Category Archives: Event

Cruise to St Joseph Wonderful

The Waukegan Yacht Club Cruisers completed a successful cruise to St Joseph, Michigan this Sunday. The weather was perfect and the lake provided no surprises. 

Three boats had planned to cruise on Friday, but one had to drop out for personal reasons. The Cruisers departed from the fuel pier around 1100. The wind was fresh from the northwest and the boats were able to achieve hull speed for the first 20 miles. Unfortunately, the wind dropped to 3-4 knots and the cruisers resorted to their engines for the remainder of the journey. 

Caramar pulls out toward the fuel pier to rendezvous with the other cruisers.

The boats covered the remaining 40 miles in good time and arrived just after midnight Eastern time at the entrance of St Joseph. The boats docked at the St Joseph River Yacht Club shortly afterward and watched in amazement as a huge lake freighter backed out into the channel. From the conversation heard on channel 72, the freighter had actually waited until the cruisers had passed safely out of the channel.

Dawn found the cruisers in good spirits and ready to explore the town. Some discovered a breakfast venue nearby and then crossed the drawbridge into downtown St Joe. The main street was alive with people shopping and dining at the local restaurants. A farmer’s market was still in full swing in a park overlooking the lake. 

Cruisers assemble at dawn at St Joseph River Yacht Club
Cruisers assemble at dawn at St Joseph River Yacht Club after a late arrival.

A couple of WYC members flew over to St Joe and met the cruisers for dinner at the Yacht Club. Everyone had a wonderful meal and enjoyed the great company.

The Cruisers and some surprise guests met for dinner at the St Joe Yacht Club
The Cruisers and some surprise guests met for dinner at the St Joe Yacht Club

Sunday morning came early and the cruisers were up and ready to go. The sun was bright and the sky partly cloudy. The wind was fresh again this time from the southwest. As soon as the boats passed the last lighthouse sails were up and they were off toward Waukegan at hull speed.

St Joe Lighthouse
The view of the St Joe Lighthouses as the cruisers motor out of the harbor.

The wind held most of the day until the boats came within 10 miles of home. Engines were revived and the last short distance passed quickly.

Cruising back to Waukegan
Cruisers enjoying the sail back to Waukegan.

The first cruiser entered harbor around 6:00 pm. After the boats were tied up and closed down, the cruisers met for a celebratory dinner at Casa de Samuels on Belvidere in downtown Waukegan. A fitting end to a wonderful adventure.

You do not need to be a member of the Waukegan Yacht Club to cruise with us. All motor and sail boats are welcome. Come join the fun!

If you want more info, send an email to sail@waukeganjosephconrad.org.

88th Annual Chicago-Waukegan Race amazing!

On June 22, the Waukegan Yacht Club hosted the 88th Annual Chicago-Waukegan Race. Over 120 boats participated in this year’s race. Over 500 sailors descended on the club and the weather turned out nicely although rain threatened all day. Want to know who won? Check out the list of finishers here.

Chicago-Waukegan race starting line
The view of downtown Chicago from the race starting line.

Over all the racers who participated in the race in 2019, many chose to dock and raft off at the club. The dock offered food and drink to the thirsty and hungry racers. Mount Gay flowed liberally.

Racers docked and rafted out from the club dock.
Chicago-Waukegan Racers docked and rafted out from the club dock.

Dinner was served starting at 5:30pm and ending at 7:30pm. A live band played after dinner and well into the night and the dance floor was full. 

Many volunteers turned out to help with the committee boat, ticket sales, dinner, and the party on Saturday night and for the breakfast on Sunday. Thanks to all those volunteers who came out to help. We could not have done it without you!

Chicago-Waukegan volunteers Joanna Tarnawski, Eleanor Vick and Erik Hellquist.
Chicago-Waukegan volunteers Joanna Tarnawski, Eleanor Vick and Erik Hellquist.

Want to get a piece of history? Buy our 2019 commemorative Chicago-Waukegan Race t-shirt. The 100% heavy-weight cotton t-shirts were very popular Saturday and Sunday, but we still have some shirts on hand for sale. Order one today and pick it up tat the club, or have it shipped right to your house. Don’t wait. we only have a few shirts left in each size!  

Commemorative T-shirt for 2019 Chicago-Waukegan race
Commemorative T-shirt for 2019 Chicago-Waukegan race

Click here to order your shirt now

Buy your 2019 Chicago-Waukegan Race T-shirt now

The commemorative t-shirt for the 2019 Chicago-Waukegan Race is now available for pre-order. This year’s shirt features an original design that honors two great cities and a historic sailboat race. Over 100 sailboats are participating in this year’s race and all the names of the racing boats are featured on the back of the shirt.

