Milwaukegan Race is ON! Register now for this new port-to-port race!

The Milwaukegan is a reality! We now have the minimum number registered to hold the race! This new port-to-port race from Waukegan to Milwaukee is now official. Register now for “The Milwaukegan” and be a plank owner for this race sponsored by Waukegan Yacht Club (WYC) and Milwaukee Yacht Club (MYC). The fee increase for Aug 1 was reversed. The low registration fee has been extended until further notice Don’t wait. Register now! This year’s race, featuring early morning starts in Waukegan with the finish in Milwaukee, will divide sections based upon PHRF brackets and more. 

We’re looking for new racers!

Have you ever participated in a sailboat race before?
The Milwaukegan is an ideal race for new racers. The course stays close to shore. Waukegan Yacht Club (WYC) will conduct pre-race seminars and training to make it easy for new racers. Come make the Milwaukegan your first port-to-port distance race? 

Not a racer? Then, register for our cruising division. 

Click Here to go the Milwaukegan Race Page

The Milwaukegan races from Waukegan to Milwaukee

The starting line will be hosted by the Waukegan Yacht Club and will feature multiple early morning starts for cruising, shorthanded and PHRF sections. WYC is planning pre-race festivities including food & drink, live DJ and other fun activities. Ample free docking on the club’s dock wall is available providing easy access to the club and all the fun.

Pre-race festivities are being planned by Waukegan Yacht Club for August 13.

Click Here to Register for Milwaukegan Race

Members’ Wall of Fame

For years, the Waukegan Yacht Club has displayed photos of members boats on the walls of the bar inside the club. Unfortunately, many of the photos hanging on the walls today are of boats of members that are no longer part of the club. The WYC Sail Committee has decided that the photo wall should be updated with photos of the boats of current members. 

All members in good standing are invited to submit a framed 8″ X 10″ photo of their boat to be hung within the club for 2021. We will have one wall dedicated to members who participate in our weekly races and the photos will be displayed each week in the order of that week’s race results. Each week after the race on Wednesday we will have an impromptu ceremony at the club to honor that week’s winners and set their photos in the proper order. All racers are encouraged to attend and participate.
 
Framed photo of member boat
Submit a photo of your boat to hang on the wall of Waukegan Yacht Club


Another wall will display photos of all other members’ boats. Photos can be of sail or power boats and may include your skipper and crew. Photos may include name plaques identifying the boat or skipper’s name. 

The first WYC race is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21. This will be a practice race and not count toward flags or awards. All racers are encouraged to participate to get their boats and crews into shape for the upcoming season. The club is also planning a Fish Fry for April 23. You may bring your photos on either dates or anytime afterward, whenever the club is open. 
 
framed boat photos
Frames should be plain black or brown and no more than 1″ in width on all four sides.


We hope that all members submit photos for our “Wall of Fame”! If your photo does not have a plaque identifying the boat or owner, please identify your photo in another way so we know who it belongs to.
 
Please make sure all frames are plain black or brown and no more than 1″ in width on all four sides. The maximum dimensions of any framed photo should be no more than 12″ x 13″. At this time we’d like to hang photo only in portrait mode. 

We still have 2021 Chicago-Waukegan Race T-shirts in stock

We still have commemorative t-shirts for the 2021 Chicago-Waukegan Race in stock. This year’s shirt features an original design that honors this historic sailboat race. Over 90 sailboats participated in this year’s race and the names of many of them are featured on the back of the shirt.

Order your shirt(s) today and pick them up at the club W-F. Only a limited numbers and sizes are still available. Don’t miss your chance to capture a bit of history.

Click here to order a shirt now

Second Annual Mayor’s Regatta and Pig Roast Cancelled

Unfortunately, both the Mayor’s Regatta and the Pig Roast had to be cancelled Aug 1 due to lack of support. This was the first event Waukegan Yacht Club has had to cancel this year. Racers reported difficulty getting crews for the Sunday race and orders for the dinner did not meet our minimum requirement. Some members noted they were planning on making reservations but didn’t complete them in time to make our deadline.

This is important to note for future events. The club can only afford to put on events when they are supported by members. In 2019, the Pig Roast was one of our most popular events, but fewer than 20 reservations were received by Thursday morning. To put on an event we ask our staff and volunteers to commit in advance and incur costs that have to be paid. When we don’t receive sufficient support the event loses money. 

