Commodore's Comments

We now have a full month of racing, and we have had plenty of wind (those of you at the Commodore’s Dinner Dance will remember I promised wind this year).  For those who haven’t sailed yet, let’s get those tarps off and join us on the water.

I wanted to thank a few individuals again this month.

Paul White with Boats and Motors had spent the last month getting all of the safety and committee boat’s engines working.  We ended up having to replace on motor and repairing another.  Paul made sure we always had two functional safety boats to run the April regattas.  Thanks Paul.

I also wanted to say thanks to our newest committee, the Land Lubbers.  Lorri Katzfey, Ellen Eaken, Lisa Dovey, Sarah Kempfer, Debrah Brown and Karen Katzfey (with help from Tony Elliot) have been working hard putting in new plants and removing those dreaded Thistles (the weed not the boat).  They are always looking for more volunteers.  Contact Lorri Katzfey ( to help.  Thanks for the hard work.

We also need for volunteers on the race committee and safety boats on Saturdays and Sundays.  The individual fleets will be in charge of race committee and safety boats this year, so please look for an email from your fleet captain with additional details.  If you aren’t part of the fleet, we still need your help.  You can sign up through the ISC website.  Please contact Kevin Black (race committee) and/or Andy McDonald (safety committee) with any questions.

Upcoming events include our first adult training class, Melges 17 Regatta, Germantown Sprints (for all you small boats) and our 1st ISC regatta of the year – the Memorial Regatta (June 3 & 4).

See you on the water,

Chris Katzfey


Junior Sailing


Also, the sailing camp is almost full!  Please register as soon as possible: the form is on the ISC website.  Please contact Michelle Sarber for more information about either program.



Zeebo returns on Wednesday, June 7th.  Details to follow.  Please mark your calendars!


2017 Snipe Open Regatta

1 26465 Jason Hubbard Indianapolis Sailing Club 4 4 1 1 1 11
2 30390 Howard Miller Cowan Lake Sailing Assn 1 1 3 5 3 13
3 28714 Matt Heywood North Cape Yacht Club 7 2 2 3 2 16
4 30306 Bill Townsend Indianapolis Sailing Club 2 5 7 2 4 20
5 28657 Jess Lawhead Indianapolis Sailing Club 3 7 10 4 6 30
6 29540 Randy Fridlund Indianapolis Sailing Club DNC 3 4 8 DNC 37
7 29657 Carey Nelson Cowan Lake Sailing Assn 5 6 6 10 DNC 38
8 30003 Steve Stucky Indianapolis Sailing Club DNC 8 8 6 5 38
9 26463 Brian Rosensteel Indianapolis Sailing Club 6 10 5 7 DNF 39
10 27004 Spencer Wyatt Indianapolis Sailing Club 8 9 9 9 DNF 46
  DNC Did Not Compete   11 11 11 11 11  
  DNF Did Not Finish   11 11 11 11 11  


2017 ISC Laser Regatta

1 176204 Robert Christie Chicago Corinthian YC 5 2 2 2 2 13
2 179506 Joey Lark North Cape Yacht Club 6 4 3 4 4 21
3 204771 Jayson Miller Port Clinton Yacht Club 1 3 10 7 1 22
4 199940 Jason Brown Chicago Corinthian YC 2 10 7 1 3 23
5 169472 Ed Spengeman Louisville Sailing Club 3 1 1 8 DNC 26
6 62 Bob France Leatherlips Yacht Club 4 5 8 5 7 29
7 166118 Scott Binzer Louisville Sailing Club 12 8 6 3 6 35
8 137443 Paul Gush Indianapolis Sailing Club 9 11 4 9 5 38
9 136924 Ryan Clarke Leatherlips Yacht Club 7 9 5 6 DNF 40
10 148102 Reagan Lessick Eagle Creek Sailing Club 10 6 9 11 DNC 49
11 209387 Mitch Polgar Chicago Corinthian YC 8 7 11 10 DNF 49
12 170686 Christa Georgeson Chicago Corinthian YC 11 12 12 12 DNC 60
  DNC Did Not Compete   13 13 13 13 13  
  DNF Did Not Finish   13 13 13 13 13  


