by Elizabeth Bentzen, LCYC Commodore
Monthly articles are difficult to write this year, with no Club-sponsored events for the past few months. HOWEVER, things are still happening at LCYC. The silver lining in having very few events this year is that we have been able to reallocate some of our budget to the marina. MDI (the company that maintains and repairs our marina) came at the end of August for their regular inspection; we were able to replace 12 cables. By replacing these cables, the marina is now in condition to implement a good cable replacement plan for the future. Hopefully, this will prevent issues like the ones we’ve had this year. A big thank you to Marvin Arnold and Renee Kizziar for their work on making this happen.
By September, we are usually in full swing preparing for the Wurstfest Regatta. As many of you know, Wurstfest in New Braunfels was cancelled, and we subsequently cancelled the 2020 Regatta. I know this is disappointing to most, but we felt that it was not feasible to safely host an event this large. The Board is considering an alternate LCYC member-only event. The Wurstfest cancellation will allow our Docks and Grounds crew to work on replacing floatation on A dock over the next couple of months
On the racing front, the Board of Governors decided to restart some racing events, starting with the Labor Day long distance race. A committee was formed to develop a safety plan. The concerns are asking unrelated members to work together on committee and chase boats, and the potential for sailors gathering on the docks before and after racing. In order for us to host these events, it is important that all racers follow the guidelines developed by the committee. These guidelines include: (1) racers and crew must wear face coverings when on the docks, (2) the skippers’ meeting is virtual, (3) racers must launch their boats and leave the dock as soon as possible, and (4) racers should not gather after the race; awards/trophies will be distributed at a later time. Thank you to the committee (Chuck Begley, Scott Wells, Debbie Fogle, Joe McDonough and Rick Mella) for their time in developing a plan to safely restart racing at the Club.
Over the last couple of months, LCYC has welcomed many new members. A virtual new member orientation was held on August 15th, and it was attended by a large number of new members. I enjoyed getting to see some of our new members and hope to greet you all soon around the Club and on the water.
Lastly, I would like to give a BIG shout out to all of the members who have volunteered to monitor the gate. We will continue to monitor through Labor Day.
Stay safe and wear your mask!
Welcome New Members
- Chris and Dede Dietzmann, New Braunfels, TX
- John & Fran Thompson, San Antonio, TX
- Wesley Mattson, San Antonio, TX
- Simon and Chantal Elliott, Wimberley, TX
- Richard Miller and Jeanne Butler, Canyon Lake, TX
- John and Katherine Feist, Grey Forest, TX
- Jason and Angie McCoy, San Marcos, TX
by Margaret McGill and Mindy Rogers, Co-Port Captains
I’ve (MM) had fun monitoring the gate for the past couple of months, and I appreciate all the people who have cooperated. I have re-acquainted myself with people I haven’t seen in a while and met some really nice new members. It’s amazing, however, how many non-members seem to have the gate code, and how many people assume they can just wait for someone else to open the gate and then follow them in. When you think about all the precautions the club has taken through the years to make sure people on the premises can be trusted with club resources and around our family members, it makes sense to control access. Many members have been very positive about the effort to control unauthorized entry, and many volunteered their weekend time to support the effort. Thanks to the board of governors and Commodore Elizabeth Bentzen for their excellent stewardship of the club during this amazing time. Full disclosure, she is my beloved daughter, but you knew that…
There’s not much to report in the way of social events at LCYC, and truth be told it doesn’t appear that social gatherings will be possible for a while longer. In March, it seemed like we might be able to use leftovers and some supplies before they expired. But that hasn’t happened, so Mindy has cleaned out the club refrigerators. Thanks, Mindy!
This interlude has been a good opportunity to assess club activities and decide which ones really matter. Given the purpose of LCYC per the Bylaws, which is to promote family sailing, I’d say club members have done just that over the past few months. It’s been wonderful to see so many members sailing their boats! Also, the unused budget for social events can be used to shore up some club infrastructure, protecting our major assets – the docks and our vessels. Think about which events you’ve really missed, and let us know for the future.
