October 6, 2017

Commodore – October 2017

As our season nears the end, all of our Board members hope you had an enjoyable, safe year of fast sailing and many fun social events. We still have a few more to come with the ECSC Championship, Hornback Regatta and the the Final Bash. 
Personally, I want to thank ECSC for helping me improve my sailing skills - especially in light air. More importantly, please join with me in thanking all of the ECSC Board of Directors, the Committee Chairs and all of our wonderful volunteers for making the 2017 sailing season a great success. Hope to see you on the water in October and again next year.
Larry Conrad
September 6, 2017

Commodore September 2017

Recently, an editor from Sail Magazine asked questions about our club. They are planning to publish one of our pictures in the reader pictures section of an upcoming issue. Answering those questions reminded me how fortunate we are. We sail on a lake dedicated to sailing and small craft under 10 horsepower. Speedboats and personal water craft are not a problem for us. The shorelines are generally wooded and will soon be just as pretty as the picture we submitted. We have a fine restaurant on the lake. We have very active social, education and racing programs. We are fortunate indeed.
The grounds improvements planned for this year are nearly complete. We had a long list of small to large projects, so this will summarize only the larger items. Decayed supports for the upper shelter deck and stairway have been reinforced. The lower shelter has new supports, a concrete floor, and new tables. The L dock structure and decking was completely rebuilt last spring. There are new LED lights in the parking lot. New rip-rap lines the shoreline near race shelter. Finally, the A dock has been moved closer to the ramp. Now members should be able to launch and retrieve boats much closer to the dock without concerns for the trailer wheel running off the ramp. There is a long list of members to thank for getting all of this done.
The mountain bike issue has been relatively quiet in the last month. However, Geoff Endris is leading a team of members who will follow this closely. Please reach out to him as appropriate for information or to share ideas. This will help achieve a good outcome in this important issue.
Our season is winding down but we still have excellent social and sailing opportunities. Come out often and enjoy everything ECSC has to offer. As always, be safe, have fun, and sail fast.
Larry Conrad
August 11, 2017

Commodore – August 2017

Greeting to all sailors at ECSC!
We hope you are having an enjoyable time taking advantage of all the available activities at our club. There is plenty more to come. The ladies have their special sailing event on August 12 and the Lobster Fest is August 19. The summer racing series is in full swing. Come out often and enjoy the fun.
Our club continues to thrive on the volunteer spirit. There are so many untold heroes who just pick up and do whatever is needed. Please join with me in thanking people when you see them cleaning, repairing, improving, organizing social events, sailing education and all the other things that keep our club going.
Last month, some members met with representatives of the Hoosier Mountain Biking Association regarding their plans to set up mountain bike trails around the cove and very near to our facilities. If you recall, their preliminary map showed trails within a few feet of our club house and the upper parking area. Further, the preliminary plans did not show any trail head parking or rest room facilities. The hoped for a few hundred to maybe a thousand bikers using the trails on weekdays and weekends. ECSC is trying to set a clear position that there must be natural, physical separation from ECSC facilities to avoid problems. It will be very helpful for individual members to express their concerns in addition ECSC leadership.
Some maintenance improvements are complete with others in progress or starting soon. Deteriorated posts on the upper deck have been reinforced, stairs leveled, and some treads replaced. New LED lights are in service in the parking lot. (By the way, anybody turning them off for atmosphere needs to turn them back on before leaving. The lights are there for safety and security.) Many of the projects on SignUp Genius are complete. Work is well underway for the lower shelter. Dead trees are down and cleaned up. We appreciate your patience as these activities progress.
As always, be safe, have fun, and sail fast.
Larry Conrad
June 30, 2017

Commodore July 2017

Whatever happened to spring?  The last spring weekend was perfect weather.  Kay and I truly enjoyed our last spring Sunday cruising around the lake. The spring racing series ended with ideal sailing weather - strong winds right out of the south. It was perfect for those long, challenging windward-leeward races.
Summer is already here with a host of activities. Youngsters are learning the fine art of sailing. Cruisers will be out in force. Racers start the summer racing series. We have big social events for the fourth of July and the infamous beach party. Come out to the club and have some fun.
Our Grounds Committee has been active in trying to do a little more maintenance this year. There may be a few times where parking spots or other areas are marked off or not available due to construction. Plans are approved for some additional lighting, lower shelter repairs with new concrete floor, post repair for the upper shelter deck and stairway, and additional rip-rap along the shoreline. Hopefully, it will not be too inconvenient as this work progresses. Please honor any roped off areas and give a word of encouragement to committee members Mark Walker, Kenny Chapman, and Tom Moore.
Some members have become aware of proposals by the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association (HMBA) to use Eagle Creek park to develop bike trails on either side of the cove. Initial plans showed bike trails running within a few feet of the upper parking area and our clubhouse. It is a little unclear just how far these plans have progressed, so we have expressed specific concerns to HMBA and to the Indy Parks Eagle Creek leadership. HMBA leadership offered to meet with us at our shelter at 7:00 PM, Tuesday evening, July 25. This should be a good opportunity to get more information and discuss any concerns members may have.
So now back to the fun part. Let's go sailing and have a few parties. It's summer time at ECSC. Be safe, sail fast, and have fun.
Larry Conrad
June 6, 2017

