Commodore’s Comments

The club is up and running and things are beginning to return to normal. Many of our fleets have already had successful regattas as well as High School Sailing. We’ve begun to socialize after Wednesday night racing at the clubhouse. We are seeing great turnout for racing on both Wednesday and Sunday. I would like to thank all the fleet captains for their persistence in communicating with their fleets and promoting the club activities.

As you look around the club, you’ll see a greater number of masts up for this time of year. Let’s try to get all of our boats ready to sail soon. Tom Fee has done a tremendous job setting up informative seminars that have been well attended. We have had great remote seminars on the most recent changes to sailing rules in the US Sailing rule book (see our website for the link), and our own Jamie Jones gave a great seminar on race management.  The most recent seminar was in-person on our grounds (and water) on boat handling by Matt Fisher and assisted by some of our better sailors and instructors. To paraphrase Larry Schottenstein who attended the training, “It’s great to be a member of a club where people are so willing to share their knowledge and experience.”

We have many new members this year. Some are purchasing boats of former members, and several are bringing new boats to the club. The MC Fleet is growing and we have more Lasers on site. When you see people at the club, please introduce yourself—they may be new or haven’t seen without a mask and you’ve forgotten their name. If you are like me, you may need help remembering people’s names.

I appreciate all the time and efforts so many of you contribute to the maintenance of our facilities and grounds. I am looking forward to seeing people for the Independence Day weekend activities and the upcoming social events. Check out our online calendar here.  Of course, all of this is only possible because of you, as we make our club one of the best sailing clubs in the country.  Our new member Ed Spengeman offered his testimony to this claim in his recent membership application.  I invite you to read it through. 

A Touching Tale by Ed Spengeman

Dear Charlie & Ted,

The SOLE purpose for our move from Kentucky was to get our kids closer to the Hoover Sailing Club and the thriving junior program that Jamie and others helped to create.  My wife and I met racing Highlanders and Thistles and are in the process of introducing our two kids Ben (12) and Emma (9) to the sport.  Living in Louisville our only real option for sailing was the Ohio River . . . with numerous seasonal floods, pretty tricky currents, insanely fluky winds and barge traffic.  Needless to say, it wasn’t an ideal location to safely teach young kids to sail.

[After a 5-year search for a youth sailing program] Frustrated, I decided to extend my search radius to 3 hours away from home.  I took a total flyer reaching out to Jamie Jones to see if he’d be willing to let a kid from Kentucky join his Ohio learn to sail program.  Luckily he said “YES!”, which set this entire life change into motion.

We hit the first week of camp with no housing and decided to camp in a tent out by the parking lot.  I specifically remember telling Ben “Now this is how sailing clubs work.  The club racing usually happens on Saturday & Sunday.  Once they’re gone we’ll mostly likely be alone for the rest of the week.”  Boy was Dad wrong!  We were blown away at how much activity Hoover had through the week.  Like no other club I had seen.  We saw club racers hanging out and socializing into the night, adult training classes doing chalk talks, the Interlake fleet doing a cookout, Wednesday night racing, junior race team practice, day sailors, high school racers and people just coming out to the club to catch a relaxing sunset on the porch.  It was remarkable to see.  We ended up having a great week of camp and both of us made a ton of new friends.  I couldn’t get over how welcoming the Hoover community was to the weirdoes from Kentucky camping in their front yard.  We were hooked for sure!

Eventually we worked Emma into the Hoover camp and junior regatta travel circuit.  The following year Jamie allowed MY KIDS to be honorary members of the Hoover JRT when we went to travel regattas.  They got to wear Hoover Race Team pennies and feel like part of a team.  It was such a neat thing to watch how not only the camp kids, but also the camp counselors treated my children.  It didn’t matter if they were at a dock on Hoover or an away regatta sitting around the bonfire in a circle of off the clock teens.  Teens that didn’t huddle around cell phones and dish out attitude, but instead were kind spirited and quick to lend a hand.  Kids that worked hand in hand with parents to tear down boats for travel regattas.  Teens that would corner my uber shy son and make it a point to ask him how his day was.  Teens that would scream out his name from across the parking lot when we would roll into town and then chase him down for that awkward hug.  Counselors that would braid my daughter’s hair during chalk talks because they knew Dad was clueless.  It was an inspiring group of kids that we so desperately wanted our children to be a part of.  Enamored with their counselors, each year our kids would come home from camp and ask “Dad do you think Jamie would let us be camp counselors when we grow up?”  It made for some tough discussions about the reality of our location and its limitations.  For some odd reason my wife was having a discussion one night on Hoover’s porch with a few sailing moms about “What if we just moved to Hoover?”  It wasn’t but a few months before our “forever” house was on the market and we were accepting the idea that Hoover would be our new home!!!  To think it all started with Jamie simply saying “come join us”.