Be safe, wear your mask, wash your hands, and stay apart for a bit longer. Oh, and please get your flu vaccine.
See you on the water soon!
Series & Event Racing
by Rick Mella, Rear Commodore of Sail
Labor Day Racing
The LCYC Board voted to resume racing beginning with the Labor Day Long Distance race to be sailed, Sunday, September 6th, 2020. With the COVID-19 Pandemic, all skippers are required to read the LCYC COVID-19 Task Force Recommendations and follow the guidelines within that document.
The Labor Day Long Distance will be a test case to see if sailors can resume racing and keeping a safe distance while on the docks to prevent the spread of this new virus. The hope is skippers and crew will launch their boats, rig and depart off the docks as quick as possible to ensure minimum contact with others, and then repeat the same process when returning after racing by de-rigging, retrieving and storing sailboats as quick as possible to avoid violating social distancing requirements.
Keep Our Lake Clean
Over the last few weeks, I have noticed trash in our lake near the docks and trash on the sidewalks as well as our driveway. Please help keep our beautiful yacht club clean by disposing trash in the proper receptacles. The attached picture was taken last week with two Styrofoam plates floating near LCYC ramp.
Sailboat Etiquette: Quieting Halyards
Links for two articles on sailboat etiquette for silencing halyards from hitting one’s boat mast during windy weather is attached for your reading pleasure.
If anyone has spent time working on your sailboat or spending the night onboard at LCYC marina, you will discover the clanking noise of halyard lines banging the mast and possibly causing damage to the mast or the halyard line. Both authors of these online articles suggests securing the halyards to points away from the base of the mast where the halyard would not slap the mast mid-section creating more noise as the wind increase during the day/night. Examples on silencing halyards are attaching the halyard shackle to the end of the boom or to the base of a lifeline stanchions. Another simple solution is to use bungee cord to quiet the lines by securing the bungee cord to a shroud which tightens the halyard reducing noise and damage to the mast.
Sailors have a long tradition in sailboat etiquette and going the little extra step with silencing halyards will go a long way by impressing quests & visitors that LCYC members take great pride in caring for their investment.
Silence Sailing Halyards: By Mark Corke boatus.com/magazine/archives/silence-sailing-halyards.asp
Noisy Halyards Tip – Boat Etiquette facebook.com/notes/seabrook-marina-inc/noisy-halyards-tip-boat-etiquette/10152361025443595
Youth Sailing – a Sport for our Times
by Travis Mitchell, LCYC Youth Sailing
2020 has been a very interesting year for everyone with Covid affecting our lives for the worse but perhaps, in some cases, for the better. There’s sometimes a silver lining in a situation if you look at it glass half full. Some might argue that Covid has brought families closer together to spend time at home talking, enjoying each other and interacting as a family unit. Others might say that Covid has slowed the fast pace of life and brought kids back to the grass roots of spending time outdoors, disconnecting from the Internet and social media.
Youth sailing at LCYC has gone from a slow start at the beginning of this year to having a waiting list of kids that are eager to join in the fun and learn a skill that will stay with them for a lifetime. I can’t help but think that Covid had something to do with this.
Mid-way through 2019 the groundwork had begun to gain board approval to contract a new part time youth sailing coach. Some may not realize how hard it is to find an experienced sailing coach so far inland from a coastal region that is willing to work at Canyon Lake. The club was extremely lucky to have found such a qualified instructor in Yam Vidal. With over a decade of experience coaching Optimist kids in Brazil, and a very accomplished catamaran racer himself, yam was the perfect fit for LCYC to help re-energize the youth sailing program.
With an early Spring sailing session planned out and ready we were off to a slow start with kids less than eager to sign up. It was cold, the kids we had were in wet suits and the weather was sometimes less than ideal. Nevertheless, we conducted Saturday practice with a small but enthusiastic group.
