Commodore's Comments

March is here, which means only one more month until the first Sunday race.  We have a jammed packed month of events at ISC.  There are multiple training events including US Sailing Race Officer Training, Basic Racing Tactics, Race Committee Workshop and How to Race a J-24.  We also have two social events with the March Brunch hosted by the Thistle fleet and the Kid’s Easter party.  On top of that we have the first meeting of the ISC gardening club (Land Lubbers) and the Keelboat Slip Assignment Meeting.  Check the ISC website calendar for dates and times for all events.

March also means getting the club ready for the season.  Thane Morgan (harbor master) has been hard at work getting all of the docks ready.  Thanks to Thane and his army of volunteers.  Additional committees (race, safety, grounds, adult/junior training, etc.) have been meeting to discuss the upcoming year.  Look for additional information coming out on how to sign up/volunteer for each of these committees.  Also, an early reminder that the ISC Spring Work Party in on Saturday, April 1st.

ISC will also be hosting our 1st annual Committee Fair on Sunday, March 12th starting at 2 PM after the March Brunch.  This event is open to all members who are interested in helping/volunteering at ISC but are not sure how to start.  ISC Committee Chairs will be in attendance to discuss what their committee does at the club and how you can help.  If you can’t make the Fair but are interested, please contact me (  My goal is to have each member of ISC spend at least a few hours a year helping make ISC a wonderful place to be.

See everyone at the club and on the water.

Chris Katzfey


ISC March Brunch

ISC 2017 March Brunch Hosted by Thistle Fleet #69
Sunday, March 12
Beverages & Snacks: 11:30AM, Meal: 12:30PM

March Brunch Menu

Assorted muffins and Danish
Homemade Granola
Rolled oats with walnuts, pecans, dried cherries, dried cranberries, vanilla and clover honey
Served with Greek Yogurt.
Fruit salad
Hickory smoked bacon
Roasted red skin potatoes
Chicken salad with smoked Gouda
Chopped chicken breast bound in a creamy mornay sauce with fresh basil, orange zest and sundried tomato
Served with sliced baguette and croissants
French toast sticks
 Served with real maple syrup and powdered sugar
Scrambled eggs
Served with shredded sharp cheddar cheese

$15 for adults.  $5 for children under 12 years of age.
Please register online ASAP - seats limited to 60.

Register Online

For more information contact Paul Dovey
phone: 317-842-2771


Kids Club Easter Party

Hippy Hop Hop Hop, Easter is on it's way!
Sail in to spring at ISC and maybe a visit from the Easter Bunny himself.
Kids Club Easter Party at the club Sunday March 26th from 2-4.
Food and Crafts and lots and lots of EGGS!!
Egg hunt will start at 3PM .

Please RSVP number of Kids with ages please for age appropriate prizes. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Tina Marsh


Committee Fair

The 1st annual ISC Committee Fair is scheduled for Sunday, March 12th starting at 2 PM after the March Brunch.  The Committee Fair is open to all ISC members.  Committee Chairs will be in attendance to discuss what their committee does and how you can help.  This is a perfect opportunity to learn how to volunteer if you aren’t quite sure how or what to do at ISC.  ISC is a volunteer organization and is dependent on each member donating their time.  If you can’t make the Fair but still want to help, please contact me at  See everyone at the Fair.


Pre-season Committee Boat Procedures Workshop

The Committee on Racing will hold its annual Pre Season Committee Boat Procedures Workshop starting at 9:00AM on Saturday March 25, 2017, in the ISC Clubhouse.  The purpose of this meeting will be to review and inform prospective and veteran members alike, of the Race Committee team, how to plan, setup, start, run and finish a race or races at ISC. We will also review the revised sailing instructions for 2017.
This meeting is open to any and all ISC members who have an interest in the ISC Racing Program. We welcome any and all who want to be a PRO to those that have done it for years. Anyone who has an interest in learning, being an ARO, a scorer or a recorder. We need flag people as well. ISC racing program is a volunteer effort. We always need volunteers to help our programs succeed, excel and continue. Please come, ask questions, learn, laugh and have fun.
Coffee and doughnuts will be provided.
If anyone has any questions or comments, please contact me in the evenings (up until 10PM) at 317/446-9925 or email to
Kevin Black, Chairman
ISC Committee on Racing


5 Things I Learned at J/24 Midwinters


During the racing season at ISC it seems that Zig Zag is always “race ready”.  This is not the case when the venue is 1000 miles away and it’s the middle of winter!   Thanks to Cam Borkowski for getting my boat out of the elements and into his shop for a few weeks of work before the races.  Getting Zig Zag ready for this level of racing was no small task.  My measurement documents were incomplete, deck hardware needed installed and some interior work was necessary to meet the J/24 class rules.

