Yacht Club raises new sails

The Hood River Yacht Club is preparing not only for the current season, but for next year and beyond, says HRYC Commodore Doug Archbald.

The club is hoping to bring the Junior Sailing program, run by Andy and Jamie Mack, into the club as a 501(c)(3). “There are still many questions to be answered relative to making this change, but it is a change we are all very excited about,” says Archbald.

“My feeling personally is that bringing junior sailing into the club represents an amazing opportunity to grow the club through family participation, and to support and promote the sport we love for the youth of the Gorge.”

Another new program in the works is establishing reciprocal privileges with other yacht clubs. Archbald says the club has an agreement with the port on how the program will work and are now starting to put together letters of invitation to various yacht clubs.

“We have drafted a reciprocity policy and letter with which to establish contact with other clubs,” says Archbald. “The program will provide a dedicated amount of annual funds to pay for reciprocal moorage on the marina guest docks.”

But for this year, the club will hold community sailing, junior and adult learn-to-sail classes, all of which are run through Community Ed. Some of the adult lessons will be on smaller boats, and some will be run with volunteer skippers on bigger boats.

And HRYC plans to implement a new crew circle at the marina during its Wednesday night races, says Archbald. The idea is to give interested persons a chance to actively participate in sailing, to “get wet and go fast and have a job to do,” he says. “This isn’t pleasure sailing; Wednesday night sailing is for people who want to experience what racing is like.”

Two events HRYC members are really looking forward to are Opening Day on April 28, where the public is invited to decorate a watercraft of any kind — from boat to stand-up paddle board — in a luau theme and join in on the opening parade and following luau and pig roast.

The other is the Double Damned race from Cascade Locks to The Dalles on Aug. 11. This is the race’s fifth year, and it has gained regional notoriety, says Archbald. This year, OPB’s Oregon Field Guide will be filming a piece about the race, complete with high-definition video and narration.

Other events scheduled for 2012 are:

April 18-June 7 — Spring Sunset Race Series, eight consecutive Wednesdays

April 28 — Opening Day, luau/pig roast

June 13-Aug. 1 — Summer Sunset Race Series, eight consecutive Wednesdays

July 4 — Wednesday Night Special Race TBD

July 8-9 — Red D! Race to Cascade Locks Saturday, overnight, race back to Hood River Sunday

Aug. 8-Sept. 26 — Fall Sunset Race Series, eight consecutive Wednesdays

Aug. 11 — Double Damned, Cascade Locks to The Dalles

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