After only a few practices in March our classes were temporarily closed due to the fast spread of Covid. Once the Governor lifted the restrictions on youth sports and other activities, we quickly resumed sailing practice in May.
This was a turning point for youth sailing at LCYC. With Summer camps, sports and other youth activities now postponed or cancelled, parents were looking for things their kids could do as an individual and in a safe environment. Now wearing masks, splitting the groups to smaller numbers and sanitizing the boats between classes we had unintentionally created three distinct groups of sailors.
With the existing group of kids having different skill levels it made sense to put them into a beginner, intermediate and advanced skill level categories. This opened the door to adding more kids that were eager to register and join the fun. Some kids quickly moved up from beginner to intermediate while others moved from intermediate to advanced.
The beginner kids learned the understanding of what makes a sailboat move through the water. They learned how to identify and name the parts of the boat and the basics of boat assembly. These kids learned how to read the wind direction, adjust the helm and sails accordingly, reach back and forth, sail up wind at times and tack. Steering, balance, coordination and gentle docking are tasks for this group to master on Optimist and the Laser Pico. It’s not uncommon to pair the kids up together in a Laser Pico and you might even see coach Yam sailing with them and giving guidance and direction on the water while the kids gain confidence in their helming and boat control.
The intermediate class has spent the Summer learning to sail upwind, downwind, tacking, gybing, and attempting to get around a buoy course without getting stuck in the no go zone. Proper sail trim is important in light and heavy air and this year we’ve had plenty of heavy air days the kids have come to conquer. This group works on speed, boat handling, and the early steps of starting line drills.
The more advanced group of Opti sailors, our largest group on Saturday, have trained hard to become TSA Green Fleet contenders. To watch this group on a Saturday afternoon you will see them practice race after race. They understand the difference of a W-1, W-2, Triangle and Olympic. We have them work on starting line drills, proper sail trim, boat speed, on the water tactics, reading the course to decide what side has the best wind and basic boat right of way rules. It’s a lot of fun to see how these kids have come so far in such a short time and do what they do best. This group has been eager to get on the TSA Circuit and compete in a real regatta and perhaps Spring Fling regatta this October will be their first.
With Covid in full force the 2020 TSA regatta schedule has been filled with postponed dates and cancelled events. Even with a few yacht clubs allowing a regatta this year, bad weather has taken over and dampened the racing opportunity even more.
With little to no racing going on this Summer our kids asked us for additional time on the water at LCYC. We also had brand new kids contacting us wanting to join the group and learn to sail. With the recent approval of the board we were able to add an additional three hour practice each Monday for our intermediate and advanced sailors. They really enjoy the evening sailing time with cooler temps and great wind as the sun begins to set.
We also filled a five spot “learn to sail” class with five new kids. Registration was open and closed in just two days as more club members enrolled their kids for a three hour Wednesday night learn to sail class. It’s amazing to watch this group that after only four weeks have come so far they can nearly sail at the level of our Saturday intermediate group that has been with us since May.
It’s important to know that LCYC and the Canyon Lake Sailing Foundation have really stepped up this year to fund and support youth sailing at the club. With the purchase of new parts, sails, and equipment the youth Opti fleet is now operational. The Canyon Lake Sailing Foundation helped purchase a 2014 Optimist in full racing condition and recently Mark Cool donated his son’s racing Opti to the fleet. The club now has 12 fully functioning Optimist. While some of the boats are clearly in better shape than the others, we make sure our top sailors use the best ones while the “beaters” of the fleet are reserved for the beginner classes only.
The club’s Laser Pico fleet of two boats also had a recent addition with a Pico in newer and better condition than the club’s existing two. This boat was also purchased for the club by the Canyon Lake Sailing Foundation. The kids absolutely love the Laser Pico and now with three, we can easily have six kids sail (two up) over to the island, or dam and back again. The Picos give the kids “skipper and crew” responsibilities allowing them to communicate with each other and work as a team.
