2015 -- Plimsoll Day: Angie Hunt, Photographer

2015 Spring Banquet and Silent Auction — April 12

posted Mar 22, 2015, 6:03 PM by Ruth Ann Vokac   [ updated Mar 22, 2015, 6:15 PM ]

CLSA Members and Friends of CLSA,


This year the Spring Banquet will be at Teddy Buchmen’s in LeRoy, IL. on April 12, starting at 5 p.m.

 Directions at https://www.facebook.com/teddy.buckmens.


  The schedule of events is as follows:

- Hospitality from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

- Dinner at 6:00 p.m.  

        Cost   $25/person. 


- Program will include a presentation by Gary Magnuson, CLSA Member and Education Officer of Mid Illini Sail and Power Squadron.


- The Silent Auction is back by popular demand!

  For anyone not familiar with this custom, we bring and donate used or new sailing items or nautical-themed things to be auctioned off.  The proceeds go to CLSA. It's always fun to see what people bring in! This year, Debbie Yeagle has again collected some nice things that will appeal to the ladies in the group!   

 Please bring things of quality, as we want to make money for the club and make it fun to bid on things people want and need. Bring your checkbooks, piggy banks, cold hard cash and a great big heart to help this year's auction be a success. 

The CLSA Board is looking forward to a great sailing season! 

Please come to the Spring Meeting for a wonderful way to kick it off! 

Please RSVP so the restaurant has an accurate number and can serve us well! 


Next CLSA Event after the Spring Banquet is Spring Work Day. Save the morning of April 25 to come help!  Watch for further details!

Samuel Plimsoll Day & Rites of Spring — Host: Debbie Yeagle

posted Mar 12, 2015, 9:09 PM by Ruth Ann Vokac   [ updated Mar 12, 2015, 9:11 PM ]

CLSA celebrates Plimsoll Day on Saturday, March 21 from 12 noon to 3 p.m.

Meet at the CLSA Pavilion.

 — Bring a hearty snack, such as chips and salsa or dip, cookies, brownies or other munchies, veggies, humus, etc.  to share.

 — Debbie will bring her famous, delicious soup! She has even offered to take suggestions for the type of soup she cooks: if you have a favorite, email Debbie at wildflwrfarm@yahoo.com. 

  — Also bring an old pair of socks. Yep..... You read it right!  .... Socks! It's a sailor's custom to start off the season by having a sock burning for good luck.

 (Ever wonder about the origin of  Plimsoll Day or the origin of sailors’ burning socks?  Google both to find the answers and share them with us on March 21!)

Looking forward to seeing lots of sailors at the lake!

2015 February Winword

posted Mar 4, 2015, 9:33 PM by Ruth Ann Vokac

Thanks to Deb Aronson, the February 2015 Windward  has been published.  Find it as a file attached to this post.

Iceboating Fun at Clinton Lake

posted Feb 22, 2015, 9:06 PM by Ruth Ann Vokac   [ updated Feb 22, 2015, 9:21 PM ]

While some of us are ready for normal February temperatures, 
others are taking advantage of the wind and hard water at Clinton Lake.  
Take a look at iceboat racing!

Iceboating at Clinton Lake - February 2015

Valley Forge Forage

posted Feb 16, 2015, 8:03 PM by CLSA Sailing   [ updated Mar 22, 2015, 9:38 PM ]

Saturday, February 21, 2015, CLSA will host the Valley Forge Forage.

This late February hike lets us enjoy the lake from a different from usual perspective and get our new season underway.

The path through the woods and across the prairie is about 2.5 miles and takes about an hour.

Anyone who wants to join the walk should meet at the Houseboat Cove Trail at Clinton Lake State Recreational Area (Mascoutin) on the north side of the lake. We will start the hike from the parking lot at 2:00 p.m., exploring the Clinton Lake area on foot.  This is a great opportunity to see the lake and wildlife, get some exercise, and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow CLSA members.  If you wish, bring a garbage bag and pick up trash along the way.

 Afterwards, those who want will head to  Clinton, IL to eat.  

This is always  a fun hike and a great chance to get together before the sailing season starts. Please plan to attend! 

