87th Chicago-Waukegan Great Success!

On June 16th the Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club hosted the 87th annual Chicago-Waukegan sailboat race. Nearly 130 boats registered for the race and over 100 took part in the race.
Sailboats preparing to start a race
Chicago-Waukegan race start off Montrose Harbor
This year the weather was unpredictable as usual. The wind started briskly coming from the south from 5-7 knots. Most boats immediately launched their spinnakers and the various sections started to battle it out for the lead.
sailboats preparing to start a race
Chicago-Waukegan race start off Montrose Harbor
A little over an hour after the last boat crossed the starting line the wind abruptly swung around to the northeast at over 10 knots. The shift caught many boats unprepared as their crews jumped into action to dose their chutes.
Now the race had shifted to a close hauled beat to windward. But, as they say, “if you don’t like the weather in Chicago, wait five minutes.” Less than another hour passed and the wind began to shift around to the east and not long afterward back to the south once more.
Chutes came out again and this to stay. At first, the wind was steady and strong, but ebbed over the next few hours. Fortunately, for most of the fleet they were able to stand to Waukegan and the finish line. By 2:00pm, the majority of racers had crossed the line and retired to the north harbor where they rafted off the club dock, or to berths they had rented in the south harbor. Waukegan racers simply went off to their own berths.
sailboats finishing race with spinnakers
Boats finishing the 87th Chicago-Waukegan race
The weather in Waukegan was sunny and warm and perfect for a cookout. Grills were fired up and many racers grabbed a burger, brat or hot dog and a cold brew or rum and coke. The club and dockside was alive with members, racers and guests.
dockside at the club
The dock was filled with members, racers and guests

Dinner was an Italian buffet and was served starting at 5:30pm. Food went fast and actually ran out by 8:00pm. Live music started by 7:30pm and rocked the club for a few hours before the awards were made. The party continued well into the night.

people drinking at the club
All parts of the club were humming with conversations, laughter and sea stories.
Sunday morning came early and many sailors and guests took advantage of Bo Harper’s Bloody Mary bar! Many took advantage of the hot breakfast provided by the club. By 8:00am, the Committee boat cast off to set up the starting line. The first section started at 9:05 and each following section went off in 5 minute increments. In less than an hour all 9 sections were gone.
sailboats racing away
In a blink of the eye the racers were gone, headed back to Chicago
The Board of Directors would like to thank the following volunteers who made this event a major success:
Claudia Aisenberg, Larry Beliant, Jeff Bernachi, Colin Classen, Richard Fee, Yvonne Fee, Mary Ellen Giffels, Jose Guzman, Bo Harper, Lynne Hellquist, Erik Hellquist, John Johnson, Barbara Klupiec, Chris Klupiec, Mark LeVan, Jim Maivald, Paul McEntee, Aaron Milks, Kim Nerheim, John Rouse, Viktoriya Rouse, Tom Sivia, Nikki Sullivan, and Al (Jeep) Trefts. Let us know  if we missed your name.
volunteers selling tickets for food and drink
Volunteers made this year’s event a tremendous success
It was an amazing weekend. Don’t miss the next one!
T-Shirt for Chicago-Waukegan race
Custom designed Chicago-Waukegan Race shirt

Racing Wednesdays

Wednesdays, the club will be OPEN for dinner starting at 5:30pm.

All members and guests are invited! Come out and support the club. You don’t have to race to come out for dinner.

Welcome to the Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club

Harbor view of Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club
Harbor view of Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club

The Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club provides a full-service yacht club to boaters and watercraft enthusiasts on the north shore. During the sailing season we have weekly club races and a special schedule of fall races. When the harbor is open the club offers dinner service for members and guests on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Off-season the club is also open and available for special events and parties. Members can access the clubhouse 24/7 to use the showers and bathrooms and for safe harbor.

cocktail bar at Waukegan Joseph Conrad Yacht Club
Have a cocktail at the bar or order a tasty treat from the kitchen.

Not interested in racing? We boat along one of the best cruising grounds in North America. Whether you want to go for a weekend or for a month, there are places to go. Cruising with a group gives you the added camaraderie of boating with friends and the added security of numbers. Power boaters will get there faster and sailors will get there cheaper but, on the dock, the drinks and food and love of our lake are the same.

people riding in a powerboat
The club has an active power squadron

Cruising with the Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club is a no–host event. We try, when possible, to have slips close together. On the day of the cruise, we meet for a brief “captains’ meeting” to work out final details.  First boat to the destination helps the later arrivals. Generally, we have a get-together on the dock where each boat brings an hors d’oeuvres and their favorite beverage. There is then the opportunity to go out for dinner as a group or eat aboard. On the return departure, guess who helps with the dock lines!

clouds reflected on the water in Waukegan Harbor
Another beautiful day in Waukegan Harbor

Don’t own a boat? No problem, the club owns an impressive fleet of dinghies and small sail craft that are free to use by all members. In 2017, the club received the donation of a 27-foot sloop. In 2018, this boat will be available to members for both racing, cruising or just daysailing.

Three smiling people sailing on lake michigan
Sailing on the lake is a fun group activity.

Don’t know how to sail? The Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club offers and hosts classes for adults, youth and children in sailing, crewing, basic seamanship, sailboat racing and even navigation. Classes are free or discounted for members.

sailing dinghies in the harbor
The club’s fleet of sailing dinghies and small sail craft are all available to members

You can see that there are many reasons to join the Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club. So, what are you waiting for?

Offshore Race #2 postponed. Race will be rescheduled soon.

Offshore Race #2 to Winthrop Harbor was postponed due to weather forecasts. We will reschedule as soon as possible.

Club racing has started! But it’s not too late to submit your registration. All racers are encouraged to submit their registration forms as soon as possible. You do not have to be a member to race with Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club. The club offers a full schedule of racing opportunities, including the weekly summer series, the offshore races and the Fall series.

You don’t have to race every race. You can also sign up for single races. So, get off the couch and join the fun!

2018 Racing Registration form
2018 Racing Registration form

Click to down the racing registration form

Click below to download the Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club Racing Instructions

Racing Rules for WJCYC
Racing Rules for WJCYC

Good food and good times at Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Regatta

The Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Regatta was moved to May 19 and went off on schedule at 11:00am. The weather looked threatening all morning but was perfect during the event. There was no rain and the winds were light and from the east.

Attendees were greeted with the club’s Committee boat and new Coronado sailboat tied up to the club’s wharf. Guests were given rides around the harbor and some brave souls even checked out our El Toro sailing dinghies. We even had coloring books available for children.

26 foot Coronado sailboat
A Coronado 26 was donated to the club last year. All club members are welcome to use it.

The club’s barbecue was fired up and turned out hamburgers and sausages for all the hungry sailors. The bar had plenty of ice cold beverages for all attendees.

The flag pole was dressed for a party showing flags from many nations. If you don’t see a flag from your heritage, donate one to the club we will fly it at the next event.

Club flagpole
The club was dressed for company on Saturday.

If you didn’t come down to the club on Saturday you missed a fun event!