The Social committee is planning more events for the rest of the summer and fall. We hope that members turn out to support all events in a more timely manner. Here is a list of the upcoming events:

  • Milwaukegan Race Welcome party Aug 13
  • Race to Zion (Cookout on the pier) Sept 11
  • Race to Racine Sept 18
  • Race to Kenosha Sept 25
  • Black and Blues (Dinner and party) Oct 9
  • OktoberFest at the Club (Dinner and party) Oct 23
  • Commodore’s Ball and Sail Awards (Dinner and party) Nov 13x

 

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!

 

Chicago-Waukegan Race Amazing Success

Ninety-eight racers participated in the 88th Annual Chicago-Waukegan Race in 2021. After being cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic it seemed that everyone was ready to get out and have a good time. The weather cooperated, too. The original forecast was for light winds from the north. That would have created a slow slog to the north over the 25.5 miles to Waukegan.

Fortunately, the wind did not read the forecast. Saturday morning the wind swung around to the west and built to 10-15 knots by start time at 0900. As the boats crossed the line the wind was gusting periodically over 20 knots. Boats were hitting hull speed and more with just jib and main. A few boats launched their asymmetrical spinnakers.

It looked like this year’s race could be a record breaker. By 1230 the first racers were crossing the finish line and headed into the north harbor to dock by the club. 

 

 

We did it! Thanks to all who donated!

Dear WYC members and friends.

Thanks you all for your generous donations. In less than 24 hours we raised enough money to purchase a new ice machine. We now have all of the equipment at the moment to make sure all of our future events are held with the level of service you would expect from us.

We have been working tirelessly to make sure the Chicago-Waukegan race is the type of event that you should expect from the club. All members and friends of WYC should come out and volunteer during the race.

We look forward to spending the summer with you all.

Open for Drinks and Dinner

As you’re aware we are open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. The new menu is getting excellent reviews and service is fast. Bring a friend or the entire family down, try it out. 

We still need your help on the following items:

  1. Come eat and drink at the club. We have the best view in Waukegan. The club looks fantastic.
  2. We need more staff – do you know anyone – send them to Bo Haroer. Better yet, come volunteer on a couple nights

Look for our upcoming events

Save the dates and come join us for these upcoming events.

  • July 4th fireworks party and fundraiser for members and guests
  • June 19 the Chicago to Waukegan Race is back on.
  • August 14 the new Waukegan to Milwaukee race the Milwaukegan! Thanks to Rolf Wagner, Howard and Bill LaVanne for spearheading the planning.

Let’s make 2021 a year to remember!

WYC is open! Come out to support the club

Waukegan Yacht Club is back in business. The bar and kitchen will be open Wednesday. Thursday and Friday from 4pm-9:30pm. We ask all members to turn out to support the club. 

Chicago Waukegan Race

Racers docked and rafted out from the club dock.
Chicago-Waukegan Racers docked and rafted out from the club dock.

We need help for the Chicago Waukegan Race, June 19-20. This is WYC’s #1 fundraiser for the year. We need to make sure it goes successfully. We need people to sell tickets, serve food and help out throughout the club and dock. Please send your name and contact info to social @waukeganyachtclub.com and how you’d like to help. 

First WYC Cruise set for Montrose Harbor, Saturday, May 29

Plans for the first 2021 WYC Cruise to Muskegon had to be modified due to the latest bout of inclement weather. Winds that swung around to the north on Wednesday, May 26, have not relented. At first the Cruise Committee targeted New Buffalo as an alternate destination, but the strength of the wind and wave conditions scrapped that idea too. The goal of the Cruise Committee is to have fun cruising. It’s one thing to get hit with bad wind and waves when you are already out in the lake, it’s another thing to run out willingly into it. So, the best option for this weekend is Montrose Harbor in Chicago.

Montrose - Chicago Harbors

The winds and waves are suppose to ease by noon Saturday. Boats are planning to leave Waukegan before that time. Winds are predicted to be around 20 knots. That seems like a lot except that the course to Montrose is due south, with the winds. WYC raced up to Racine last year in stronger winds and everyone had a great time. 

logos for the Corinthian and Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Clubs
Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club is open for dinner and cocktails.

Cruisers have already made reservations for the harbor using the service Dockwa. Rates are charged at $2.25 a foot. You can also obtain electrical connections and water. Toilet and showers are included in the price. The facilities in Montrose modern and up-to-date. Dining is available at Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club (CCYC) and nearby in the Uptown, Lake View and Edgewater neighborhoods of Chicago. 

Come join the fun! Cruise with WYC!

 

Off Shore Race #2: Waukegan to Zion

Saturday, May 22, Waukegan Yacht Club will hold Off Shore Race #2 from Waukegan to Zion. All racers are invited. You do not have to be a member to race. 

Starting Line

WYC race starting line
WYC race starting line when no committee boat is on station.