Order your shirt(s) today to be guaranteed delivery on Saturday, June 22. Shirts ordered before Saturday, will be available for pickup at the club after the race. Only a limited number are being made. Don’t miss your chance to capture a bit of history.

Click here to order a shirt now

Cruise #1 to Kenosha Canceled

The weather this spring has been terrible. Everyone is behind on boat projects and several boats are still not in the water. The Cruise Committee has decided to cancel the cruise to Kenosha this weekend and we will try to reschedule it for later. 

Stay tuned for more details on the next cruise!

Save the dates

The social committee met on Wednesday, April 17 to finalize the calendar for 2019. Here’s a list of important dates you should hold open to join the festivities at the club:

(Dates and times may change without notice.)

2019 Waukegan Joseph Conrad Yacht Club Calendar

May 4 Racing Rules Class 11am-3pm.
Race registration forms submitted.
May 17-19 CANCELED Cruise to Winthrop or Kenosha.
We will try to reschedule this cruise for June.
June 2 Blessing of the Fleet and cookout! 2:00pm
Public Welcome!
June 21 Waukegan-Chicago PHRFection race
June 22 Chicago-Waukegan Race. Party at the club.
June 23 Waukegan-Chicago Race. Waukegan-Milwaukee (SSYC) Race.
July 6 Club closed for private wedding
July 12-13 Chicago-Mac Race
July 19-21 Cruise to Chicago, Belmont or Montrose. All motor and sail boats welcome.
August 4 Mayor’s Regatta. Pig and Corn Roast.
Aug 9-11 Cruise to New Buffalo, MI. All motor and sail boats welcome.
Aug 30-Sept 2 Tri-State Race.
Sept 21 Black and Blues Party.
October 12 OKTOBERFEST!
Nov 2 Sail-A-Bration! Sail Awards Banquet.

Wonderful performances highlight shanties and carols! Kolęda Żeglarska!

January 5th the winter night was brightened by wonderful performances by Grzegorz Tyszkiewicz and Natalia Kawalec. Songs varied from popular tunes to tales from the sea to English and Polish folk tunes. The singers alternated easily between English and Polish in a delightful bilingual concert.

Janusz Klupiec introduces singer Grzegorz Tyszkiewicz

Many of the songs were popular standards and the audience joined in to sing the choruses. In several songs the singers provided the words to the audience so they could join in.

Grzegorz Tyszkiewicz sang for over two hours alternating between English and Polish.
Grzegorz Tyszkiewicz sang for over two hours alternating between English and Polish.

Everyone had a wonderful time bringing life to the club with song.

Members were very appreciative of the great performaces
Members were very appreciative of the great performaces

Audience members joined in on the choruses of many tunes.
Audience members joined in on the choruses of many tunes.

One attendee wrote:

“This was a terrific evening at our club. The Shantie theme and entertainers, put us in a toe tapping mood. Everyone was smiling! The young woman who wrapped up the night will probably be on the Voice or one of those competitive shows, everyone concurred. If members stayed home to choose between reruns of Doc Martin and Sports Central they don’t know what they missed. Tonight was fun and thanks to those that made it possible!” Ellie Vick

Thanks to Zibby Jarzabek, Darek Olszewski and everyone else who helped to plan and execute this wonderful event. We hope to have many more in the future.

Race to Racine fun for all

The Fall Series of Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club kicked off Saturday, Sept 15 with light winds. Racers worked every gust and lift to make their way north. The first boat finished just after 2pm.

The lake was full of boaters coming out of every harbor.

Lanteen-rigged sailboat on Lake Michicgan
Lanteen-rigged sailboat sails from Kenosha, Wisconsin.Lanteen-rigged sailboat sails from Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Lighthouse at Racine Harbor entrance
This lighthouse welcomes visitors to Racine Harbor

crew of sailing vessel Spitfire at dinner
The Spitfire crew waits for their food order after finishing first

Race/Cruise to Winthrop Harbor

The Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club went to Winthrop Harbor Saturday, Sept 22 & Sunday, Sept 23. The event was open to all Waukegan members and guests.

The race started at noon (1200) for all sections. The wind was brisk from the northeast allowing the fleet a fast trip up the shore. All boats were finished before 3pm. Racers and cruisers gathered at the harbor building for a free meal and cocktails sponsored by North Point.

Many of the boats stayed overnight and were provided a hearty breakfast.

87th Chicago-Waukegan Race 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