I share that novel because I wanted to let you and the board know why we showed up on Hoover’s doorstep this year.  Why we uprooted our entire life for your sailing club and what it’s done for our family.  We feel like what you guys have at Hoover really is something special.  I’ve raced for 30 years now in numerous classes at clubs all over the US, but very few have what you guys have created.  As an outsider looking in, I see a thriving club with a welcoming spirit.  A club that has enough traction to retain a few of the biggest names in the industry, while also feeling safe enough to attract newbies on day 1.  A club that feels like a cherished family lake house that has been passed down from generation to generation, that just gets better with age.  My wife and I agreed that after all of these years (25+) something about Hoover just seems to draw you back.  With all of the ups and downs that come along with holding a seat on the board, I just wanted to let you know that from an outsider’s perspective you guys are getting it right.

Fleet Racing Report

May 19, 2021 Pursuit Race #1

Eighteen boats started the first Pursuit Race of the season. As the hour continued the breeze didn’t. Here are the results for those who kept going.  Following is the story of how the race was won, written by the winner, Bob McNitt.

1 Thistle 3891 Bob McNitt
2 Thistle 3893 Steve Lavender
3 Thistle 3990 Stuart Fisher
4 Interlake 1383 Mark White
5 Interlake 1370 Jeff Clark

By Bob McNitt
The first Pursuit Race of the year was May 19, was a beautiful evening, with a southerly breeze initially of about 8 mph. The MC’s were race committee, eliminating some of the competition from the get go. With the southerly breeze they were able to set a long port triangle course.

The short version is that the conditions favored the Thistles and it showed in the results: Bob McNitt and Jaimie Chicoine finished first, Steve and Rachel Lavender second and Stu and Matt Fisher third, all Thistles. Starting with reasonable wind, the Thistles caught most of the fleet by the second reaching leg of the course. Then the breeze steadily decreased to barely a breath. Both conditions favored the Thistles. The details, from my perspective (first person), are as follows.

After the Thistle start, Stu and Steve stayed left and I went right. There was wind on the left and on the right, but it was light in the middle of the course. The left paid off for Stu and Steve both crossing well ahead coming into the first mark.

The first reach was tight but appeared free enough for a spinnaker. Stu and I flew chutes and Steve did not. By the end of the leg, the wind was so far forward that the spinnaker was more of a hinderance than a benefit, but we made it around the gybe mark without dousing, positions unchanged.

After rounding the gybe mark, Stu and Steve, both flying their spinnakers now, cut west into the middle of the course to avoid the congestion of boats running the rhumb line. We followed although not so aggressively high (I was hoping they would get into a luffing match, but they are too smart for that). About a quarter of the way down the leg, a shift came in and Steve and I gybed, risking getting tangled up in the congestion of the fleet. Stu thought better of it. Steve cut east to the outside of the group and I tried to maintain an inside position. The shift was short lived, and everybody was back on port quickly. Stu rounded the leeward mark with a several boat-length lead. We managed to round ahead of Steve who was dealing with the congestion of the fleet.

From the leeward mark, Stu headed up the reservoir on port tack and we initially followed. We tacked on a small header soon after, but in less than 30 seconds we were back on the port tack. Retrospect identifies what then followed as the determining factor for our victory. We thought there was wind on the left side way up the course and also noticed a line of wind about a third of the way up the leg (showing on the water as only about 10 yards north and south by about 150 yards east and west) that we could use to get to the left. It would not take us toward the mark, but it would take us to where we thought there would be more wind. We tacked when we got into the wind line and rode it until we were slightly headed, near the middle of course. The boats that had stayed on the port tack must have been abandoned by what little breeze there was as we sailed a course almost making the mark. We passed what had been the leading boat with a third of the leg remaining.

A short tack on starboard took us around the top mark with a significant lead. Between the decreased wind velocity and the easterly shift, what had been a tight reach the previous time around the course became a very tight reach and then a beat. We had to tack to round what had been the gybe mark. We felt the last breath of moving air as we left the gybe mark. From there our momentum slowly carried us, pretty much drifting, down to and through the finish line. We paddled to the dock in still air.

