2021 Members Meeting December 9th

As the holiday season and New Year approaches, the WYC Board of Directors and I would like to thank you for your support of the club throughout the year. Together, we made some extraordinary accomplishments:

  • Continued the time honored tradition of the Chicago to Waukegan Race
  • Established the inaugural Milwaukegan Race
  • Organized the weekly Wednesday night race series
  • Partnered with the Anchorage Yacht Club on the Fall race series
  • Opened a full-service bar and restaurant servicing our members and their guests
  • Hosted events such as the Fourth of July Barbecue, Hamm it Up Events, Octoberfest, Black and Blues and our WYC Annual Sails Awards

And so much more.

It is through your participation and dedication to the club that we are able to further our mission of “promoting and encouraging the sport of yachting, the sciences of seamanship and navigation, to conduct sailing and yachting activities, and to create and promote good fellowship among its members and their families.” 
We hope you have enjoyed your time at the club as much as we have enjoyed having you all.

As we seek to continue to build upon the successes of the past year, the importance of improving the club’s financial position has become apparent. Looking toward 2022, and the many things we aim to achieve, the WYC Board of Directors recommends an increase to membership dues, from $400 to $500, annually. 
This proposed change can be reviewed in the most recent draft of our bylaws by clicking here

In addition, the next Members Meeting will be held on (Thursday, Dec 9th at 7:00pm). We encourage you to attend the meeting, either in person, or virtually, via Zoom (sent by email) to discuss this proposed update. As part of the meeting agenda, we also intend to review the club’s current financial statements. We recognize calendars are filling fast with the holidays around the corner, however, your participation is both essential for the vitality of the club and valuable to the Board and all club members. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions at the below email address.

Thank you for being a member of The Waukegan Yacht Club.  This holiday season, The Waukegan Yacht Club is grateful for all of you, and the service you provide for all of us. 

Jason Fergurson

More details will be posted soon.

WYC Social Calendar

The Social Committee met recently and mapped out the WYC Social Calendar for the rest of the year. Below you will find a complete calendar for October, November and December. Social events can only happen at the club with the support of members. 

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat


      1 2 3

Hamm It Up
Drinks discounts.
Live music


Commodore’s Ball


Celestial Nav Class 4

6 7 8 9 10 11

Movie Night

12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Holiday Party
Decorate the Club/
Meet Santa

19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

New Year’s Eve Party


It’s Frostbiting Time!

The Sail Committee is meeting this Saturday, December 18 at Waukegan Yacht Club to get our fleet ready for frostbiting this year. We have two O’Day 17s and other small boats that can be used in the harbor for match and cup races this fall and winter. Up for the challenge? Come help us rig these boats and get them ready. Howard Larson and Jim Maivald purchased sail kits to get both boats ready for the water. 

Come join us in the boatyard behind at the club after 10am. If we can get the boats ready we might even put one in the water for a trial. 

2021 Commodore’s Ball Delightful

The Commodore’s Ball this year was split off the Sail Awards for the first time in 4 years. The turnout was slightly smaller but nearly 30 members and guests reserved a spot to honor our new Commodore, Jason Fergurson. The club looked beautiful a with tasteful decorations everywhere. The guests were entertained all evening by a classical string quartet that played various numbers including holiday tunes. 

The party opened with cocktails at 5:30pm Dinner was a 5-course meal starting with appetizers in the bar, including shrimp, tasty meatballs and tangy cauliflower which were all a hit. Guests reserved their entrees in advance and chose from Filet Mignon, Chicken Franchise, Grilled Salmon, St Louis Ribs, or Sun-dried Tomato Pesto. 

2021 Commodore Ball
Almut and Hal Shanafield
« of 10 »

A short presentation followed dinner that reviewed the events of 2021 and the important role the commodore played in them. This included but was not limited to: negotiating with the Waukegan Port District to obtain an operating agreement for the club, opening the club and restaurant on a weekly basis for members and guests, starting up the weekly club racing series for summer and fall, the renewal of the annual Chicago-Waukegan race, the inauguration of a new port-to-port race the Milwaukegan in cooperation with the Milwaukee Yacht Club, and producing our popular special events, like the WYC Fish Fry, Black and Blues, Oktoberfest, Sail Awards and, of course, the Commodore’s Ball.