2017 Thistle 8-Ball Regatta

The weather was awesome, not fearsome.
16 boats reported for racing on Saturday morning despite the horrible forecast on Weather Underground. As it turned out, it was a bit cold, and it was windy, but the 25 to 30 gusts never showed up to ruin the party. In fact, by the 4th race of Saturday afternoon, the sun was out! Sunday morning was even better. Not a cloud in the sky and winds stayed under the mid-teens.
Peter Frissell of North Cape Yacht Club won the regatta with crew Kevin Bradley & Corrine Sackett. Racing could not have been closer. Frissell won by tiebreaker over Andy McDonald and crew Thane Morgan. According to our scorekeeper, the tie was broken in a race where Andy's son, 4th place finisher Brian beat him. Brian will need to do something special for Andy this Father's Day.  
Team Lavender was all smiles for the camera finishing Saturday with a 1 point lead over the field. At the end though, Steve, Rachel, and Dave Stetson finished in third, 1 point behind Frissell and McDonald. The top 3 traded bullets all weekend. That's close racing!
The racing was so exciting the Goodyear blimp was sent to cover the action. 
Thanks to all the ISC members who made the event possible. PRO Cliff Browning, ARO Hans Haupt, and their RC team. Anita & Ken McAfee, The Quigleys - Joe, Vangie, and Jennifer, Harry Atkinson, and Tom Hamilton on meals and snacks, Eric Guion, registration, and scoring with Paul Dovey. Thistle racing has been a tradition at ISC since the founding of the club. The 8 Ball is recognized as a early season must attend event for Thistler’s in the Midwest. If you are interested in learning more about Thistles at ISC, contact our Fleet Captain Hunter Dyar. 
Photo gallery
Final Results .pdf


55th Annual Burl Harmon Lightning Open Regatta

As the sailors gathered on Saturday morning at the Indianapolis Sailing Club, the weather seemed more like March than May. A week of rain had stopped but the skies were still very gray and very windy. Our relatively small Geist Lake is better known for shifty, light breezes but not this weeknd. On Saturday, the wind was from the northwest at 12-16 with gusts to 20 mph.

Race Chairman Paul White with two helpers set a windward- leeward course which was relatively short because of the narrow  configuration of the Lake when winds are from the north. Although we had two capsizes during the afternoon among the nine competing boats, five races were completed before the jolly but cold sailors headed for the very close-by Clubhouse.

James Taylor, assisted by his son Carl and other regular crew George Auel, just tore the fleet apart with four wins and a second place on Saturday making it near impossible for any other crew to catch them on Sunday morning.
At the time of registration on Saturday morning, skippers & crews were offered a raffle slip with the name of one of the 20 horses running in the Derby at 6:45 p.m. with the sailor having the winning horse receiving a bottle of Kentucky bourbon.  Rather unkindly, Pete McGinity, the IN District Commodore and a member of home Fleet 270 had the horse that won the race, giving him the bourbon! )

Once the boats were stored for the night after Saturday racing, all enjoyed a social hour and watching  the Kentucky Derby before dinner prepared by a Fleet 270 member Steve Tinsley and his kitchen crew.

On Sunday morning, while the temperature was still cold for May, the breeze continued from the north but only blowing in the range of 8 to 15. By starting the first race on the same course at 9:25 a.m., the Race Committee was able to complete three more races by noon. However, no other boat & crew were able to catch James Taylor & his crew as they put together a 1-1-2 for a final score of 8 compared with Brad Wagnon, Byron Bohler & John McCain in 2nd place with 20. All the competitors were happy to get in eight races during a weekend regatta because it doesn’t happen often and get sailing in the 2017 season.

After lunch and the award ceremony, all headed home following a surprisingly rigorous start for the 2017 racing season in the Midwest. Our thanks to all the competitors for coming on over to Central Indiana!  All Lightning sailors are welcome to visit next year when the 56th Regatta will be held on May 5th & 6th 2018.
Ken McGinity