The starting line for the Zion race will be a line between the Committee Boat and Waukegan Green Bell Buoy #3. First Warning is 1055. Starting time is 1100 for all boats. 

No Committee Boat

On any race when no committee boat is present the racers will assign an official starter among themselves. The starter will establish and announce the official race time. That time will pertain to the start and finish times. Please adjust your timepieces accordingly to conform to the official time during the race. 

When no committee boat is present, the starting line will be an imaginary line between the Green Waukegan Lighthouse and Green Bell Buoy #3. After the first warning, 

Restrictions

Spinnakers are not permitted prior to the race start. If appropriate, you may launch spinnakers after crossing the starting line when it is safe to do so. 

Course

Racers will proceed north to Zion to make the finish line in a safe and appropriate manner. 

Finish Line

Zion finish mark
Waukegan-Zion Race finish line.

The Finish Line is a imaginary line 090º T extending no more than 600 feet east from the Zion intake marker. Boats finish when any part of the boat or sails cross this line. Mark your time and the names of the boats ahead and behind and report to Sail @waukeganyachtclub.com. Although there is no exclusionary zone at Zion any more, racers are asked to stay east of the Zion intake marker until after you finish. Once you finish you are free to operate in any manner as appropriate.

Zion Intake Marker

The Zion intake has been given a facelift with a completely new light and day markers. The intake marker is a steel pole and all boaters should stay well clear of it. Depths are charted between 10-12 feet west of the intake. 

Passing Zion marker during Winthrop race
Passing Zion marker

WYC May races and cruises heating up Waukegan

Race #3 Wednesday, May 19th

Section 3 First Warning: 1840, Start: 1845
Sections 1 & 2 First Warning: 1845, Start: 18:50

May be 2 marks for different sections


Off Shore Race #2 – Waukegan to Zion,
Saturday, May 22nd

The WYC Off Shore Race #2 is scheduled for Saturday, May 22nd. The Race is from Waukegan Bell Buoy #3 to the Zion marker and starts at 1100. See the 2021 WYC Sailing Instructions linked below for more details.

Passing Zion marker during Winthrop race
Passing Zion marker during Winthrop race

Do you need crew? Do you want to crew? Send your contact info and interest to: 
Sail @ waukeganyachtclub.com
We will connect crew with boats!

Click to see full Race schedule

All racers are invited!

Click to Register for WYC Racing

You don’t have to be a
WYC member to race!

Click to WYC Racing Instructions


Cruise to Muskegon starts in 10 Days!

Cruise to Muskegon

WYC Cruisers! it is getting close to our departure for Muskegon, MI and Muskegon Yacht Club (MYC). We will be calling them soon about transient slips and costs. If you are planning on joining us on this cruise send an email to cruise@waukeganyachtclub.com so we can make arrangements. Click here to see more Muskegon info.

Alternate Destination

We are watching the weather and hope the winds are in our favor for the trip. If weather is totally adverse to make Muskegon, we may change the destination port on short notice.

Off-Shore Race/Cruise wonderful day on the water!

“Don’t ever believe the weather reports,” is one of Jim Maivald’s favorite aphorism, especially when it come to sailing. “You can’t know what the weather is until you get to the harbor.”

If you believed the weather report for Saturday, May 8th, you would have thought there would be no wind and a long boring race to Winthrop harbor. But, you would have been wrong. The wind was blowing lightly from the northeast at 10am and kept building until start time. At 1100. the wind was at 4-6 knots from ENE. 

Sails call crew on Winthrop Race
Sails call crew on Winthrop Race trims sails.

The WYC Committee Boat was already on station by 1030 waiting for the fleet of racers. Unfortunately, it was a poor turnout for our first WYC Off-Shore race. Only three WYC racers appeared on the line. The first warning went off promptly at 1055. At 1100, the cannon sounded and the racers were off!

As we raced north the sun broke out of the overcast and the rest of the race was in bright sunshine that belied the chilly temperature. We passed east of the new Zion intake marker at over 5 knots.

Passing Zion marker during Winthrop race
Passing Zion marker during Winthrop race

Winds filled in nicely and we had nearly a record run to Winthrop. The first boat crossed the finish line at 12:32:52 for an average speed of over 4.9 knots.

Winthrop race finish line
Winthrop race finish line

The racers opened the patio at The Tropics restaurant in the Northpoint marina and had a great lunch before heading back. The sail back was just as fun but not as sunny.

Sunny skies replaced by overcast
The sunny skies were replaced by overcast.

Don’t miss our next Off-Shore Race, May 22 from Waukegan to Zion and back!

Click here to see the entire WYC Racing schedule