(If it is really snowy or unpleasantly cold Saturday, the Valley Forge Forage's hosts, Bryan and Angie Hunt,  will send a cancellation email to members, and that email will be posted on this website!)  

Valley Forge Forage

Christina Nordholm Featured in "Studio Visit"

posted Feb 1, 2015, 9:34 AM by Ruth Ann Vokac   [ updated Feb 1, 2015, 9:40 AM ]

CLSA Member Christina Nordholm is featured in today's The New-Gazette's "Studio Visit."  In the article, she shares that she has done "pretty much everything  to do with the art field, from modeling to being a gallery director to portrait painting in Washington Square Park (in New York) to paintings and murals in restaurants."  To read about Christina's art life, click here.

In the Heart of the Sea—Coming to a Big Screen Near You!

posted Jan 7, 2015, 9:31 AM by Ruth Ann Vokac   [ updated Jan 29, 2015, 12:32 PM ]

Bill was delighted when I told him today that I had just read that In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick has been made into a movie to be released March 13, 2015.  
He loved the book and will for sure want to see the movie!  
If you are interested, you can find out about the movie and see a trailer at this link: 21 Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen.  In the Heart of the Sea is number 8 on the list.  
(Another site now says the release date has been postponed to Dec. '15.)
Ruth Ann Vokac

Some Thoughts On One-Design Racing

posted Nov 9, 2014, 10:10 AM by Deb Aronson

This is a story I wrote several years ago for Outdoor Illinois, but I thought it might help encourage non-racers to consider racing, and so I'm posting it here! Keep in mind, the story was for an Illinois-wide publication, which is why I highlight some other lakes, as well as our own...

Sailing: Another way to enjoy Illinois lakes

“Stuart was an adventurous little fellow and loved the feel of the breeze in his face and the cry of the gulls overhead and the heave of the great swell under him …  ‘This is the life for me!’ Stuart murmured to himself. “What a ship! What a day! What a race!” (from Stuart Little by E.B. White)


From Horatio Hornblower to Pirates of the Caribbean, sailing has always held a certain romance; with no engine, the sailor becomes adept at sailing in every kind of condition, from light to heavy wind, from smooth to choppy water, and, ultimately, to master or harness Mother Nature in all her moods.

To the landlubber this might be an unrequited romance; sailing looks complex and mysterious, something they cannot master.  But in reality, the fundamentals are fairly simple. To turn the boat to the right, push the tiller to the left; to turn the boat to the left, push the tiller to the right.  To stop, turn the boat directly into the wind and let the sails go. An adult can learn the basics in a single lesson, but to improve after that it’s like the punch line to the Carnegie Hall joke: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.”

The best way to get that practice is to join a sailing club and take part in the informal races that are held weekly. There are many active sailing clubs in Illinois beyond Lake Michigan. For example, there are clubs on Carlyle, Clinton and Springfield lakes, as well as on a bend of the Mississippi River known as Alton Lake. Many local clubs run their races either on Wednesday nights or Saturday mornings. This is not high-pressure or high-stakes racing: in this setting racing simply means — in the beginning anyway — sailing around a specific course marked by brightly colored buoys. By going around the course, novice sailors improve their steering and learn the racing rules; by sailing in all kinds of conditions they learn how to handle their boats; by doing it in a club racing setting, there are more experienced sailors right there to both teach them and to bail them out (pun intended) if the need should arise.

“There is a lot of collegiality in racing,” says Mike Pick, of the Island Bay Yacht Club on Lake Springfield. “Everyone wants everyone else to improve. They all want to help you out and are more than happy to answer any questions.”

At most clubs sailors get together informally before and after racing to talk about what worked well out on the racecourse and what they learned.

“Why would a non-competitive person race?” says Nelson Laffey, who learned to sail in his 50s. “First of all, you are more likely to spend time learning on purpose than if you are just sailing around. For example, if you have two identical boats of the same one-design class and the other is passing you by, then you look at your sails and adjust them, you can even ask the other guy where his centerboard is. You try different things. On the other hand, if you are passing the other boat, then you know you are doing some things right!”

Pick learned how to sail as a child, but it was only in the last six or seven years that he began racing.

