was focused on developing the harbor as a major attraction to draw people and business to the area. Following the mayor’s remarks, an Episcopal priest from Waukegan began the blessing ceremony.

After the Blessing, everyone gathered inside the club in our lobby to install the name plates for our last four commodores. Over the last seven years the club was focused on building membership, providing fun events and serving our members, not on honoring our commodores. But, over the last year WYC doubled our membership and the board thought it was time we recognized the hard work invested by our commodores over the last decade. Name plates were ordered and received earlier this year. The board decided that the best time to install these name plates was during the Blessing of the Fleet. Plates were installed for Barbara Gunther, Kathy Sivia, Jim Hellquist and Jason Fergurson. Unfortunately, two of these commodores, Barbara Gunther and Jim Hellquist, have passed away prior to having their name plates created and installed. We were fortunate to be joined by Jim’s daughter, Kristin, who spoke about her father’s legacy and dedication to Waukegan Yacht Club.

WYC Commodores name plates
Name plates for our last four WYC commodores were installed in the lobby of the club.

Kathy Sivia and Jason Fergurson spoke to thank everyone for coming and accept the honor of joining the long list of people who dedicated their efforts to continuing the history and traditions of Waukegan Yacht Club. We thank all of them for their hard work. Also, kudos to Bo Harper and his crew for making it a great day for everyone! The food and service at the club has never been better.

2022 WYC spring clean up big success!

WYC worked with the Waukegan Port District this Earth Day to clean up the harbor and the yacht club grounds! Volunteers arrived early to get a head start on the tasks. First on the list was clearing the leaves from last fall. 
2022 Spring Clean up at WYC
The clean up started at the front of the club.
We filled up a ton of lawn bags and ran them over to the Port District where they supplied a dumpster. There were considerably less leaves than last year. In 2021, the clean up was the first one in at least 3 years. 
2022 Spring Clean up at WYC
There were not as many leaves as last year, but we still plenty of lawn bags.
Once the front and sides were tackled we moved on to the boatyard and cleared out the leaves back there too. In fact, some of the leaves were still from 2021 there were so many last year we could not get them all.
 
This time, we got them all and more. It’s been a long time since the boatyard has been this clean.
2022 Spring Clean up at WYC
Once the front of the club was done, we moved to the boatyard.
2022 Spring Clean up at WYC
The boatyard was so full of leaves last year we couldn’t clear them all. We did this time.
After the boatyard was finished, some of the volunteers moved inside the club and shampooed the carpeting. 
 
2022 Spring clean up at WYC
We even cleaned up inside the club.
We had a smaller crew than last year, but the volunteers made up for their small numbers with enthusiasm and energy! The volunteers were then treated to drinks and food, including their choice of hamburgers and brats.

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank the volunteers by name. Waukegan Yacht Club does not have full time paid staff, so many things at the club has to be done by members and other volunteers. If you see the following people around the club give them a high-five and a personal thank you! Come by the club and check out how good it looks! Hope to see you in the club soon. 

2022 Spring Clean Up Volunteers:

Andy and Ed Barrie
Fred Byergo
Bob Christenson
Matt Dolinar
Ellen Hunter and Sandie
Bob Klueg
Howard Larson
Nikki Sullivan

Thanks to everyone who participated!

First Milwaukegan fantastic race!

The inaugural Milwaukegan Race went off beautifully over the weekend. We had 23 boats register and 20 boats started the race Saturday morning.

Waukegan Yacht Club hosted an amazing party Friday for the racers supplying all the racers with tasty food and cold beverages! A live DJ entertained the crowd and got people up and dancing. We even had a fun raffle of great prizes.

Milwaukegan welcome dinner.
Milwaukegan welcome dinner.

Everything was set for the start of the race the next day. The start of the race was greeted with sunny cloudless sky and light winds from the northwest. It looked like the race would be a challenge for many of the boats. Light wind boats moved out nicely and soon were leading the pack. But by the time the fleet got to Kenosha the winds flipped around to the south and rose and fell the rest of the day but held steady from the south.

The 2021 Milwaukegan race was a spinnaker duel.
The 2021 Milwaukegan race was a spinnaker duel.

Boats with symmetrical spinnakers had the definite advantage over racers with asyms or none at all. With the winds dead from the south it was a run the whole way to Wind point. Many of the racers headed out northeast looking for more wind but that turned out to be fruitless for most.

By sunset, the fastest boats were starting to pull into Milwaukee and tying up at the Milwaukee Yacht Club (MYC). The first boat finished around 7:30pm and the last one came in around 9:30pm. The MYC kitchen stayed open late for the racers and the club treated everyone to free beer. It was satisfying ending to a wonderful day of racing.

Boat arriving late in Milwaukee
Boats started arriving around sunset. The last around 9:30pm.

Since no one knew what time the racers would arrive in Milwaukee, the race committee decided on a morning award breakfast. On Sunday, the sun rose in a cloudless blue sky and the racers assembled in the MYC boat house for the awards ceremony. Waukegan provided nearly half of the racers for this years’ contest and we took home our share of flags.

WYC racers took home several awards.
American Dream took home 2nd place in the PHRF 2 section.

Thanks to all the planners, volunteers and racers for making this a new tradition on the Great Lakes! We could not have done this without you!

Racing and Weather Reports

Before the race, some boaters expressed concern over the weather reports. Everyone should be aware that most weather reports are formulated and based on the land and usually are not pertinent or accurate for Lake Michigan. The lake creates its own weather patterns and modifies any weather moving from the land to the water, sometimes dramatically.

Wall cloud in Waukegan
Wall cloud in Waukegan in 2017.

In some cases, the weather happening on shore is the same as what’s happening over the water, but this is rare. Last night was a good example. Many boaters reported rain falling all over northern Illinois before they left home. From 3pm until well after the race little rain fell at all in the harbor or over the water by Waukegan.

Waukegan Yacht Club has and will cancel races whenever the weather conditions are dangerous or even potentially dangerous in any way. We will not jeopardize anyone’s health or safety for a sailboat race. The race committee arrives in the harbor at least one to two hours in advance of the race and monitors the local conditions. If conditions are not safe we will send out an email as soon as we can. If conditions are questionable, we will poll various skippers and go with the consensus.

Weather over Lake Michigan
Weather on Lake Michigan is unpredictable and can change quickly.

If conditions deteriorate closer to race time an announcement will be broadcast over VHF Radio, Channel 69. Please monitor this channel prior to leaving the harbor. If you do not hear a radio broadcast look for the committee boat on station by 5:45pm. If you don’t see the committee boat by 6:00pm, it’s likely the race has been cancelled.

The best practice is to plan to come to the harbor unless you receive an email from the club. We have two email lists for members and non-members. We ask that all skippers and crew sign up for the non-member list (if you are not a member) so that you receive these notices directly. If you think you are on the list and don’t receive regular emails, check your spam folder. Some recipients have unsubscribed from our emails, either intentionally or unintentionally and no longer receive our communication. If you unsubscribed we cannot add you back ourselves, you will have to opt back in.

Storm clouds over Lake Michigan
Storms are often moderated once they move over the lake.

Basically, all this is to say that you should ignore the weather reports and local weather conditions near your home or office. If you have not received notice of a race cancellation, the race is on. Come to the harbor and be prepared to race until 5:30pm when any cancellation will be announced.

Thanks to all who joined us yesterday. Fair winds!