Sailing with Jaimie was great fun. I caught up on her years of service and her plans for medical school. There were several occasions of open laughter throughout the race, regardless of whether we were ahead or behind. Race management did everything they could with the conditions. The first pursuit race of the year and the clubhouse “apres sail” (the warm camaraderie and Great Lakes beer at the tap) provided a great opening for Wednesday night sailing in 2021. I look forward to seeing you at the events to come!

Weekly Race Results Posted on our Website

Staring this year, we are adding the Fleet Racing Results and posting the Pursuit Race Results on the website. We’re not including names only boat numbers and finishes. The results are only the scores for the individual days. We’re not tabulating an accumulated score. I’m not sure how each fleet scores this. Hopefully, this can keep people in the loop if they missed a day? Also, maybe this would increase interest in participating in the racing. You might be surprised with how many boats raced on a given day or how few!

You can find the 2021 Race Results here:

Clubhouse & Grounds Update

These unused, unidentified, and unwanted kayaks need a happy home. Make your best offer to Ted Thomas at by July 12.

Ted Thomas
Grounds chair

Please Clean the Kitchen

Hoover Sailing Club DOES NOT have hired kitchen help.  This is why we are each responsible for cleaning up after ourselves when we use the kitchen and picnic tables.

After you use the facilities, please:

  • Take home any unused food.
  • Thoroughly wash, dry, and put away any dishes that you used.
  • Wipe up the counter and tables that you used.
  • Take your trash to the dumpsters in the parking lot and replace the trash can liners.

It doesn’t take long to leave the clubhouse in usable condition for the next person. Please do your share and clean up, throw out, and take home.

If you would like information on how to reserve the clubhouse for your group visit

Joyce Lohner & Chad Headlee
Social & House Chairpersons

Scot Spot

The 2021 Flying Scot Buckeye Regatta came off with out a hitch . . . unfortunately without much wind either, at least on Saturday. But our 13 competitors were here for the fun. They stayed out for 2 painful Saturday races that the Windmill fleet Race Committee worked diligently to set up. Sunday wind was better so we got a total of 4 races for the regatta. We had 8 out-of-town boats, including a team from Rochester, NY, two teams from Cowan Lake and 5 teams from Deep Creek. Jay Huling and Ray Trask sailed to a 2nd place finish. 1st and 3rd went to Cowan Lake sailors Bruce and Lynn Kitchen and Dan Adams respectively.

Thanks to all of the fleet volunteers who made this event happen before, during and after, including Sandy Phalen, Arnie Ishizuka, Kathy Trask, Dan Carpenter, Ross Long, Ben Blee, Carlo Vedovato, Mark Sulc, Sarah Lynn, Larry Phelps, Toni Diblasi, Bruce Courts, Dave Stetson, Stephanie Bahr and Scot Stephen.

Looking to the future, please pay attention to your email as we are going to try to schedule some fleet events, including reviving the fleet steak roast and a cruising event, all outdoors and safely distanced.

Also please note that our fleet is responsible for the Past Commodore Steak Roast, tentatively scheduled for August 28. Please put the date on your calendar, as it is an “all hands” event.

Finally, there is a club wide event scheduled Saturday June 26 for those who want to learn or improve their racing skills.  I am asking the veteran racers in our fleet to show up and assist. Stephanie Bahr and I will be at the FS Women’s National Championships at Deep Creek that weekend but there are some excellent sailors in our fleet who can provide guidance on racing a Scot.  Just come on out and try. Even if you do not have an interest in racing, learning how to make your boat go faster and handle tricky situations will serve you well no matter where or how you sail.

Photos by Ellery Block & Lisa Kreischer

Interlake Interlude

It has been such a wonderful year so far!  While we had a lot of sailing last year, the lack burgers & keg beer on Wednesday nights always left me longing.  Fun fact—you are not required to sail to join in mingling with an absolutely great group of people following racing.  All members are always welcome you to stop by & say Hello.  These nights also offer a great chance to get out on the water with family or friends even if you don’t race.  There are a plethora of boats on the water and a nice energy about the clubhouse.  Wednesday, June 16 Jeff Tyndall won the third pursuit race of the season and represented the Interlake fleet well. 