“People who know how to sail are intimidated by racing,” he says. “But competing added a lot more fun to the sport for me. It’s so much more fun than cruising around and letting the wind take you. In racing, the boat becomes part of you and sailing it is automatic. That means you can then pay attention to tactics and the wind conditions.”

As Laffey explained, the best kind of racing is one-design, which simply means everyone uses an identical kind of sailboat, as opposed to having many types of boats and using a handicapping system. This head-to-head competition is the best way for sailors to learn what techniques help them go the fastest in which conditions

There is a boat for every age and activity level. Some take just one person to sail, like the Sunfish and the Laser. Some take as many as four or five. Some have spinnakers, those enormous, colorful parachute-like sails that are so photogenic. There are larger boats that take two or three people, like the Lightning and the Flying Scot, both of which have spinnakers. There are other boats that are the same size but that don’t have spinnakers, such as the JY 15 and the C Scow. Then there are boats that need even more crew, such as the E Scow, which is 28 feet long and has three or four sailors on board.

One of the best places to race sailboats in Illinois is at Carlyle Lake, in Carlyle, Ill. The club there, which was established in 1971, is a nationally renowned facility with a very active racing program. At Carlyle there are one-design fleets of Lightnings, Y Flyers, E Scows, and Flying Scots. Races for these boats are held every Sunday.

While Carlyle is the largest, most organized sailing program outside of Chicago and Lake Michigan, there are other sailing clubs scattered throughout the state. For example, in Springfield, the Island Bay Yacht Club was established in 1935. Island Bay has a fleet of C Scows, JY15s, Lasers and Star boats. This club has more than 500 members.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Prestbury Yacht Club is a community sailing club located on a small, neighborhood lake, west of Naperville. Their racing program includes lasers and JY15s.

In the east-central part of the state, the Clinton Lake Sailing Association has had an active racing program for 25 years. The club holds races every weekend; Flying Scots, which are the only active one-design fleet at the club, also race on Wednesday evenings, and there are several Laser regattas scattered throughout the summer.

Valley Sailing Association was founded in 1954 on a mile-wide stretch of the Mississippi River called Alton Lake. With active fleets of Comets, Lasers, Lightnings and Mutineers, the club holds races on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

Sailing often becomes a passion for those who try it and it is not uncommon for people to own more than one kind of boat: one for sailing alone; one for racing with their family or other crew; a third to teach their children; and a fourth because it was so pretty they could not resist. It’s like some women and their shoes. For example, Laffey, who is the true commodore of the Valley Sailing Association, owns a whopping 14 boats, including one Comet, one Sunfish and six wooden Lightnings. In some clubs, if you have one boat, you are a mere skipper, but once you have more than three, your fellow club members might start calling you commodore, with tongue pressed firmly in cheek. In Laffey’s case, his friends jokingly call him Lord Admiral (as in Admiral Nelson of the British Navy).

Calling All Members to the CLSA 2014 Fall Banquet

posted Oct 19, 2014, 9:34 PM by Ruth Ann Vokac   [ updated Dec 19, 2014, 6:57 PM by CLSA Sailing ]

November 8

Ozark House, Bloomington

5 pm – Socializing and Check-in

6 pm – Dinner


 Schedule of Events


Commodore’s Welcome                  Golden Spigot Award

Treasurer’s Report             Annual CLSA Board Elections

Racing Recognition                      Passing of Board Flags

Season Trophy Awards                   Closing—Not the End

14-11-8 Fall Meeting

Bob Rundus, CLSA Lifetime Member, Dies

posted Oct 17, 2014, 1:37 PM by Ruth Ann Vokac   [ updated Oct 17, 2014, 6:23 PM ]

CLSA is saddened to learn of the death of one of our lifetime members:

"URBANA – Robert E. "Bob" Rundus, devoted husband, father, grandfather, mathematician, teacher, photographer, pilot and sailor, passed away on Oct. 10, 2014, at Meadowbrook Health Center in Urbana, in the company of his loving family."

Many of us fondly remember Bob from his Champaign sailing business and his sailing with us at Clinton Lake.  

We send our sincere condolences to Eleanor and all the Rundus family. 

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