Posted by: svwindward | 2016-08-29

Labor Day Weekend – it’s on!

There’s a full slate for this Labor Day weekend:

WLSC Singlehand Race and Fun Race Saturday Sept 3

How do you accommodate a race committee meeting, a holiday weekend, uncertain winds, a Parrot Head party and a bunch of singlehand racers without the usual crew feeling left out, all while leaving time for breakfast, education, a little poker, and most of all have fun? You do it all!

12 Noon Saturday Sep 3 – Singlehand Race – strut your solo stuff

  • Skipper’s Meeting, sailboat dock, at 12 Noon
  • First gun at 12:30 pm
  • Staggered start (pursuit race) from normal starting line, grouped to nearest minute based on adjusted fleet PHRF rating. First-time racers or those traditionally finishing further back my receive additional time allowance
  • Course based on wind conditions and participation, probably 3-4 nm. May use separate marks, may go around island.
  • No autopilots, no spinnakers or other flying sails
  • Extra vigilance mandatory: you have no lookout for traffic under your sails
  • Exclusive prize for the winner!

3 PM Saturday Sep 3 – Fun Race – your crew can participate

  • Skipper’s Meeting about 3:00 PM, or the nearest ½ hour after end of Singlehand Race if it runs long
  • First gun 30 minutes later (target 3:30)
  • Staggered start (pursuit race) from normal starting line, grouped to nearest minute based on adjusted fleet PHRF rating. First-time racers or those traditionally finishing further back my receive additional time allowance
  • Course based on wind conditions and participation, probably 3-4 nm. May use separate marks, may go around island.
  • Spinnakers optional, Water guns optional, Parrots optional (but cannot be used for propulsion), Good attitude mandatory

6 PM Saturday Sep 3 – Parrotheads: Cheeseburger in Paradise Potluck and Party

  • We love you, but please RSVP for meals to Anita at (423-341-3123) before it’s too late. $5 per person
  • The menu includes… Cheeseburgers!
  • Bring a dish to share
  • BYOB
  • Prize for the best Parrothead attire
  • Live Beach Music 7-9:30

9 AM Sunday Sept 4th Breakfast  with  education 

12:30 Sunday Sept 4th Poker Run – Skipper’s meeting at 12:30

  • Get details for the Poker Run at the 12:30 Skipper’s Meeting



Posted by: svwindward | 2016-08-05

Watauga Lake Circumnavigation, Sep 30 – Oct 2

pirate_penguin_standing_photo_sculpture-r474a8a5af0a14757b82f7943564fbf3f_x7saw_8byvr_324Aargh, ye drove o’ dock denizens, ye raft o’ reticent readers, ye swarm o’ sailors, ye school o’ sweltering scallywags!

Would you sail to the ends of the earth and back?  Well, maybe the lake? Watauga Lake is big, with more than 45 miles of shoreline, and you’ve probably only seen part of it.  If you will brave the weird and haunted shores at world’s end, then you will need a captain who knows those waters.

Sailor, you’re in luck: WLSC will be circumnavigating Watauga Lake from Friday, September 30 (after work), through Sunday, October 2.  Join us for the Circumwataugation and become a captain who knows those waters.  skull-compass-rose

The Circumwataugation Expeditionary Fleet will depart Lakeshore’s dock Friday September 30 after work (or whatever else you do with your time earlier in the day) and spend the weekend sailing and motoring our way generally clockwise around the navigable limits of the lake, including Roan Creek, Watauga River and Elk River, deploying dinghies and kayaks as needed, anchoring (or tying off) where we find ourselves come sundown, stargazing for a few stragglers from the recent Perseid Meteor Showers, searching for trolls beneath the IMG_2635bridge, taking our meals afloat, surveying previously unvisited coves, swimming as needed to keep our collective chill, perhaps swapping crews here and there, retrieving the occasional floating object, seeing whether the rope swing is still swingable, marveling at the destruction wrought by July 8th’s wind event, and generally reveling in a couple of self-contained days away from the dock.  It’s a full and varied weekend, just like that sentence.