George Fisher Memorial Regatta

We have had all kinds of wind this year and regattas are in full swing for all fleets.  Our own Interlake regatta, the George Fisher Memorial Regatta, was a tremendous success due to the outstanding leadership of Jeff Clark.  Jeff organized the event, bringing in a wonderful group of Interlake volunteers who came together to support an amazing event, complete with proper socialization after the regatta.  Mark White impressed with colorful certificate awards given to the 5 top finishers. In addition Mark collaborated with Jeff Clark to create very special coffee mugs that includes a Jeff Clark original haiku in memory of George (George’s nickname was Gray Fox) ~

in the wake of The Gray Fox
a thousand friends

Fifteen boats participated with Steve Aspery sailing away with the victory.  I declared a personal victory for not swimming, as the wind which started a little light, built and filled in and was blowing pretty hard by the end of the day. Steve Lavender and the race committee did an outstanding job keeping 4 windward leeward courses and made great adjustments in just about every race and kept fleet safety #1 priority.  Congrats to the top 5 and all who came out to race:

  1. Steve Aspery
  2. Jeff Clark
  3. Scott Savage
  4. Nate Ireland
  5. Jeff Jones

Welcome New Interlake Members

We have a few new members I would like to welcome!  We look forward to seeing them at the club and becoming friends.  

  • Tim Allen and Janet Grimm / Interlake 1155. 
  • Gunnar and Jennifer Gode and son Beylen / Interlake 1426. 
  • Ed and Eriu Spengeman with Ben & Emma / TBD

Gain More Experience

If you would like to gain more experience skippering and build your confidence allowing you to get out on the water more often, please reach out to me. We can partner you with a few skippers that are interested in teaching those that are less experienced.  They have also expressed their willingness to crew for you and possibly alternate a few times through the year.  We want to help build confidence on the tiller with an experienced sailor onboard that is familiar with the rules and how to safely handle the boat.  

Check out the club wide training this Saturday, June 26!

Thank you HSC

I would like to extend a Thank You to Hoover Sailing Club for saving over 6,600 plastic water bottles with installation of the water filtration system drinking fountain in the clubhouse.  As we all so greatly appreciate Mother Earth & her beauty, this is an important feature our club.  

August 13 Interlake Sunset/Moonlight Cruise

Please remember to reserve August 13th for the Interlake Sunset/Moonlight sail.  Our phenomenal social team is placing together a magical evening that will be sure to please.  I will begin requesting RSVPs as the date approaches.

Race Committee Duty

One final note, it is important that you reach out to the Principal Race Officer for your race committee assignment if you are having some sort of conflict and cannot make it.  If you have any issues please send an email to this list and see if you can swap with anyone.  Sometimes last minute things happen, but please at lease let the PRO know so they can prepare accordingly.

Upcoming Interlake regattas

Indian Lake
July 10, 2021 all-day
Indian Lake YC
246 Chase Avenue
Russells Point, OH 43348

Lorain 1 Design
July 10, 2021 all-day
Lorain Sailing YC
108 Alabama Avenue
Lorain, OH 44052

National Championship
July 14 – 17, 2021 all-day
Sandusky Sailing Club
814 E Water St. Sandusky
OH 44870

Hot to Trot
August 21, 2021 all-day
Portage YC
8900 Dexter Pinckney Road
Pinckney, MI 48169

Great North Regatta
August 27 – 28, 2021 all-day
Grand Traverse YC
13653 South West-Bay Shore Drive
Traverse City, MI 49684

Scow Scoop

The first weekend in May means it’s time for the annual Cowtown Classic Regatta hosted by Hoover Sailing Club. 2021 marks the 25th year of the regatta and Hoover Sailing Club did its best to host a fun event in our current COVID-world.

With the clubhouse closed, the model is ‘bring-your-own-everything, and let’s-meet-up-and-sail.’ Despite the closures, Mark White and his team of Hoover volunteers decided to offer up a little more incentive for the 25th edition. Each participant received a commemorative coffee mug. After racing, there were free soft drinks, snacks, and beer for the sailors to gather, with proper social distancing. And the regatta was free of charge to participate. That added up to a pretty sweet deal!

Twenty-nine sailors from five states made the trip to Hoover. Long-distance travelers included Bob Karslake from Wichita, KS (sails at Chautauqua NY), Dan Fink (WI), and Chris Hawk (NY). A strong contingent of sailors from nearby Atwood, OH made the trip together as well as sailors from Cowan Lake, OH, and Indianapolis, IN. The group was ready to knock the winter rust off and kick off the 2021 season.

