Glow in the Dark Regatta

2020 Glow in the Dark Regatta

The thirteenth annual Glow in the Dark Regatta, hosted by Clinton Lake Sailing Association, will be held September 26-27, 2020. For more information contact Eric Bussell ( or Deb Aronson (

Fees: The registration entry fee is $95 and includes all meals for two sailors.

Non racing CLSA Members and Guests can order weekend food passes for $20.

Regatta Network

  • Registration

  • Order Food Pass

  • Sailing Instructions

  • Notice of Race

  • See who is coming



Friday, September 25:

  • 5pm Pot luck dinner at pavilion

Saturday, September 26:

  • 8 am Donuts and coffee at the pavilion (Sandwich bar is provided for brown bag lunch)

  • 9:15 am Competitors’ meeting

  • 11 am First warning signal. Second and third races to follow

  • 6 pm Steak dinner at the pavilion (vegetarian option will be available)

Sunday, September 27:

  • 7-8 am Hot Breakfast at the pavilion

  • 8:30am Competitors’ meeting in pavilion

  • 10 am Warning signal for fourth race. Fifth race to follow. No races started after 12:00pm.

  • 1 pm Awards ceremony and BBQ

Other helpful information


Barefoot Cove Marina has purchased and installed a new weather station. To view current weather conditions at Clinton Lake please click here: Clinton Lake Weather Station


Camping is available at CLSA. Please take note, there is no electricity on site. There is a hot shower available, access to marina bathrooms (toilets and sinks only), and two porta potties.

Camping with electric hookups and shower houses is available at The Clinton Lake State Recreation area, located on the opposite side of the lake and a short drive from CLSA. Sites can be reserved online or pick one the day you arrive. For more information visit: Clinton Lake State Recreation Area Camping

If you would be more comfortable in a hotel there are several choices within a 15 to 20 minute drive in Clinton , LeRoy, and Farmer City. There are also numerous hotels located about 35-40 minutes away in Bloomington, Champaign, and Decatur.

Clinton: Sunset Inn & Suites, Town & Country Motel & Wye Motel

LeRoy: Holiday Inn Express

Farmer City: Days Inn

Docks and Launching your boat:

CLSA has two, sailboat-only launch ramps (no hoists), one is gravel and one is concrete. CLSA has also added two new dock sections to increase the dock length. Participants can also launch at the marina and will be provided stickers and not have to pay the $5 ramp fee. Please indicate your ramp choice on your registration.

Docks will be available starting Friday afternoon for those who would like to launch early and/or leave their boat in the water overnight. Slips are available on Dock 5 and the courtesy docks (see map below).

Marina Services

Clinton Lake has a marina and it's under new management. They sell ice, a variety of snacks and cold beverages (including adult beverages). Want to sit back, enjoy the views of the lake and a good beer? They have draft beers, including craft brews!

If you need an early morning pickup, they have amazing coffees including espressos, lattes, mochas, and more. We highly recommend stopping in and checking out the newly renovated marina!

Barefoot Cove Marina at Clinton Lake

Other Nearby Services:

Looking for a hot breakfast? Check out Boondock's restaurant located across the lake at the Clinton Lake State Recreation Area (they also serve lunch and dinner). Also nearby is The DeWitt Country Store, famous for their country potatoes!

Forgot something? Clinton is the closest town to the lake. They have a variety of stores including an IGA grocery store, Ace Hardware, and Dollar Tree. There are also great dining options including Cinco de Mayo, Snappers Bar & Grill, Ted's Garage, and Two Doors Down Brewery.

In case you need medical attention there is a small hospital in Clinton. Warner Hospital has a daily walk-in clinic and 24 hour ER department.

Pranks! Carousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageThe tradition continues!A tight packAlways a great time at The Glow!Awesome steak dinner

If you're still reading and curious about the history of The Glow in the Dark Regatta, here you go! You'll be happy to read that many of the traditions are still going to this day!

The Hartmans: Focus on Fun

By Deb Aronson

The triumvirate of G.W. (Gerry), Steve and Mike Hartman, at least among some Flying Scot sailors, is legendary. The Hartmans — G.W. is cousin to brothers Mike and the late Steve Hartman — began buying Flying Scots in 1973 six years before their home lake, Clinton Lake Sailing Association (CLSA), ever existed. Clinton Lake was created in 1979 as the cooling pond for the Clinton nuclear power plant.

Prior to that, the Hartmans raced Banshees, a single-handed boat, at tiny Homer Lake near Urbana-Champaign. The lake was barely large enough for a start line. In anticipation of the building of Clinton Lake the Hartmans bought Flying Scots. They tried to sail them on Homer Lake for a while, but the sailors of the smaller boats suggested they go elsewhere.

With no lake, but a desire to sail, the three Hartmans began to travel. They often took the trip to Carlyle Lake, Crab Orchard and Lake Michigan. Gerry first attended Midwinters in Panama City in 1978 or ‘79 and Mike and Steve joined him in 1980. That event became a fixture on the fleet calendar. Jerry would attend every year until the event moved away from Panama City. His motorhome, aka “the Hilton” became a fixture with its assigned parking spot and was the center of social gatherings for the duration. Their stories of Midwinters brought other fleet 135 members into the event.