Now with 20 full time kids, three days a week, and five time slots coach Yam Vidal and volunteer Travis Mitchell have their hands full. All the sailing sessions and practice groups will wind down to completion at the end of August with nearly 120 hours of sailing behind us. The plan is to take the month of September off from youth sailing so the kids can acclimate to a new Covid oriented school environment. What a sad situation to write about!
We have several parents of current youth sailors that have asked for more sailing this year, so an October through November a Saturday practice schedule is in the works. Most likely we will offer a “learn to sail” class for some brand-new kids that are already on a wailing list, while we have an afternoon class for the experienced kids returning from the Summer.
There are still TSA regattas on schedule for the remainder of 2020, ending the racing season the week before Christmas. Despite Covid there may still be racing opportunities for our current Green Fleet racers to go out and represent LCYC.
Looking ahead to 2021, and hopeful the Covid pandemic will be a part of history, there are certain things that will never be “normal” again. With this year being what it is, its likely individual sports such as golf and sailing will become even more popular than ever. It’s clear that the LCYC youth sailors have been noticed this year by not only club members but others outside the club. Our group has been seen by boaters out on the water, seen on Facebook and other social media, and hopefully the word will spread even more once kids go back to school.
Recently I overheard a longtime club member say, “I didn’t know we had this many youth sailors” as they walked down the dock. Well, we do, and we could not even accommodate all of them this Summer. The fact is LCYC has a high percentage of members with school age kids and an abundance of kids that are not yet old enough to start sailing. This means the club has seeds that have not yet been planted.
There are already kids in the LCYC sailing group that have not signed up for football, not signed up for soccer, have passed on the swim team so they may continue to sail and be part of LCYC the remainder of this year and into the next. Most of our sailors are the kids of LCYC members, others have become Jr. members, while other non-member kids are considering joining the club soon.
A person reading this article may wonder what the LCYC youth sailing program needs to not only sustain itself but build into something much bigger, prosper and continue into 2021 and beyond.
First, we need volunteers. Taking shifts to assist coach Yam Vidal during practice time, sailor and boat transportation to and from regattas, behind the scene support and a parent network for new and used sailing gear, clothing, travel and arrangements of hotels. If anyone would like to help during Saturday practices this October and November, we would be happy to have you.
We hope and wish that all LCYC members would “like” the LCYC youth sailing Facebook page and share these posts to further spread the word about what a wonderful resource we have for kids at Canyon Lake.
Already having three 14 year old sailors in the group, and many of the others quickly aging out of the Opti, we are in need of a good Laser coach to take several kids under their wing. This person needs to have experience specific to the Laser and intimate knowledge of the boat, rigging, handling, tuning and have a desire and passion to teach teenage kids how to race.
LCYC youth sailing also needs money from the club to purchase new deck covers, spar bags, blade bags, and boat dollies for travel to regattas.
We also need a yearly replacement of wear and tear items such as air bags, air bag straps, hiking straps, main sheets and sails.
The youth sailing group would benefit from the purchase of at least one late model Opti every year to maintain the fleet in good working order.
The youth sailing team that travels to out of town regattas really needs a boat and equipment box trailer to carry eight to ten boats.
Yearly maintenance on the LCYC owned Zodiac RIB (coach boat) will be needed.
A three year plan to build a 20 foot by 30 foot covered work area in the dry dock at LCYC is important to have as a place to perform maintenance and have winter boat storage to protect the club’s investment.
These resources take time, volunteers and money. Kids that sail are the future of LCYC as paying members once they become adults. Having kids of their own to put back in sailing classes completes the circle to sustain and continue our sport for the next 50 years.
With two elementary schools and middle school nearby LCYC there’s an endless flow of kids that can be part of LCYC youth sailing each year. With Canyon Lake High School just minutes away, there’s hope a high school sailing team will soon be in the future of the club. Lakeway High School on Lake Travis could be a good model for how LCYC’s sailing team could be structured and run. The kids on these teams can easily transition to the UT or other college sailing team at some point if they wish.