At Spring regattas you just don’t know what you are going to get weather-wise. During the end of the week, the forecast kept alternating between S-SW winds of 10-15 and 16-20+. Would it be a nice hiking breeze or hang on to your hat conditions? PRO Tom Fee’s Race Committee team planned to run five or six races through the afternoon.

The lake at Hoover runs north to south, and wind from either of these directions is a plus. A south-southwest breeze allowed the RC team to stretch the length of the legs. While more stable than the east or west directions, there were still plenty of oscillations to be found and one could move up through the fleet and pass boats by playing the shifts and staying in phase.

Just before Race 1, the breeze cranked up to 15-18 knots, a little higher in the gusts, and the fleet got a workout right out of the gate. The breeze would pulse in, pull back to 10-15 for a bit, and then pulse in again. But, the trend was building and it looked to be headed to ‘hang on to your hat’ day.

Richard Blake, with his daughter Sarah crewing, and Brian Pace got off the pin end of the starting line nicely and battled around the track to finish first and second respectively.

At the start of Race 2, the wind built to a higher level, with puffs into the high teens. Matt Fisher and I had a tight race to the finish with Matt edging out by a nose at the line.

We started Race 3 in winds gusting 20+, and as the leaders rounded the windward mark, the race was abandoned. There were two crash boats on the course, and with the cold water, safety was the top priority. Perhaps a little hard for the leaders of race 3 to hear, but understandable. The breeze continued to build through the afternoon with gusts over 26mph, racing was called and the boats were pulled for the day.

It was hard to find much separation at the top after just two races in a fleet of 29, and the regatta ended with a four-way tie for first place. While we all would have loved another race to shake things out, Mother Nature would not abide, and it was left to multiple layers of the tie-break rule.

Final results:
1) Matt Fisher (Hoover)
2) Ted Keller (Hoover/Torch)
3) Brian Pace (Hoover)
4) Clark Wade (Hoover)
5) Richard Blake (Hoover)

Top Master: Surge Vanderhorst
Top Grand Master: Mark White (Hoover)
Top Mega Master: Bruce Moore (Atwood)
Top Junior: Ben Keller (Hoover/Torch)

Congratulations to Matt Fisher on winning the 2021 Cowtown title! He has been racing the MC more and more and training often, and the time he has invested is paying dividends. Matt is the defending Master Nationals champ and will contend for the title at the Nationals in Clear Lake, Iowa June 24-27.

Thanks to Tom Fee, his RC team, and all the Hoover volunteers for allowing this regatta to take place while making it a great experience.

With an active and energized local fleet and a great group of visiting sailors making the trip, Hoover Sailing Club really puts on a not-to-be-missed event. Mark your calendars for the first weekend of May 2022 for the Cowtown Classic. Those finishing in the top 5, or top of their age division, have earned a half or full point for their 2021 Blue Chip qualification.

More photos from the 25th Cowtown Classic Regatta can be found at

A Hail from the Rail

Hoover Sailing Club Thistle Fleet 126
Bothersome Appropriate Distance (BAD) Regatta
Saturday May 8, 2021

Fifteen Thistles showed up to race the no-frills, BAD Regatta organized by Fleet Captain Mike McBride.  COVID-19 precautions were the order of the day.  The cold front passed by the night before and a barely-fifty degree clear day with a north to northwest breeze started the day.  Clark Wade and MC team ran six races creatively using a variety of horns, flags, and timing devices and well-placed marks.  The usually shifty NW breeze deteriorated to an on-and-off west to north breeze which drove everybody crazy.  That there were six different race winners is testimonial to the fickle, sometimes great, or not, dying cold front.  Or you could observe that the best worst-race was 7th, as proof of the scramble.

Post-race socializing was at a spinnaker pole distance and masks were seen.  Rachel Lavender’s pottery made excellent trophies. From Cleveland, the Sheddon team with two little kids and parents, Nicole and Jesse, were outstanding finishing in second place.  Skippers John Shockey, Steve Lavender, and Kit Holzaepfel finished second, third, and fourth.  Stu Fisher was on a roll to win until retiring from the last race.  The Hubbell-Yingling team won with five finishes in the top four places, and a seventh.