Come for the whole thing, or join us for whatever part you are able.  Leave with the first wave, catch up with us at anchor Friday night, find us on Saturday morning, boogie past the bridge and day sail with us on Sunday: it’s your call. Or just skip it, hear the stories later, and realize you’ve missed out on a lot of fun that people wanted you to be a part of.

The schedule is easy, but it’ll be tough to join us if you can’t find us. Cell service from most providers is spotty to non-existent beyond the bridge, and sometimes sooner.  Hail on VHF 16, working on 68. That’s the ticket. If you don’t have a reliable radio, this is the perfect time to plop down $50 – $90 on a handheld VHF – no installation needed, just charge it up and communicate.  You’ll generally get NOAA Weather Radio built-in, so even if you don’t have much to say on VHF you can get a heads up for freaky thunderstorms.

This is a show-and-go, self-contained, BYOE (bring your own everything) voyage, but drop Jeff, your Cruise Captain, an email if you think you might come.  Prior proper planning and all that.


Posted by: svwindward | 2016-07-29

Ladies’ Sailing Camp Aug 6-7


Saturday & Sunday August 6 & 7


This is the opportunity for all of us to polish our sailing skills as well as getting to know each other better while having fun. Program is  as follows


9:00  – meet on deck. Workshops on everything you always wanted to know about basic sailing techniques, sail boat terminology, etc. all your questions will be answered.
12:00 – lunch on deck  ($5.00 p/p)
1:00  –  meet at the dock. Build confidence In docking in and out of a slip. Taking boat out for a sail. (Men will be allowed to crew only).
5:00 – debriefing on deck. Questions and answers.
6:00 – dinner by our famous chef Denis Anthony followed with music and dancing. ($10.00 p/p) BYOL. 

9:00 – on deck. Workshop on boat safety and man overboard instructions.
12:00 – lunch ($5.00 p/p)
1:00 – practice man overboard on the water. 

For more info and to sign up, contact Danielle Catoe by e-mail or tel. 828-898-3072  and indicate how many lunches and dinners you wish to purchase.  Thank you

This Saturday, July 9, we’ll do a staggered start pursuit fun race – emphasis on fun – to the bridge. All racing is fun (right?), but the fun here will be less subtle: bring water guns,  because boat-to-boat barrages are encouraged in the interests of keeping comfortably cool.  If that sort of thing doesn’t sound like fun – well, this probably isn’t your race.

Skipper’s Meeting is around noon on the sailboat dock, with a staggered start beginning around 12:30.  Why so early?  Because once the race is done, some hearty sailors with an air draft of less than 50.5′ may press on past the bridge, seeing new sites, swimming new spots and, should they choose, eventually rafting up somewhere for the evening.

This event is show-and-go, no RSVP required.  If you want to spend the night, remember to bring 4 or 5 dock lines, a couple of fenders, some food, beverages… all that overnight stuff. And a towel, because some of the racers might be pretty accurate with their water weapons.

As usual, VHF 68 will be our working channel for the events.


Posted by: svwindward | 2016-06-20

Kids’ Sailing Camp – June 23-25

Sailing camp this week, Fri the 23rd through Sun the 25th

If your child or grandchild is planning to attend please let me know ASAP by sending an Email to


Danielle Catoe will be organizing the food this year and will enlist the help of the parents/grand parents that have children participating in the camp as well as anyone else that would like to help.  We will be providing breakfast, lunch and dinner for the sailors and the folks that are helping for the day.  There will only be enough food for the number of sailors and volunteers that are signed up.  So if you plan to attend and or volunteer to help out Please send me a note so that we can get the count right.  If you do not attend or help please do not eat the food provided, there will not be enough


This years camp will focus on sailing and boating safety.  We will be in and out of the water all day.  Make sure that your child has a PFD(lifejacket).  Life jackets must be worn by all sailors while on the water, no exceptions.   We will be having a swim test on Friday morning to determine your child’s swimming competence.   If your child is not a proficient swimmer we will require that they wear a life jacket at all times during the camp while on the dock or water

Posted by: svwindward | 2016-06-08

Summer (and later) Events Update Omnibus

Aaarg, ye scurrilous scallywags!