Best Indy regatta in years, with Maureen, and Tennessean Mandy Hofmeister as guest helmsman for most of the weekend.
Long range forecast started “bluebird”, deteriorated to “breezy and monsoonal” by Thursday evening’s boat packing, but the weekend turned out almost perfect.  Saturday greeted us with clear skies, muddy water lapping the tops of seawalls, and 5-12 NW building to 15-22 with gusts!!!  Short start line proved problematic for our team all day and kept Ken McGinity busy with the “X”.  A strategically placed granny knot in the spinny halyard at the second bottom turn didn’t help, but the net was great improvement in our mechanics, tactics and problem-solving-skills-under-pressure, as the weekend progressed. 
Two boats capsized in Saturday’s downwind leg of race 4.  Team Schmahl laid down early with enough of the leg remaining to recover and finish.  Team Franceschini struggled for a few minutes and looked at risk of grounding on the east shore, but an able safety boat sorted it all out.  Some conversation later about the ethics of returning partially un-filled coolers to their owners, jury’s still out on that one.  We blew spinnaker sheet occasionally to stay mostly in control through race 4, and surprisingly, no one objected when I took the helm for race 5, even after I put down yet another restart, a poorly timed auto-tack and 720 at the second top mark, and set up bit of a struggle through a quick gybe on the face of the final blaster puff of the day.
Quiet evening, forced down a mint julep in celebration of “the derby”, the rest of the team had a no hard liquor rule, some angst about whether it’s appropriate to retire before you host returns home, but became a moot point as Jeff was napping on the couch when we arrived.  Regatta Chairman Pete McGinity won the bottle of fine southern bourbon with informal wager on Always Dreaming and smiled charmingly to false accusations of “rigged/fix”… or was it…
Early start Sunday, 3 more races of the same, only kindler/gentler 5-8 NW with occasional 8-12 in the final race of the weekend.  PRO Paul White tested the fleet with varied mark placement under McMansions, but James Taylor’s practiced team was not confused by “C” or “S” flags and won the regatta handily, followed by team Wagnon, team Thomas in the Happy Boat and we tied our host Jeff Schmahl after one final photo-finish, after 8 dizzying races (3X W/L) with throw-out. 
James Taylor promoted Ohio Districts at Cleveland Yacht Club; teams Schmahl and Wagnon-B are contemplating Higgins Lake.
Per usual, C-scows tacking up the channel as we snacked on sandwiches and chips.  Boat packed dry, home in time to stretch, hydrate with electrolytes, adjust my magnesium/calcium balance, purge lactic acid and contemplate low dose NSAID as a pharmaceutical solution.
John McCree

1 15172 James Taylor
Carl Taylor,
George Auel
COWAN, OH 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 8
2 15309 Brad Wagnon
Bryon Bohler,
John McCain
SYRACUSE, IN 5 2 5 2 1 2 4 4 20
3 11537 MikeThomas
Bill Thomas,
John O'Brien
COWAN, OH 4 6 2 4 5 6 2 1 24
4 15213 Jeff Schmahl
Andrew Schmahl,
Sam Russell
SYRACUSE, IN 2 3 6 6 3 3 6 6 29
5 15430 Amanda Hofmeister
Maureen Ferries,
John McCree
NASHVILLE, TN 8 4 7 3 4 5 3 3 29
6 13721 Pete McGinity
Joe Lutz,
Autumn Peirce
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 3 5 4 5 6 4 5 7 32
7 14359 Mike Franceschini
Jay Levy,
Mark Aronson
8 14020 Frank Wilder
Jerry Sentman,
Phil Buehler
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 7 8 8 7 7 7 8 8 52
9 14537 Steve Tinsley
Chris Hayes,
Zhi Zhu
  DNC Did Not Compete   10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10  
  DNF Did Not Finish   10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10  

Photos courtesy of Bill Mullineaux.


2017 ISC Memorial Regatta 

Sailors, Start your Sailboats! ISC Memorial Regatta – June 3rd and 4th

Welcome in the start of the new racing season with checkered flags as the Snipe Fleet hosts the first club regatta of the year with a race theme dinner. The entire club is invited to race Saturday and Sunday afternoons on June 3rd and 4th with a 11:45am harbor gun and a 12:30pm first start both days. Register your boat at the Club House between 10:30 and 11:30 on Saturday.

Join us for dinner on Saturday with appetizers starting at 5:30pm and dinner served at 6:30pm. Immediately following dinner we will have a special Game Show to fit our theme.

Dinner Saturday will include BBQ Chicken Breasts slow cooked on the grill, Potatoes Au Gratin, Peas and Carrots, and Baked Beans with a Fruit Salad side. There will also be brownies and ice cream after the Show. Portobello mushrooms and chicken nuggets available only by request in advance in lieu of BBQ Chicken Breasts.