Thistles on the Big Lake

Thistle Lake Erie District Championship at Edgewater Yacht Club on Lake Erie June 5 and 6 delivered a mind-boggling array of wind shifts, puffs and holes, and a scramble of scores.  Thirty-four boats took on the challenge. The conditions were right for a thermal but that never really materialized.  The breeze varied from southwest to north and from 5- 15, but the spells of breeze-on were very short.  At the end of five races Ben France’s team posted one less point than the Stu Fisher team; Ben started sailing at Leatherlips in his youth where such conditions are routine.  It wasn’t his team’s first rodeo either.  Stu is obviously one of Hoover’s star players.  Matt Sessions’ boat was next.  Your correspondent’s team was hot on the first day but clueless on day two.   It was definitely a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of regatta.  Forecasts and probabilities were useless.  Well done Ben, Jeff Eiber, and Sara Paisley!

Other Fleet 126 News by Ann Jones

Thistle Class Association Approves New Builder
For more information contact Beacon Composites owned by Alex Venegas, and located at Creedmore, North Carolina by phone at 704-813-8408, or email

Please know that our former builder Great Midwest Yacht Company, owned by Doug Laber, here in Sunbury is available for our repair and parts needs. You can contact Doug by phone at 740-965-4511 or email

Congrats to Steve Lavender! Steve came in third in the June pursuit race. Four Thistles participated, including Steve, Bob McNitt, Nadia Reynolds and Clyde Findley.

Thanks to our Great Race Committees! Everybody has shown up on time and done excellent work. We even ran the races for the Interlake Regatta on June 19, and the conditions were especially challenging. The wind ran the gamut from a whisper for the first race to white capping at the end of the day, which culminated with the righting of a turtled Interlake near the dock. Let’s keep up the fine work!

ON THE HORIZON – Here are some upcoming events:

  • July 3 & 5 HSC Independence Series race
  • July 5 (Monday) Independence Series Awards & Picnic
  • July 6 (Tuesday) Sears Cup Junior Regatta, HSC (see below)
  • July 17-18 (Sat &Sun) Thistle Great Lakes Championship, North Cape Y.C., Monroe, MI
  • July 31-August 6 (Sat-Fri) 75th Thistle Nationals, Cleveland Yachting Club, Rocky River, OH
  • August 28 (Saturday) HSC Past Commodores’ Roast

This should be a great spectator sport! Jamie Jones will run the Area E Sears Cup Finals. Jamie says he expects 5-8 junior teams from Ohio and Michigan. The top team qualifies for the Sears Cup Finals to be raced at Marblehead, Massachusetts in August in RS21’s. (An RS21 is a 21-foot keel boat that requires a crew of 4 people. Its stern is open (like a 505’s) and it has a hard chine (like an Interlake’s). Jamie also mentioned that he plans to use 3 boats from Hoover Sailing Club in our local competition. So come on out and watch the Juniors make Thistles go—FAST!

A WORD TO THE WISE – HEATSTROKE isn’t much fun! First you get dizzy, sweat a lot, and feel nauseated. Then you quit sweating, pant, and probably faint. At that point somebody needs to call 9-1-1. To prevent that situation, dunk your hat/life jacket/shirt in the lake and put them back on. You should drink lots of water or a sport beverage to stay hydrated, and stay in the shade of the sails whenever possible. If all else fails, just go in—it isn’t worth making yourself sick! My mom taught me that, ‘She who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day!’ 

LOOKING AT THE LAKE It’s full and we have had lots of interesting wind! It looks kind of green, but that’s okay–Commodore Charlie Vasulka says so. He told me green is good but BLUE green is terrible, so don’t worry! Just come on out and enjoy weekends and Wednesday evenings (beer and burgers included) on the water and the patio. WE MISSED YOU A LOT LAST YEAR, SO COME ON BACK!

More photos from the BAD Regatta can be found at

Milling Around

Windmill Fleet #60 is off to a liberating post-COVID sailing season. In the past after the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield, we host the longest running Windmill regatta of 52 years, the Midwestern Championship. But, a new Presque Isle Dinghy One Design regatta kicked off the season at Erie Yacht Club (Pennsylvania) as tune-up for the 2021 Windmill Nationals on August 19-22. In support of the Class, we moved our traditional regatta for 2021 to September 25-26. This temporary adjustment extends the season and will be good for the Class in lieu of the pandemic. And, will provide a better breeze. By alternating site for the Midwestern District Championship with our sister Erie Fleet, this event kicked the season off wonderfully drawing 16 teams from 7 states.