This is by no means comprehensive, but since there have been some changes and additions to the WLSC summer (and fall) schedule

August 19 (Fri PM) through 21st – “Circumnavigation Cruise – to the ends of the lake and back”. We will start Friday early evening and spend the weekend making a full circuit of the lake, with two nights anchored out. A loose flotilla of boats and a combination of sailing, motoring, dinghying and maybe swimming. See such exotic locations as Roan Creek, the Watauga River Delta and the Elk River. Sailors can join and leave as their schedules and interests dictate, participating in the whole deal or just a tack or two.

September 3 – The Singlehand Race. This will be truly singlehanded – because even someone to talk to, change the playlist or hand you a beer means you ain’t singlehanding – so if weather permits we will try to include several heats to ensure that everyone with an interest in a boat has a chance to sail her.

September 10 (tentative) – Nothing definite yet from the Watauga Lake Cleanup folks, but they are targeting a fall lake cleanup the 2nd weekend in September. We have a race that Saturday afternoon (and I will be in California to squander part of my life on a sailboat in San Francisco Bay), but in years past the cleanup has been a morning event. Last year I was the only WLSCer toting trash. This year it would be great to get a contingent from the club to help.

September 24th – I have tentatively planned an overnight raftup following the race.

October – I’ll set up another overnight rafup in October, probably on the 15th (Eve of the Hunter’s Supermoon. This is also known as the Blood Moon, but no human sacrifice is anticipated), but possibly either the 8th (Draconids meteor showers) or the 22nd (Orionids meteor showers, and in between last fall race and the Commodore’s Cup)

Oct 23 – The Commodore’s Cup Race!


Past Events

June 11th – no activities planned. Lakeshore wants the deck for National Marina Day and may be hiring a band.

June 18 –The Watauga Lake Summer Sailstice Raftup, coinciding with an almost full moon. Location dependent on weather, participation and availability, but it will be someplace accessible to even the largest and smallest boats. This has traditionally been the largest raftup of sailboats every year, open to members and non-members alike. Although let’s face it, how could you possibly delay being a member when we do cool stuff and have this much fun? You can just show up – you may be like that anyway – but best to drop yer Cruise Captain an email and let him know you’re maybe coming, since he needs to find a place with enough beam to accommodate all of us. Avaricious? Looking for swag? Sign up for the Watauga Lake Summer Sailstice Raftup at and get entered in the drawing for prizes.

June 18 – This is also the Fathers Day Regatta. No details, nor a contact, available at present but stay tuned to email and to for details

June 24-26 – the ever-popular Kids Sailing Camp. If one or more of your kids ages 8-16 , or grandkids, or kids you are partial to, want to attend, email Tony Catoe for details at Cost is $60 per kid. You must be a member of WLSC to sponsor an attendee, and must be present during the entire camp.

July 2 – no activities. Lakeshore wants the deck and has hired a band. Most of the Ramones are dead and Marky’s busy, so not sure who they’ve booked.

July 9 – Long Distance Fun Race / Cruise / Overnight (instead of July 3). We’ll do a staggered start pursuit fun race – emphasis on fun – to the bridge, then those who choose to can press on past and raft up somewhere east of the bridge.

July 16 – Veterans Sailing Regatta Coordinated with the VA at Mountain Home. Skippers meeting at 1:00 race at 2:00 you would need to be there at 12:30 so we could match you up with crew. Let Anita know no later than Monday July 11 if you can take a couple Veterans sailing

July 30First Mate’s Special. Billy Becker’s mysterious event showcasing, perhaps even honoring, the First Mates. Details to follow.

August 6-7 – The ever-popular Women’s Sailing Camp. Details to follow.

Posted by: svwindward | 2016-05-31

Spring Series results!

Ahoy WLSC Racers!

We had a fun and active Spring Racing Series with 20 different captains and their crew racing and a total of 48 boats going to the starting line in the 4 races.  We had 2 races with light winds in April and 2 racs with brisk-heavy winds in May, so mother nature provided a good test of racing skills; and the mountain effects threw in lots of variability too!