At the marina in Florida, there were countless hours spent rigging, cleaning, and launching.  I met with the measurer and got the last few signatures needed to be “class legal”.  I was amazed to watch the professional teams prep their boats.  They were meticulous with details and polishing!  Zig Zag may not have been the shiniest boat in the race but she wasn’t the worst either so I was satisfied.  And, by the way, my motor broke… AGAIN!


There are so many measurements taken when rigging Zig Zag that it is hard to remember it all.  From the mast pre-bend to lifeline height to forestay sag and shroud tension!  At the official registration I had to declare the sails we were using in the regatta and have them measured, dated and signed.  It was there that I learned that my genoa was 3 inches smaller than the class maximum.  During the practice sail, we measured and marked halyard and jib car settings as well as crew placement on the rail.  Inches matter especially on the start line…  I was often too many inches (or yards) behind!  Tacking upwind and gybing downwind created many situations with only a few inches to spare and there was the normal yelling as boats get close…  I think we only touched another boat once and it wasn’t my fault!  It always amazes me that after a 6 leg race the finish can come down to INCHES!


I was fortunate to have great crew!  Even though we were not one of the many J/24s with paid professionals,  Brian, Spencer, Jacob and Cam ran the boat well.  All I had to do was drive!  Too often on Geist I have beginners or novice crew racing with me and I pay too much attention to crew work or sail shape.  Twice during this regatta, I yelled out about the spinnaker pole or halyards…  I was quickly told  “your job is to drive – our job is up here!”   The more I focused on my job the better we performed.  Long before the first race of a regatta it’s important to plan out every detail of crew work.  I may have been the weakest link...  I don’t know. 

The only way to get better is to race against better sailors!  I have said that since I signed up for Midwinters.  Racing against professional teams is a true learning experience and it’s amazing how fast they are.  Half of the 30+ boats racing were corinthian teams (not pros), and we seemed to have our own race after the faster boats turned the first mark and ran away downwind.  On the startline, however, we are all there together.  I’ve never started my J/24 like a dinghy – feathering up on the startline with 90 seconds to go.  My crew kept insisting I push it up in there!  During one race I said, “This isn’t a 24 foot dinghy!”  My crew yelled back, “Yes it is!”  I listened to a lot of advice from my crew and loads of other sailors during the regatta.  Watching a tactics video on YouTube and sailing against the author of the video are two different things – I have a lot to learn!   

Racing a sailboat is not easy.  Especially when the wind is up and it’s shifty …and there are dozens of other sailors all out to beat me!  Each afternoon when we got back to the dock, I looked and felt like I had just been in a fight – because I was in a fight.  A long fight!  “Did you have fun?” asked the dockmaster.  How did I answer? “Of course I had fun!”   I may not be as young and strong as my crew and MS keeps me from performing at my best ; but the minute racing stops being fun is the minute I should stop.  We didn’t win the regatta…  not by a long shot  -  But we didn’t lose either.   WE DID HAVE FUN!
A special thanks to Marcus Rogers.  My Midwinters racing would not have happened without him.  He was willing to deliver my boat to and from the regatta.  All of his contacts in the J/24 community made the hassles of measuring, docking, rigging, and all things “shore related” much smoother. 

Adam Ondrejack


Why Everyone Should Buy a J/24

The newest fleet to ISC is the J/24, fleet #181.  This fleet has shown a lot of promise in its first couple of years as an official class fleet.  As District Governor, I have a personal interest in growing the district and as well as our own fleet.  Our fleet captain, Adam Ondrejack, just finished his first Midwinters and is making an impact at ISC.  We grew the fleet from boats 8 to 11 boats this past year; in 2018, we will be at 14 boats.  The three Indiana J/24 fleets are going to compete in 2017 for the Hoosier Challenge Cup.  The J/24s were once again the most active racing fleet at ISC.