Erie Yacht Club (EYC) hosts, Pat and Janet Huntley have a great, burgeoning fleet of Windmills converting keelboat sailors to dinghies over the past few years. Their grassroots approach has the camaraderie from yesteryear. Founded in 1895, the club and facilities are tremendous. Races take place in the protected Bay where ships from the Battle of Lake Erie in 1812 were built and christened—a  few hundred yards from the launch and hoists.
Prelude to the regatta, a hot Friday afternoon of rigging and practicing was followed Saturday by 25 to 32 knots that blew so hard there weren’t swells and whitecaps just flattened out to a sideways mist. Spooky stuff. But, after two postponements, and diminishing to 10 to 15 knots racing ensued. Some 7 boats opted to stay ashore.

Of the Hoover contingent, we had had four competitive teams. Chris and Nancy Demler (the 2019 Midwinter Champs, sailed at Clearwater, birthplace of the Windmill – by builder of the Optimist Pram, Clark Mills) had a good first day. And, in my opinion, Tim and Nate Bachman probably sailed their best regatta to date. Astonishingly Doug Boyer’s maiden regatta voyage, with old college roommate Emaley Baxter, sailed tough and consistently. Then there was me. Gonna need more bev naps, a few more online orders, tuning and of course, practice. See scoring and PICs.

Fleet Report:  Our fleet has growth despite the dormant 2020 with four new, Active members. Tyler Harris is tweaking the former Ferguson boat #4164, Mike Howe (whom crewed with me at Erie) purchased the HSC Foundation boat “Little C,” brought back from Long Island. Simon Pennells owns the original Sailing Instruction boat #3251 and avidly sails club races with his son Jacob. Most-intriguing story is Doug Boyer who has been tuning Roger Demler’s #5047 and raced a competitive Erie regatta in his first event in tough conditions. Better story, Allie and Doug brought into the world Ira Eugene Boyer at 6 pounds 7 ounces and 20 inches yesterday.

In other events the “Get Off to a Good Start” seminar (on May 22nd) has a great turnout with a dozen boats — focusing on starting drills and boat-handling in traffic. Headed by Matt Fisher and a cast of multi-fleet masters with repetition and chase teams, the individual improvement was marked. Windmills had 3 participants honing their skills. By the end of the event, the team of Doug Boyer and Mike Howe had won 3 of the last 4 starts. Bravo! There will be a second “Taking It To Another Level” follow-up seminar next weekend on Saturday, June 26. I encourage even veteran sailors to attend this free club event formulating a starting, windward, leeward strategies before, during and yes, after races.

*See events at

Island Party & more

The Hoover Sailing Club Island Party is ON!!

Saturday, June 26
6 – 10 pm

Come ready to eat and drink!

Specialty cocktails, beer, wine and appetizers at 6 pm
Caribbean-themed dinner at 7 pm
Island/Beach attire is encouraged!

$10 per person at the door

Guests are welcome

Please RSVP to Joyce Lohner at

Breakfast Cruise – Saturday, July 10th

Ahoy there! Come one and all
You wouldn’t want to sleep though this breakfast call!
We’re going to pull out the griddles and cook up some cakes
Serving up a breakfast that’s gonna be great!
When breakfast is over, were gonna set sail 
And cruise up to the north bridge, assuming favorable conditions prevail.
The plan is to have breakfast at 9, and start rigging by 10,
And once we’ve all launched, we’ll all start sailing towards the north end.
Hope you can join us, it’s going to be fun.
My guess is that by noon or so the cruise will be done.

Poem by Steve Lavender with details to follow.

Off to a Good Start Part 2 June 26

Come to the June 26 Follow-up On-the-Water Training, where Craig Tovell (Windmill 5043) will take you to the next level.  Have your boat at the dock by 12:30. Meet at the clubhouse at 1 pm for the chalk talk for more strategies and tactics. After that we’ll get on the water and do some drills.  Please RSVP to Tom Fee by Thursday 6/24.

Review of May 22 Session

To review our last session in the “Parking Lot Training” was to reinforce proper crew and skipper position with skipper primarily on the high side, mainsheet in forward hand, and hiking stick centered both with overhand grip ALWAYS (never touching the tiller). This allows using both hands to trim the mainsheet. Crew weight is always forward to the shroud shoulder-shoulder in hiking conditions, and across form one another in lighter conditions – with crew on the low side, forward and across for one another. Same for sailing offwind. Shoulders basically ALWAYS run parallel to the keel of the boat. This noticeably broke bad habits and improved boat handling on-the-water.