Participation of the PC-Class 2 was excellent with 8 captains very active in racing.  And 4-5 racers in the A-Racer class typically went to the starting line which was good.  Only 2 racers from the new PC-Class 3 raced more than once in the Spring, so hopefully this class will become more active in the Fall after sailing on the lake all Summer.  Thank you to all the captains, co-captains, and their crew for coming out to race; it was especially neat to see some new faces and new boats out racing.

FYI, to be eligible for a Series Racing award at the Awards/Dinner meeting in November a captain needs to have raced at least 3 times in a Spring or Fall Series, or at least 2 times racing plus 1 time serving as Committee Boat in a Spring or Fall Series.

Now for the Overall Results for the 2016 Spring Series:

Congratulations to the following captains and their crew who finished in the top 3 places in their racing class this Spring!

A-Racers:                                                 Boat                             Spring Batting Avg. 
                                                                                                           (Best 3 of 4 races)
1st                   Wayne Catoe                  Hunter 30                     .923
2nd                  Marc Nachman             Olson 30                        .800
3rd                   Billy Becker                    Catalina 27                  .700
4th                   Tony Catoe                        Pearson 30                   .400
                        Skip Green                         J-27                                (a)
                        James Little                       Holder 20                      (a)
                        Pat Pritchett                      Holder                            (a)

PC-Class 2:
1st                   Dave Gurysh                    Catalina 30                   .923
2nd                  Clarke Lucas                   Balboa 26                      .882
3rd                   Jeff Arnfield                   Chrysler 26                   .818
4th                   John Middaugh                Catalina 30                    .667
5th                   Mike Farthing                  Tartan 30                       .556
6th                   Bill Smith                         Catalina 30                    .444
7th                   Rob Remme                     Beneteau 30E                .294
8th                   Ed Lockett                       Catalina 320                  .167


PC-Class 3:

1st                   Bob Hebner                    Catalina 250                 .625
                        Warren Lamb                   O’Day 27                        (a)
                        George Brown                  Beneteau 311                  (a)
                        Paul Rovegno                   Precision 185                 (a)
                        Tommy Willis                  Pearson 26                     (a)

(a): Not eligible due to missing 2 or more races

Note: the calculation method for “Batting Average” is explained on our website:, then go to link “Racing Info”, and “Fall Spring Cumulative Scoring“.

Attached is the spreadsheet for the four (4) Spring Series races and the Overall Results for each of the 3 fleets.

Summer Fun Races:  There is interest expressed from several racers to have a few Fun Races this Summer, so I will send an email next week to advise the dates when we can weave them into the WLSC schedule.  Our plan is to have captains from the A-Racer class and some from the PC-2 class be on-board boats of PC-2/3 class captains that would like to get some tips to improve their racing performance; then on the last Fun race in August we will all race our own boats for a tune-up for the Fall Series.  Should be fun.

Fair winds to you,

Dave Gurysh

WLSC Race Captain

Posted by: svwindward | 2016-05-24

WLSC: Anchoring Clinic and Raftup, May 29

WLSC: Anchoring Clinic and Raftup Sunday, May 29

Cruise Captain Jeff Arnfield will conduct an informal anchoring clinic on the Lakeshore Marina sailboat dock this Sunday, May 29, at 11 AM.  We will discuss equipment, technique, and a few of the challenges in effectively anchoring on Watauga lake. The clinic will run about an hour, but could be shorter or longer depending upon interest and participation.  Come on and hone those skills for this summer’s sailing (and overnighting) season.

Later on Sunday, following the afternoon photo shoot (you saw the Commodore’s email, right? Pics Sunday at 4 PM?), Windward will host a raft up at Sandy Beach (location tentative), the cove on the north shore directly across from the marina. While you are welcome to raft off of another boat without dropping your own hook, this is a perfect opportunity to practice your anchoring skills. If you want some hands-on help getting set and secured, Jeff (and perhaps other volunteers) can come aboard to assist with anchoring, backing down and rafting up.