When I took over District 12 (Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio), we only had three members in our class.  Last year, we had 27 and, this year, I expect to be up to 40 members.  So, this has become the fastest growing group in the surrounding states.  With all of this growth, the J/24 executive committee is allowing us to host the National Championships in 2019.  If you want to race and do not want to travel far, the J/24 has many opportunities within our District.

Do you want to get a boat that will allow you to race multiple days every week?  The J/24s race religiously on Wednesday nights and in 2017, we will be racing on Sundays as well.   We also have scheduled races on Saturday nights every month.  Eagle Creek has a fleet of 13 and we will compete with those guys in four regattas next summer.  We want to get better and the only way to that is by getting on the water.  There are plenty of opportunities to race in Indianapolis on a J/24.

Do you like to travel outside of Indianapolis to Race?  Members of Fleet #181 have a big year planned for 2017.   We are planning to travel this winter to Melbourne, FL for Midwinters. In April, we will be traveling to Columbia, SC to compete in the Easter Regatta.  In May, we will be driving across town to compete in the first leg of the Hoosier Championship at Eagle Creek.   Also in May, Jason Hubbard, Bill and Andrea Townsend will be traveling down to Houston to race in the North Americans.  In June, we go to Cleveland for the Cleveland Race Week.  In July, we will travel to Newport to compete in the Newport Sail Regatta.  In July, we will travel to Chicago to compete in the Great Lakes Championship.   In August, we travel to Put n Bay for the Bay Regatta.  In September, we travel to Toronto for the World Championships.  It will be an exciting year of travel for our fleet and crew is always needed.  If you want to travel with the fleet, e-mail Marcus Rogers at to see if there is room on the boats.

Are you trying to get your children out sailing?  The J/24 is the answer.  John O’Brien sails with his 11 year old and my 9 year old sails with me.  These two kids are learning to sail in a safe and friendly environment.  They love to compete and both are pushing their fathers to do better.  As a fleet, we want the families to be sailing together and for the kids to learn to love the art of sailing.  The J/24 will allow you to do just that.

Do you know the history of the J/24?  This one design boat was first built in 1978 and since then, over 5,500 of these boats have been manufactured.  These boats were designed to accommodate a family and also to be a world class racer.  The class rules have not changed much since 1978. Therefore, a well maintained boat from 1978 can still be as competitive as a new boat built today.  The J/24 requires very little maintenance because it doesn’t have any windows and has very little wood.  A big plus for the weekend sailors!!  The International J/24 is presently built in the U.S., Argentina, and Italy and has more than 50,000 people sailing over 5,400 boats in 27 countries.

Are you looking  for an inexpensive and fun boat to buy? The J/24 is very affordable and it is a racer.  You can buy a competitive racing J/24 with trailer for under $6,000.  I have a J/24 that I would sell for $1,800 and it is ready to race.    If you need to buy a good set of used sails, you can get a main and genoa for around $1,000.   With such an active one design class, used sails are in ample supply and therefore are very affordable.  If you like to buy new sails on a regular basis: a set of North Sails (main and Genoa) will run you about $3,500.  This is the same price for the Capri 22’s and half the price of the J/80s or the Melges 17s.  Once again, an affordable boat to buy and maintain, while keeping a competitive edge on Wednesday nights.

If I buy a boat, how do I get a crew?  In 2016, we did a great job of growing the number of boats, but we struggled to find crew on a weekly basis.  So in 2017, the fleet will be speaking to the local high schools and will be setting up a booth at the Fishers YMCA.  We know we need to get over 40 people from outside the club to help us as crew.  The crew doesn’t have to be members, but our goal is to turn them into sailors first and then into boat owning members.  We have a good plan and have the training classes scheduled for 2017.  So finding crew will be easy and I hope we have enough boats to accommodate all of the crew we will be bringing in.
One of the great things about the J/24 class is its website:    Like most sailing class websites, you will find out just about anything you want to know about this boat or its class.   There are so many inexpensive racing J/24s on this site.  In the section called “J/24 Talk”, this is my favorite area to visit.   You can post a question and someone will answer it within hours.  There are many (Tim Healy and Mark Ingham among others) active longtime members who are passionate about the J/24 class.  They visit this site are willing to give you free and helpful advice.  On this site, all questions get answered and in such a way that makes it easy for anyone to understand.  This website is friendly and can answer all of your questions about this boat.  Check it out!