Once the presentation was over, the dance floor was open for all guests. The bar was open late. A delightful night.

Anchorage and WYC combine fleets for Fall racing

Waukegan Yacht Club kicked off its Fall Racing series by combining fleets with Anchorage Yacht Club. Eight boats turned out for a reverse PHRF race to Zion and back. The winds started off light from the southwest and built to 10-15 knots from the southeast as the boats turned around the Zion intake marker. 

Racing downwind wing on wing
The start of the Zion race was downwind.

After the race the club was open for lunch and drinks and many of the racers came in to celebrate the start of our combined Fall Racing series. The Fall series continues Oct 9th with two buoy races using a modified Olympic course (shown below). All racers are welcome to participate. You do not have to be a member of WYC or AYC to race. If you are not registered for the Fall Series you can submit your registration by downloading the registrations form by clicking here.

2021 Race Registration

Modified Olympic course
The Oct 9th combined fleet race will use a modified Olympic course.

Here are the results of Saturdays combined fleet race. It’s not too late to join the fun. Only two more weekends left in the Fall series!

Fall Series Race #1


Place Boat PHRF Reverse Start Finish
1 MADCAP -30 11:06:43 12:27:36
2 COUREGEOUS 69 10:49:53 12:34:04
3 CAUGHT IN TRAFFIC 87 10:46:49 12:42:00
4 NINE LIVES 102 10:44:16 12:44:35
5 SHAKA 126 10:40:12 12:52:05
6 MILLER TIME 180 10:31:01 13:00:45
7 SERENITY 156 10:35:06 13:10:40
8 LUCILLE MARIE 186 10:30:00 13:11:38

Oktoberfest at Waukegan Yacht Club

After the races on Oct 9th, Waukegan Yacht Club invites all racers to come to the club to buy a beer, a brat and hot pretzel to celebrating Oktoberfest at the club! Don’t miss the fun!

WYC Oktoberfest
WYC is celebrating Oktoberfest at the club on Oct 9th!

Oktoberfest brings the best of the wurst

On October 9, Waukegan Yacht Club 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! WYC has doubled its membership in 2021!! 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 3pm-9pm Saturday, Oct 9th for Oktoberfest! Food service ends at 8pm so come in early!

Buy tickets online to save $$$

Get 35 tickets for $30!

1 ticket = $1.00

Click here to buy tickets online!

Don’t miss our other upcoming events:

Black and Blues Dinner and Party (Oct 23)

Sail Awards! (Nov 13)

Commodore’s Ball (Dec 4)

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

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!

Milwaukegan Welcome Party wonderful!

The Milwaukegan is a new port-to-port race organized by the Waukegan Yacht Club (WYC) and the Milwaukee Yacht Club (MYC) and took place Saturday, August 14. Waukegan was the starting point for the race this year and we hosted a killer welcome party for the racers and WYC members and guests on Friday, August 13! The club had a live DJ, an awesome dinner buffet, discounted drinks and even breakfast options for Saturday morning!

Sailboats docking along the wall north of Waukegan Yacht Club
WYC dock wall hosted the Milwaukegan Racers!.

The race had 23 boats signed up in four sections. Registration was still open up to Thursday, August 12. The race encouraged NEW racers to sign up and several new racers took the challenge! WYC hosted a skipper’s meeting and New Racer orientation at the club Friday evening at 8pm.

Milwaukegan Buffet Dinner
Milwaukegan Buffet Dinner

The Buffet dinner provided a selection of tasty offerings.

WYC and MYC are planning to make the Milwaukegan a annual tradition on the Great Lakes like the Mac and Chicago Waukegan. Come join us next year!

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!


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