Fleet 135 Profiles
Rod Bussell - Fleet Captain
Rod sails FS#4890 Kentucky Lady. Since 2010, Rod has played a transformational role in the growth of the Clinton Lake Sailing Association and building Fleet 135. He gained fame for his work buying development boats, fixing them up, and making them available for purchase. As the fleet quickly grew, it became commonly referred to as "Rod's Navy". Rod's contributions to the fleet were honored by the fleet with the introduction the perpetual Rod Bussell trophy, awarded annually the fleet's most improved sailor. He was elected as Fleet Captain in 2019 for the 2020 season.
Eric Bussell is a US Sailing Certified Sailing Instructor who started sailing in 2010 as a way to spend more time with his dad Rod. Ben and Deb talked him into traveling to his first regatta in Ephraim and he was instantly addicted to one-design sailboat racing. Eric has been active in building Fleet 135 and has served on the Executive Committee of the Flying Scot Sailing Association.
Jim & Jennifer Colgrove
Jim started sailing as "ballast" on his Dad's boat at the age of 5. He grew up sailing and racing primarily on Lake Michigan. Like many lifelong sailors he has sailed and raced everything from Sunfish to a Morgan 41. As a young adult, he sold Lasers and Hobie Cats where sales often included trailering, rigging and sailing lessons. He particularly enjoyed camping and racing his Parker 505 for a number of years in the reservoirs around Salt Lake City Utah before returning to the Midwest. After 30 years of recreational biking, swimming and sailing, Jim identified the Flying Scot as a boat that would allow him to return to sailboat racing and develop a hobby with his wife, Jennifer. Jim and Jennifer have found that they enjoy traveling to regattas and camping at the beautiful clubs when possible.
Frank and Marianne Gerry
It’s a long story… Marianne learned how to sail on a sunfish in college in the fall of 1971 in Massachusetts. She taught Frank how to sail a sunfish in Ohio in 1976. They graduated to a windmill and did a little cruise type sailing until 1983 when they bought a Highlander and started racing at Edgewater Yacht Club on Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio. It was soon obvious that the best way to improve their sailing was to hit the regatta circuit. The shifty winds and constant changes of inland lakes and the higher caliber competition on the regatta circuit challenges both the body and the brain. The Gerry’s traveled the regatta circuit with their children, Jess and Carina, creating great family memories and making close friends. The kids are now 39 and almost 41 and still keep in touch with friends their age whom they met at age 4 & 5.
In 1999 a job change for Frank necessitated a move to Illinois and the change from a Highlander to a Flying Scot. Smartest move they could have made since the boat can be sailed by the two of them and the Highlander almost always needed a third crew. The Flying Scot Class is also alive and well and the Highlander class is slowly diminishing. Frank and Marianne are still firm advocates of regatta travel and although they are members at Clinton they live 2.5 hours away so do not sail the weekly series. They do travel to about 8 regattas a year and still enjoy the competition and the challenge of the regatta circuit.
Steve & Dodie Gomer
Dodie and Steve have been sailing since 2000. It started with Steve seeing sailboats racing on the Illinois River in Peoria. Dodie bought Steve 6 sailing lessons and Steve was hooked. Dodie and Steve have owned a MacGregor 25, a Barnett 14, a Catalina 18, a Hunter 240, and now a Flying Scot. Dodie and Steve have sailed on Lake Superior, Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Erie, and the Gulf side of the Florida Keys. Dodie and Steve have sailed Clinton Lake for 9 years and were members of CLSA while they owned the Catalina 18. When Dodie and Steve decided to downsize boats, the Flying Scot was appealing because of the numerous owners at CLSA. Rod Bussell was instrumental in guiding them through the purchase process.
Pictured here is Deb Stoltz with son Ben Clark. When Ben was in high school he was involved in bass fishing tournaments. While on the crazy fun speedboats, Deb saw the sailboats on Clinton Lake. She likes being connected to nature and appreciates the interaction sailing requires. She had only been on a sailboat once in college before she signed up for the Parkland College sailing course 30 years later. Ben has only sailed once himself, joining his Mom on a Casual Wednesday. They talked and immediately decided it is time for them to have a boat. "We look forward to crashing into you all as we gain some skill."