Canyon Lake, the cleanest and most scenic recreational lake in Texas has the potential to offer the amenities and experiences to kids and families equal to other more affluent clubs around the state. It takes a village, but anything is possible and change hopeful.
If anyone would like to help with youth sailing at LCYC this Fall or next year I would be happy to find a spot for you. Anyone wanting to make a financial contribution to the youth budget, we could certainly put your money to good use and benefit of the club. If you truly feel compelled by this story and would like to help, please reach out to the club Commodore, show up at board meetings, voice your ideas and be heard. Show support every way possible and help bring youth sailing at LCYC up to the high standards of other clubs around Texas.
Please feel free to contact Travis Mitchell at 210-771-4703.
Laser Coach Wanted
by Travis Mitchell, LCYC Youth Sailing
LCYC Youth Sailing looking for an enthusiastic person willing to teach a small group from 4 to 6 kids how to sail and race the Laser Sailboat. The sailing practice can run in conjunction with the Opti kids that practice on a regular weekly basis and make use of the practice marks. The sailing coach must pass some basic LCYC requirements. LCYC coach boat is available for use.
The current youth Opti sailors and coaches will be on break through the end of September with the Fall practice session resuming in October through the middle of December. I have some high school kids ready to start lessons this October if a coach can be found, otherwise, sailing will resume March of 2021. The club has six functioning Lasers, two of them currently on the dock and ready.
For more details please contact me at email@example.com or 210-771-4703.
by Chris Fogle, LCYC TSA Representative
2020 Texas Sailing Association (TSA) Youth Racing Circuit Dates
|12-13 Sep||Rock the Rock Regatta||Corinthian Sailing Club, (White Rock Lake)|
|26-27 Sep||Rockin Rockport Regatta||Rockport YC|
|10-11 Oct||Pirates of the Corinthian Regatta and KO Sailing Texas State Optimist Champ||Dallas Corinthian YC|
|17-18 Oct||LCYC Spring Fling Regatta||Lake Canyon YC|
|14-15 Nov||Chocopalooza Regatta||Rush Creek YC|
|19-20 Dec||TSA End of Year Regatta: Roadrunner Regatta and Texas State Youth Laser Champ, and TSA Alumni Regatta||Austin YC|
|Commodore – Elizabeth Bentzen||Treasurer – Renee Kizziar|
|Vice Commodore – Scott Wells||Port Co-Captains – Margaret McGill, Mindy Rogers|
|Rear Commodore – Mike Samulin||Rear Commodore for Sail – Rick Mella|
|Secretary – Laurie McGill|
|Board of Governors|
|2019 – 2020|
|Debbie Fogle||Ed Miller|
|Bubba Harris||Jean Junker|
|2020 – 2021|
|Chuck Begley||Carolyn Harris|
|Boguslaw Godlewski||Joseph McDonough|
|Adaptive Sailing – Bill McVey||Membership – Jim Garity|
|Adult Sail Training – Mike Stellato||Nominations – Jim Kizziar|
|Audit Committee – Rick Cioppa||Personnel – Ed Miller|
|Budget Committee – Laurie McGill||PHRF – Jim Garity|
|Cabana Owners – Christina Purcell||Safety – Ron Popp|
|Corps of Engineers – Joe McDonough & Rick Mella||Slip Utilization – Steve Edlund|
|Docks & Grounds – Rick Walker||TSA Rep – Chris Fogle|
|Emergency Task Force – Julian Craven||Vice Docks and Grounds – Dave Sanford|
|Lifetime Achievement – Sandra Lindsey||Wurstfest Regatta – Scott Wells|
|Long Range Planning – Marvin Arnold & Ed Miller||Youth Sailing – Travis Mitchell|
|Women’s Sailing – Lynn Simpson & Debbie Fogle|
|Club Administrator – Carolyn Cole||Docks & Grounds – Rashad Williams|
|Staff – Carolyn Cole Maggie Carty, Tiffany Hodge||Ditty Bag – Bill Cook|
|Property Manager – Julian Craven||Website – Kathy Leubner|