The best thing about our J/24 fleet and the J/24 class, are the people.  The ISC fleet is a great group who work very hard to promote sailing by getting people on the water. Our first goal is to have fun and the rest falls in line.  The past J/24 Class president, Will Welles, is a world champion and he is still very down to earth who loves helping people make their dreams of being better sailors come true.   You will find that this is true of most of our professional skippers and these people can be found in any port in the world.

If you are thinking about getting a boat or want to upgrade what you currently sail, think about the J/24.  This boat is fun, easy to handle, and affordable.   Everyone who has been on this boat has loved it.  Just ask one of our most prominent families who have sailed this boat: the McGinitys, the McDonalds, the Townsends, and the King family have all successfully sailed this boat in the past couple of years.  It is really a fun one design boat to sail and remember, it is built for speed in all conditions.  Looking forward to seeing you in the spring and hopefully we will have some more J/24s out there!

Marcus Rogers


Join the Land Lubbers!

A new gardening group is looking for volunteers to help maintain the beautiful ISC grounds. The first meeting is scheduled for Saturday March 18 at Noon. We will meet out on the back deck. Contact Lorri Katzfey at with questions or to join the group.


Junior Sailing

Please contact Michelle Sarber at for more information or to register for any of the programs listed below.  

Sailing Camp
Please send your registrations in soon! We are filing up quickly. Week 2 of regular camp is full.  There are still a few openings for Race Camp during Week 2.  Remember grandchildren of club members also receive the member rate.  Find the registration form at

Junior Racing Series
If you have attended sailing camp or are comfortable rigging a boat, if you want to spend more time sailing and learning, if you want to race with other kids, this is the program for you.  The racing series will be held every Tuesday night beginning June 13th - August 8th (except July 4th) from 5:30 to 7:30.  It's a fun way to hang out with friends and get some racing in.  If you don't want to race, Tuesday nights are still for you.  Just come out and sail - parents are welcome to help on Safety Boats. 

Junior Racing Clinics will also be held on a few Saturdays throughout the summer.  Those are sessions are for racers only.  Plan to learn more about racing both on and off the water.  Attendees can come to 1 or all 4.  The dates are June 24th (10:00 am - 12:00 pm), July 23rd, August 5th & August 12th from 1:00 to 4:00.  Parents are welcome to help on Safety Boats.  Participants must be comfortable rigging a boat.  You can be paired with a more experienced sailor if you want more time to feel comfortable.

Junior Regatta
August 26th - Come and race.  This session is part of the Commodore's Cup Regatta.  We will race from 12:30 to 4:30 - depending on wind and weather.  Parents are welcome to watch from committee boat or from shore.  No race experience necessary.  We will have a mini-racing session then sail.  Last year was the first one of these events.  We had almost 20 junior sailors on the water.  It was a fun, exciting experience.

Notes from the Office
Please contact Michelle Sarber at
  • First Quarter Dues Deadline was February 28th.  If you have not processed your payment, please do so as soon as possible.  Gate Cards will be inactivated for all members with no payments on the last day of March.  Your card will be re-instated once payment is made and processed.
  • If you have decided not to renew your membership, please contact the office as soon as possible.  Emails will be going out later in March for all members who have not made any payments for the year.
  • If you do resign from ISC, remember it is your responsibility to notify the office.  Please plan to return your gate cards to the office for reprocessing.
  • If you would rather have a key tag for the gate, you can trade in a gate card for one or add a key tag for $10.  Please contact Michelle Sarber in the office to have one processed.
  • Please check your gate cards: if you have one that is not working, please contact the office with the last 5 numbers on the card.
  • We can add a spouse's email or cell phone to any correspondence or phone tree.  Email the office to add someone.
  • Please note the change on the Clubhouse Rental Agreement.  All dues must be current in order to rent the clubhouse.
  • Michelle Sarber's set office hours are Monday's and Thursday's from 1:00-3:00.  I can be found in the office other times but those are the set hours.

Thistle Art Class

ISC Thistle Fleet 69 did something different for their meeting in February. Fleet members traded their tillers for paint brushes and created masterpieces of Thistle art. Local artist Anna Afshar led a class that turned sailors into painters … at least for a few hours. Several other ISC members joined us for the event.

Most of us had not picked up a brush since school, so Anna had her hands full with us. She was patient and knew just the right advice to help us. We learned about different brushes, and she showed us how to use acrylic paints, mix and match them to get just the right colors. With a little wine and cheese to round out the tools, we were ready.

