Oktoberfest brings the best of the wurst

On Saturday, October 1, Waukegan Yacht Club, 2-7pm will celebrate Oktoberfest with a fun selection of German food, cold beer and hot pretzels! Come grab a bratwurst, smoked sausage, and some sauerkraut and toast a great year at the club! Oompah band music will fill the air and people will be dancing polkas in the club again. 

Oktoberfest dinner for kids

Check out our menu! The club will be open from 2pm-7pm Saturday, Oct 1st for Oktoberfest! Food service ends at 7pm so come in early!

Raise a stein at Oktoberfest!

Please reserve your spot in advance
to let know how much food to make.

Click here to buy tickets online!

Don’t miss our other upcoming events:

Sail Awards! (Nov 12)

Commodore’s Ball (Dec 17)

All members and guests are invited!
Don’t miss the biggest party of the year!

3rd Annual Trap Shoot set for November 6

The third WYC trapshoot is scheduled for Sunday, November 6, at 11:00. The event is open to all WYC members and guests.

The event will be hosted at the McHenry Sportsmen’s Club in Johnsburg, Illinois. You do not have to own or bring your own shotgun, there will be extra shotguns so everyone can shoot. Trapshooting is conducted in “rounds”. A round consisted of 25 clays at 5 separate stations. One box of shotgun ammo has 25 shells in it. The shooting started at 11:00 and everyone will be able to shoot as least three rounds. The fee covers three rounds but you are welcome to shoot more. An additional fee will be paid on site.

Trapshooting event
WYC members and guests shooting trap in 2020.

Click to Register and Pay in Advance

Get your own FOID card

Although you don’t need a FOID card to shoot you do need one to buy your own ammunition or a gun. We plan on continuing this annual event, so you may want to apply for a card as soon as possible. You can apply for a FOID card by clicking the following button:

FOID Card website

Note processing of FOID cards has been very slow due to the pandemic. You may not be able to obtain the card before November 6th. Children may also obtain a FOID card if sponsored by a FOID carrying adult or guardian. We have had really good turnouts the last couple of years. 


WYC Rear Commodore Howard Fassnacht is planning a cookout after the event at his house, which is a few miles from McHenry Sportsmen’s Club. All attendees are invited to join us for the cookout. 

Another record year for Last Race Race

Another record year for the Last Race Race! Second year in a row we had 17 boats participate in our last port-to-port race. The weather was great with the wind coming out of the south at 10-15 knots. Although it was cloudy the rain held off all day until after 10pm.
Racers gathered early in the morning at the dock wall outside of the club. We never know exactly how many will race until Saturday morning. Weather is a big factor in the numbers, but some racers come no matter what.
Last Race Racers
Racers gather on the dock wall at WYC.
Although the weather looked threatening, there was no rain during the race and it held off until after 10pm. With the wind from the south, many boats launched spinnakers as soon as they left the harbor making it a fast race. Many boats finished in just little more than 2 hours.
Spinnakers on sailboats
Spinnakers launched on the Last Race Race.
Traditionally, racers dock at Kenosha Yacht Club for a late lunch. The service, food and drinks were all wonderful. A great ending to another great race.
Racers docked in Kenosha
Racers docked at the Kenosha Yacht Club.
Hot food and tasty drinks and cocktails. Some racers and cruisers stayed the night and ventured into town.
Lunch at Kenosha Yacht Club
Lunch at Kenosha Yacht Club
Thanks to all the participants! Don’t forget to send your finish times in to the Sail chair at Waukegan Yacht Club!

Racine Race Fast and Fun

The Racine Race is an annual September tradition at WYC and signals the coming end of Summer and our Racing schedule. At 22.1 miles, the only WYC race that is longer is the Chicago-Waukegan. The Milwaukegan is 42 miles but is hosted jointly by WYC and the Milwaukee Yacht Club. 

Racine Race
The Racine Race was a downwind contest of spinnakers 

This year the sun rose in a partly cloudy sky and the southerly winds started to pick up and swing around to the southwest. Racers started to assemble out by the bell buoy and the race kicked off on time with most boats launching their spinnakers right off the starting line. The predicted winds of 15 knots never materialized but the winds of 8-10 knots kept the fleet moving spritely to the north.

In less than 2 hours, the racers passed Kenosha and winds alternated from southwest to southeast. The boats with asymmetrical chutes turned out to the east to maintain their speed while the symmetrical spinnakers jibed several times to optimize their course.