Dinner is $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Bring cash or a check made out to ISC for your meal ticket during the appetizer time or registration. However you must RSVP in advance.

Stick around after racing on Sunday for awards and a cookout provided by the Interlake fleet.
Register Online at the ISC website

RSVP by May 29th 

For more information, contact:
Tom Townsend


Veterans Event at the Indianapolis Sailing Club

The Operations Set Sail Initiative
Honoring And Empowering Our Veterans Through Sailing
Mark Your Calendar For Saturday, July 8th, 2017 
More details to be released later.

1:00 - 4:30 PM  
A dazzling display of over 100 sailboats on the water.
4:30 - 5:30 PM  Flag Ceremony Under The Cell Tower:  Patriotic flag pole ceremony honoring veterans and also other local heroes from law enforcement, fire department and emergency response.
5:30 - 6:30 PM Reception which includes a formal US flag retirement conducted by sea scouts.
6:30 - 11:30 PM Dinner Party with Live Entertainment; includes youth band from 5:30 - 7:30 PM and Awesome Adult Band from 7:30 - 11:30 PM
Contact Bob Solomon if you would like to get involved:  or call or text 317-694-1455


Driving Stars and Stripes

Recently, Lynn and I enjoyed a Royal Caribbean cruise to the West Caribbean area.  While looking over the excursions for an upcoming stop at Cozumel, Lynn saw one listed as “Cozumel 12 Metre America’s Cup Regatta.”  Well, I doubted it could be anything like a real regatta, but I scurried down to the ship’s customer service center to get the low down on the excursion.   I was told we would sail on the Stars and Stripes boat from the 1987 Americas Cup regatta, and racing another 12 Metre yacht would be part of the adventure.   I said sign us up.

After docking in Cozumel Lynn and I proceeded down the pier to meet up with the representative of the excursion company, Sand Dollar Sports.  We walked about 50 feet to another dock and boarded a pontoon boat that would shuttle us to the yachts.  It was really a perfect day for sailing, about 15 to 20 knots breeze, partly cloudy and 80° air temp. There were only 11 people signed up for this venture, and they divided us into a crew of 5 on Stars and Stripes, and a crew of 6 on the other boat, a Canadian 12 Metre named True North. As we motored out to the boats I began to feel this really could be fun.

On board, everyone was given a grinder assignment on a winch.  Lynn and I claimed positions at the back of the boat next to the wheels, and our task was releasing and then grinding in a backstay during tacking maneuvers.  There was a Sand Dollar Sports crew of 4 men, including the skipper. 

Before hoisting the sails a crew member gave us the racing plans.  He displayed a board that illustrated 2 windward/leeward laps and then an upwind finish.  Hey, just like our Wednesday races at ISC!
The main was hoisted with 1 reef point, the boat drifted off the mooring ball, and the head sail was hoisted after we were underway.  It wasn’t long until we were heeled over and really moving. 

A Boston Whaler manned by Sand Dollar personnel served as a committee boat.  Two buoys with flags served as the starting line.  The 2 boats maneuvered close to each other, the skipper went through a simulated countdown, and the race was on. 

There were 2 or 3 crossings during the race, and True North seemed to have a slight speed advantage.  The starting pins served as a leeward gate for the downwind legs, and the boats took opposite mark rounding’s at this gate.  The committee boat dropped a finish pin after we were well on our way up the last leg.  I think two things were going on at that time.  First, they wanted to stage a close finish, and second, both boats had to stay clear of passenger ferries and other harbor traffic.  True North finished in front of Stars and Stripes by about ½ boat length.  That was ok because the race still gave us 45 great minutes of 12 metre sailing experience.

After the race was over the skipper asked if anyone wanted to take the helm.  Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to take the wheel, and since there were no other volunteers I enjoyed about 15 minutes of driving Stars and Stripes, which included a couple of tacks and one gibe.  The helm was a little heavier than I expected, but the boat responded immediately to small movements of the wheel. 

Full disclosure – this boat is US-56, one of 4 boats built for Dennis Conner.  After trials with US-55, Conner selected US-55 for the Americas Cup races.  He won the cup back with 4 straight wins over the Australian boat Kookaburra 3.  US-55 is now in a Sand Dollar operation in Saint Maarten.

This was truly an awesome sailing experience.  Don’t pass it up if you get a chance to sail on Stars and Stripes.

Joe and Lynn Thurston