Once Clinton Lake filled, the Hartmans were instrumental in building up the Clinton Lake Sailing Association facilities once the lake filled. Gerry and long-time crew Ken Johnson built the CLSA pavilion using some “left over” materials from a recent construction project (with a much younger John Domagala sheeting the roof). Mike and fleet member Bob Clay built the grill that stands to this day.

The Hartmans got the idea for the annual Glow in the Dark regatta, which they held from 1985-1999), after they stepped up to host the 1984 Midwest Districts. That event was scheduled for Minnesota, but the venue fell through at the last minute. The Hartmans, never having hosted a regatta but having attended many, volunteered to host the event at Clinton Lake.

That first, successful event led the Hartmans to host the “Glow in the Dark Regatta” the following year. Having lost “buckets of money” and having to deal with the headache of bounced checks and bookkeeping at the District event, the Hartmans determined that “the money was more trouble to keep track of than it was worth,” according to Mike. Consequently, when they decided to host the Glow, it was completely free. “We figured people incurred the cost of traveling and gas and hotels sometimes, so we wanted to make the entry free,” says Sunshine.

Steve, who died in 2011, was an ardent amateur chef.

“Steve loved to cook for a lot of people in difficult circumstances,” Mike said. In the CLSA archives is a list of foods Steve prepared for the event. They are mostly things you can freeze and then thaw slowly, since CLSA has no electricity or water. The list includes ribs, pork roast, gyros, rice salad, spaghetti marinara and spaghetti aoli-oglio, as well as “flambe du fruit.” All weekend a ten-foot-long dinghy was filled with ice to hold mixers for drinks and also orange juice and milk, etc for breakfasts. with orange juice, milk and more. GW and Sunshine bought the trophies, Steve bought all the food, and Mike bought all the drinks.

“We enjoyed so many regattas at other fleets’ lakes,” says Mike, “we felt we owed a lot of good times to the others.”

“The donations started when people asked ‘what do I owe?’” says John Domagala. “The answer was, ‘if you feel compelled to help out bring something from your area.’ The Wisconsin folks led the regatta in brats, the Texas folks kept us in chili, Carlyle always fed us Sunday breakfast, and Cincinnati and others kept us in beers.”

Some high points include 1989, when Sunshine and GW got married the Friday before the Glow. Although they had a reception at their house, the wedding party and feast continued into the weekend at the lake. The Glow attracted about 40-45 boats on average, but that year 64 boats came. Sailors from Boston brought 200 Maine lobsters, and Doc Bellows ad Jane Campion brought 100 pounds of shrimp from the Gulf. This was on top of the meals that Steve had planned to create.

In 1994, John and Susie Domagala had a pre-wedding bash at the Glow and many people got dressed up for the Saturday party in wedding garb. That gave Sunshine the idea the following year to have a costume party. “People got so into it, I didn’t even recognize them,” she said. They had a few people serve as judges and they wore judge robes. Peg and John Woodward came dressed as Sunshine and GW, complete with custom-made masks. Sunshine was checking people in. “I looked up and there I was, it was crazy!” she said.

GW and Sunshine also were in charge of race committee. The goal, always, was to have fun, so they modified the typical regatta format. They wanted as many people as possible to trophy. “For many of them it was the first trophy they’d ever won,” says Sunshine.

They created four divisions and racers competed in a round robin model. The top sailors — the professionals and those who typically trophied — no matter the division, were skimmed off into their own championship division for trophies and then the remaining sailors in each division also got trophies. So if you were in a division with Harry Carpenter and Greg Fisher, and you finished third, you would win your division because they would have been scored in the championship division.

The trophies, which Sunshine and GW were in charge of, were useful. “We didn’t want to give out ‘pickle dishes,’” says Sunshine. So all through the year they’d collect things: dartboards, magazine racks, napkin holders and they’d put a plate on them with the details of the event. People would use them in their daily lives and it would serve as a fun reminder. There were also a few perpetual trophies, like the toilet seat, which went to the person who “won the party,” the hammock which went to the winner of the white division, and the multi-colored sail made by Doc Bellows of Schurr Sails that the winner of the blue division had to use the following year.

Sailors were expected to settle disputes on the water. Protests were allowed in that you could protest someone on the water, but if you wanted to file a protest, GW decreed it would cost $250 and the hearing would be held at 2 a.m. On the other hand, if someone was really causing trouble, either by fouling people on the water and not doing turns or complaining about the event and generally being unpleasant, they would not be invited back. Sunshine remembers one person who complained vociferously about the race committee. The three Hartmans had a meeting, then walked over and told that sailor he was not invited back.

But that was, of course, the exception to the rule. Generally speaking, if you find yourself in a room of Flying Scot sailors of a certain age and you ask them about the Glow, they’ll share countless stories of the craziness and fun that ensued.