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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-kids
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)

Commodore’s Ball and Sail Awards! (Nov 13)

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

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