The overnight is SAG/AW/BYOE – Show-and-Go, All Weather, Bring Your Own Everything.  You know the drill: bring dinner, beverages, breakfast, personal kit, kids, etc.  Besides your anchor and rode (if you have them), you’ll want at least 4 dock lines and a couple of fenders. An all-around white anchor light is a nice touch, too. Working channel VHF 68.

Questions?  Get with Jeff at, or 423-647-2671

Posted by: svwindward | 2016-05-24

Spring Race #4 Results

Ahoy WLSC Sailors!

On the day after the fantastic Gary Jobson event on the deck, a great turnout of 15 captains and their crew participated in Spring Race #4 on Sunday, May 22, trying to apply a couple of tips from Gary’s Race Clinic.  With NW winds of 8-12 kts, the PC racers got off to a good start to the dam.  Winds were steady until we got closer to the OBS mark where it normally gets tricky.  But then Jeff Arnfield somehow caught a “continuous lift” all the way to the mark to take the lead.  The lead for PC racers switched several times on the return leg to the start pin and over to the MTN mark.  Winds became very light and variable as we headed east to the ISL mark, but then picked up strong just before rounding the mark to head back to the the finish line.  Meanwhile in the A-Racers class, Mark Nachman took the lead on the leg to the ISL mark after which Wayne Catoe deployed the spinnaker to narrow the gap.  It was a terrific ride up the lake to the finish line with NW winds gusting to 18 kts and some boats getting their head sails wet.

Congrats again to Wayne Catoe and his all-family crew on the Hunter 30 for earning 1st place in the A-Racer class, winning by 6.5 minutes corrected time!  Congrats also to Mark Nachman and his crew on the Olson 30 for crossing the finish line first in an elapsed time of 1:09:23 to capture 2nd place on corrected time.  And congrats to Tony Catoe and his crew on the Pearson 30 for taking 3rd place.  Billy Becker and Pat Pritchett also did well in single-handling their boats in the heavy winds.  Unfortunately it was a quick debut of James Little’s Holder 20, losing the main halyard one minute after the start of the race.

Congrats to Jeff Arnfield for single-handling his Chrysler 26 to 1st place in the PC-Class 2, winning by 2.1 minutes corrected time!  Yours truly and his crew had a good final leg on the Catalina 30 to cross the line first in an elapsed time of 1:16:28 to earn 2nd place on corrected time.  Congrats also to John Middaugh and his crew on his Catalina 30 for capturing 3rd place, for the third time this Spring.  Bill Smith and crew on his Catalina 30 continue to improve.  And hats off to Clarke Lucas for joining us to race his Balboa 26 while not feeling well; hope you get to feeling better soon Clarke.

And congrats to Bob and Dave Hepner and crew for capturing 1st place in the PC-Class 3!  It was good to see Warren Lamb and George Brown and their crew out racing as well, finishing 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Attached are the wlsc_race-results_2016-spring-4.

Thanks much to Ed and Sue Lockett for the excellent job on Committee Boat duty, and to Jeff Arnfield, Tony Catoe, Wayne Catoe,  and  John Middaugh for assisting with setting/retrieving of marks.  And special thanks to Pat Pritchett and Russ Veldman for preparing the tasty hamburgers and hotdogs for the pot luck dinner after the race.  And we cannot thank Commodore Anita enough for all her hard work in getting Gary Jobson to fly in to share his experience, knowledge, and passion for sailing with the WLSC.  What an enjoyable weekend for the WLSC!!

Fair winds to you,

Dave Gurysh

WLSC Race Captain

Posted by: svwindward | 2016-05-18

Boating Safety Course May 24 & 26

From Clarke Lucas, perennial member and knower-of-things:

If stopped by TWRA officers, and you’re under age 28 (and a TN resident), you will need to show them your “TWRA Boating Safety Education Certificate”. (EXCEPTIONS: A sailboat with NO motor installed OR any boat with motor LESS then 8.5 HP.) It’s suggested that ALL who have never taken a Boat Safety Course should consider taking one. FREE ! For those over 27, a FREE certificate is available if successfully completing the exam.

For more info see the TWRA-BoatingSafety_20160524 document below or email or call Clarke at (423)538-4643.





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