Racine Race
The Race to Racine was nearly a record with boats finishing in a little over 4 hours.

The first boat crossed the line at 2:09 pm averaging over 5.3 knots. At times, the boats were hitting 7-8 knots and surfing off the 1-2 foot waves. Overall, it was nearly a record run to Racine. The boats doused their sails and gathered at the Racine Yacht Club to celebrate the amazing race. 

Racine Race
Racers gathered at the Racine Yacht Club

Following the WYC tradition, most of the racers and cruisers reserved slips at Reefpoint Marina and gathered for dinner at the Brew House Pub and Grill. We all sat at one table and exchanges stories from the day. After dinner the party continued on the pier with lawn chairs, whiskey and rum. 

Racine Race
Racers enjoyed a well-deserved cocktail at Racine Yacht Club

In the morning, crews prepared breakfast and got their boats ready for the trip back to Waukegan. It was another great day of sun and wind, even though it was from the south again making progress a bit slower than the day before. 

Racine Race
The Racine Racers gathered one last time before departing for Waukegan.

Hope you’re ready to do this again. The Last Race, Race to Kenosha is coming up next Saturday! As with the Racine Race everyone is welcome to participate. You do not have to be a member of WYC to race or cruise with us. The Last Race, Race is a Reverse PHRF race that starts at the club. We look forward to seeing you at the club or in Kenosha!

Racine Race
Heading out of Racine and back to Waukegan.

Click to Get the Details of the Kenosha Last Race, Race

WYC Luau Fun and Tasty Event

People answered the call and wore their best Hawaiian shirts and blouses. The WYC Luau and Pig Roast  transported the club to the Pacific ocean where it became a tropical island. The club was decorated with fun banners and bunting, grass skirts and leis. 

Tiki torches were lit outside on the dock welcoming passing boats and harbor denizens. Grass shirts were arrayed around the tables and bar. Beer and tropical drinks flowed freely and everyone got into the spirit of the evening. 

WYC Luau and Pig roast
Hawaiian music entertained diners as they ate.

Hawaiian music was piped in to entertain the guests as they as they dined on whole roast pig, peel-n-eat tiger shrimp, fried spam, grilled pineapple, and freshly made chips with mango salsa. The food disappeared as everyone ate their fill of the sumptuous fare.

We want to thank Alli Jakubco and her great crew for a great evening of food and entertainment. We hope that the WYC Luau become a new annual event.

Oktoberfest is coming Saturday, October 1st! Save the date and don’t miss it!




Seafood Friday was a blow out success!

The interest was amazing for our first WYC SEAFOOD FRIDAY! We sold out for all seatings! Everyone had a great time and said the food was delicious.

WYC Crab boil
Tables were set up along the dock and diners were greeted by great food and a beautiful view.

WYC offered seatings at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 & 9:00pm. Reservations snapped up all the options quickly and we were sold out before we knew it. 

“Best event I’ve ever attended at Waukegan Yacht Club!”

WYC Crab boil
Food came out hot and tasty and little remained except used napkins and empty plates.

Each table received a generous portion of shrimp, Cajun sausage, potatoes, onions and crab.

WYC crab boil
The food was hot and tasty and there was plenty of it.

We will be scheduling another date in September! Stay tuned for details. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Sea you there!

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. Dates and times may change without notice. 

Waukegan Yacht Club 2022 Calendar


Saturday, August 13, 2022 Milwaukegan Race Dinner at WYC
Friday, August 19, 2022 WYC Crab Boil


Saturday, September 3, 2022

Waukegan Fireworks at the Club (5:30-9:30pm)

Wednesday, September 7

Wednesday Race (Make up race for Summer Series)
Club open for dinner.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Offshore Race #7 Race to Zion and back
(Cookout at the Club afterwards)

Wednesday, September 14 Last Wednesday Race for 2022 
Club open for dinner
Friday, September 16, 2022 WYC Luau and Pig Roast
Saturday, September 17, 2022 Offshore Race #8 Race/Cruise to Racine
Saturday, September 24, 2022 Offshore Race #9 Race/Cruise to Kenosha (Last Race Race)


Saturday, October 1, 2022

Fall Series Race #1 (Combined Buoy Race with Anchorage)

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 


Friday, November 4, 2022 HAMM It Up
Saturday, November 12, 2022 Sail Awards
Wednesday, November 23, 2022 Thanksgiving 


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

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.


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.