Single-hand boats, like the MC Scow, need the skipper low in lighter conditions to induce (22 degree) heel sitting on the low side for less-wetted surface and accounting for the lee boards.

We spoke of looser trim coming out of tacks for speed and to “Shift Up” gears trimming as your upwind speed improves. I mark on port and starboard on a piece of electric tape with a Sharpie on the deck of my boats four (4) two inch marks for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th gear (outward to inward) one half way back of the jib track to clew grommet. Team learn visual recognition other than tell tales or luff, and makes it really easy for new crew to know what’s expected of the skipper. This isn’t relevant to cat boats (without a jib) and not possible for a Thistle. Mainly, decked boats like FJs, 420s, Interlakes, Scots, 505s and Windmills.

Regardless of boat you’re steering, I mentioned creating an “artificial horizon” view for the skipper looking about 4-feet back of the bow within the telltale view to make sure the boat when full-and-by is heeling 5-10 degrees, so your steering isn’t pinching over 4th gear when trimmed tight. Feathering in flat water is intermittently fine and recommended, easing on the main in the puff while slightly  “poking” the helm to weather and trimming the main to catch the heel and get back down on the course—sailing a scallop course – “walking to weather.” Feathering in chop doesn’t work.

We discussed communicating with your crew throughout the race to help them anticipate tacking and gybing with a cadence such as, “Ready to tack? 1, 2, 3, Go!” the lower the wind, the slower the cadence – creating a rhythm or choreography. And, to “roll” the boat on the 4th (Go!) call.

Commodore’s Comments

Spring is finally here. We have had our first 60° day, 70° day, and even our first 80° day! The docks are in, the grounds are ready, and it is time to go sailing.

The Docks Committee once again put our docks in efficiently and they look great. Peter Rothman and his committee members have done a great job replacing barrels and boards. Now it is up to all of us to keep them looking great by making sure the goose string is in place and any goose poo is swept off the dock with the new deck brushes when we see it. I want to send out a special thanks to Don Bacharowski, last year’s Docks Chairman, for his countless hours building new A-frames for the mooring dock.

The Grounds Committee has the property looking great and the west dry sail lot looks even better, since it was refurbished after Docks In. The plan put into place by last year’s Grounds Chairman was implemented and the gravel looks better than it has in recent memory. Thank you, Jeff Jones. Committee members have been preparing the playground by repairing and updating the equipment. Ted Thomas has worked through many drafts of how to accommodate all of our boats and trailers. Let’s help him out by getting our boats and trailers to their assigned spots for the sailing season.

I want to thank all of the committees and club members for your hard work to open the club up for the sailing season. The clubhouse and kitchen are open and ready for our enjoyment. Check out the new tables inside. They look great.  Would you like to take home one of the old ones? Click here to see them:

The young and young at heart are already sailing, with the High School sailors already out learning, practicing and racing. The laser sailors are out racing one another since they don’t seem to understand it’s cold in the evenings in April.

It is great to see masts going up and boats getting ready to sail. We should have many pleasant days in April and May to cruise the reservoir.

See you on the water! Check out the Docks In photo album below.

HSC Member Directories

The directories are available for pickup in the club kitchen through Memorial Day weekend.  Please grab yours as soon as possible.

One update–we didn’t have the current commodore of the OSU Sailing Club at the time of publication.  Here is the correct listing (found on page 9 of the directory).
Ohio State University Sailing Club—Commodore Avery Lawrence / / 513/473-9690

2021 HSC T-Shirt Design Contest Winners

Congratulations to the two winners of the 2021 HSC T-shirt design contest:  Jessica Howard (Interlake 566) for the back design of the shirt and Lauren Whitaker Amery (Interlake 1284) for the front design. We had eight entries in the T-shirt design contest!  I am grateful for the a big response.  The BOG had a difficult time selecting a winner, that’s why we selected two.  Even that was difficult since the eight entries were really good!  

The designs will be offered on Guildan Tek and cotton blend long and short sleeve t-shirts in Adult and Youth sizes, plus a baseball cap with the HSC burgee.  The J.C. Manny Co. of Westerville is working with Jessica and Lauren to finalize the designs.  Once completed, we will email the order form to members, post it on Facebook, and on the HSC website.  Stay tuned for the form and payment details.