First up - create the background of sky and water. Sailors are a pretty brave lot, so a few of us jumped right in and quickly went from blank canvas to big swaths of color. Anna showed us one of the benefits of using acrylics, you can erase them with water! After some quick adjustments, everyone moved onto hulls, masts and sails. We used “burnt umber” for grates and rails. When it came time to do the sails, we learned that there is no such thing as pure white. You always feed in a little color to give white textures depth.

By now, we were starting to sound and act like real artists. But we were not done yet. Funny how a couple of us specifically chose pictures where the sails hid the crew. A calculated move to avoid painting the dreaded human form. Bruce King picked a 1957 photo of 1808 Royal Flush crewed by his mom, dad, and grandfather with all three smiling at the camera. Fearless on the race course, fearless with a brush.

By the end of the afternoon, Anna saw to it that everyone had a unique painting they were proud to call their own. None of us will quit our day jobs to become artists, but we all left with a much better sense of colors and shapes and how together they make up a Thistle sailing under a cerulean blue sky on azure waters. Along the way we taught Anna all the parts of a Thistle. Enough that she’s ready to hop in for a sail come spring.

Every regatta has winners, and this was no different. We pressed Anna’s husband into judging our results and handing out the ribbons. No surprise, Bruce’s Royal Flush painting took first. Sara Crawford took second, and Eric Guion picked up third. Good times for all. No doubt we will do this again.

ISC Thistle Art Event Photo Gallery

To see more of Anna's work, go to:

Bill Crawford, 2928
Fleet 69, Indianapolis Sailing Club


Publicity Committee Report

Thanks to the 25 ISC volunteers who contributed more than 85 hours insuring that the 63rd Annual Boat, Sport and Travel Show was a success.  The committee will be turning over all the info gathered for prospective new members to Don Wilson in the near future.

Our 10'x20' booth had a very professional look.   A big thanks goes to Bill Crawford, his wife, Lori, and his firm, Harbor Pictures Company, for the beautiful graphics and awesome videos plus the "420" was pretty cool, too! 

Especially, I wish to thank and acknowledge Bill & Lori Crawford, Bill Mullineaux, Luke Mongin and Rick Taylor for their assistance in setting up and tearing down the ISC booth.  

We look forward to another enjoyable sailing season and maybe several new members, who showed an interest in sailing during the trade show.

Barney Levengood


America's Boating Course

ABC America’s Boating Course
Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron is offering the America’s Boating Course beginning
March 16, 2017.
The ABC course is a Coast Guard certified, basic boating course, for people of all ages and skills. This course is recognized by all states and accepted by boat insurance companies for compliance with the individual state’s rules and regulations. Documentation of this course could lower your boat insurance costs and provide you the knowledge to enhance your boating experience. This course will include the state regulations.
A certification test will be given at the end of the course with documented certification. Anyone over 15 years of age and holds minimum of a beginner driver’s permit, who passes the test, is certified as legal to operate a powerboat in the state of Indiana.
When:  March 16, 2017 and the next 7 consecutive Thursdays
Time:  7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where:  Carmel Fire Buffs & Fire Department Museum, 210 1st Ave SW, Carmel, IN 46032
Cost: $45.00 includes materials and certification
Registration: By phone no later than March 9th
Damon Davis, Squadron Education  Officer
Cell:     317-432-0501
Home: 317-973-5361
John Reichmann
Home: 317-399-7083


Safe Boating Week Kickoff

Saturday, May 20, 2017
Geist Marina

Don’t miss this chance to learn more about boating fun for the whole family!

The Hoosier Sail & Power Squadron, in conjunction with Geist Marina, presents an afternoon  of boating related information and activities!

Children & grandchildren are welcome.

Featured  items include:
Boating Skills Virtual Trainer
Free Vessel Safety Checks
DNR on boating laws
Demonstrations by the Fishers Fire Department
Humane Society Rescue Pets
Learning activities for kids and much more.

Where:Geist Marina
11695 Fall Creek Road
Indianapolis, IN 46256
When: 10:00 AM till 2:00 PM


February Sailing

We've sailed December, January, and February now!  Photo courtesy of Bob Herdrich. 


Dock Work Day

February 18 dock work day organized by Harbormaster Thane Morgan.  Photos courtesy of Chris Keaney.