Commodore June 2017

It is hard to believe spring is almost over  and summer is almost here. We hope you have been enjoying our social and sailing events. Sailing education programs will be starting shortly. Be sure to come out often and enjoy all of the racing, sailing in social activities offered by your Eagle Creek Sailing Club. Check out the many upcoming activities in this month's newsletter and on our calendar. Come on out and have fun. you will not be disappointed.
Our club continues to prosper with the help of many volunteer efforts. Take a look at the reconstructed L dock for example. It is much stronger and will last for many years to come. We mentioned in last month's newsletter that the board approved the additional work credit hours for volunteers. Now we are offering the opportunity to volunteer on your own time. You no longer need to wait for a scheduled work party. Some members have already volunteered and completed projects. Please take a look at the sign-up genius for opportunities to make our club grounds better. The link below will take you to the sign-up genius site.
You may have noticed a new wooden sailboat at slip A01 built by Eliot Spurway.Building a sailboat is one of the most difficult woodworking projects that anyone can do. Eliot did a marvelous job. If you have not seen it, you should stop by and admire his work. This is also the season for the ultra high tech America's cup race. Those rigs are amazingly fast. Our sailing fun can range from honored traditions to ultra high tech. No wonder I like it so much.
Our facilities assessment is continuing with the hope of keeping everything in good shape. One area of concern is the lower picnic shelter. Many of the vertical columns have decayed substantially and something must be done. We know this was the original shelter and holds many fond memories for members. However, the general conditions and housekeeping raise the question of what to do. We must either repair the existing structure, retire it, or replace it with a new structure. A new structure would probably have a concrete floor and look very different. Any repair or replacement should also include requirements for better housekeeping. No club members would be allowed to store masts or equipment in the new or refurbished structure Please contact me or any board member to share your ideas about the better strategy.
Be safe, have fun and sail fast.
Larry Conrad
May 5, 2017

Commodore May 2017

Welcome the month of May and the spring winds. Actually, spring winds have been a little less than hoped for, but we still are havin' fun. Racing is in full swing and we have Mother’s Day and Memorial Day social events coming soon. Come out and enjoy the fun at Eagle Creek Sailing Club.
This article was posted a few days late in order to wait for results of the May 10 Board of Directors Meeting. There was a very busy agenda to report on. It seemed important to use this article to talk about the significant work underway.
The Grounds Committee completed a significant assessment of all facilities to assess condition. This will guide capital and maintenance plans over the next few years. Overall, we see a need to accelerate maintenance in some areas. We are queuing up structural work on the lower shelter and upper shelter deck. The Emerald Ash Borer killed several ash trees that need removal. The L dock rebuild is nearly complete. We will likely purchase a new outboard motor for our second committee boat known affectionately as the aircraft carrier. Also, some picnic tables are in line for repair or replacement. Some lighting improvements are also in the works.
We have a punch list of additional improvement opportunities. In consideration of the maintenance opportunities, our Board approved an additional 15 hours of work credits in 2017 to be applied to 2018 dues for incremental work above the usual 15 hours. These apply to Harbormaster and Grounds work only. We want to fully support the volunteer spirit that does so much to improve ECSC. Look for a list of opportunities in the near future. We will also supplement with outside help as appropriate.
We also met with Citizen’s Energy last month about lake levels. Citizen’s is under contract with the city to maintain the dam and lake level. You may have noticed the average lake level has been higher the last few years. This has contributed to shore and seawall erosion. They now have a better understanding of lake level impacts.
One less popular item is the approval to increase initiation fees by $250 starting January 1, 2018. This fee has been stable for many years. Our facilities are at capacity and our capital improvement assessment has shown the need for additional funds in the near future.
Accelerating maintenance and capital replacement is a less fun, but important part of continuing the outstanding experience for members of ECSC. Sailing season is now in full swing! Be safe, have fun, and sail fast.
Larry Conrad
April 3, 2017

Commodore – April 2017

Welcome spring! The first Saturday of April was filled with activity at ECSC. It is always encouraging to see so many people working to have our club ready for the season. The kitchen area was completely cleaned and organized. Another crew pulled everything out of the upper storage area and re-organized it. The boat lift, safety boat and R/C boat are in the water and ready for the first race on April 12. The grounds are cleaned of leaves and other debris. Stairway lighting is re-installed. Some sections of dock have been completely re-built (this project is ongoing and will continue until completed - see Harbormaster article)   I probably missed a few items so a big THANK YOU goes out to all of the volunteers and organizers. It is our members that make Eagle Creek Sailing Club the best sailing club on the planet. We are seeing a steady stream of new members. Many members are busily cleaning and prepping their boats for launching. Some boats are already in the water. It is time to start sailing. For me, the winches have been cleaned and re-greased. The temporary sail loft at my house is closed after sewing a new tri-radial 155 Genoa kit. Hopefully S/V Delightful will sail a little faster in light wind and no longer need to take a 3 second penalty for oversized sails. The cruiser fleet is growing and getting more competitive. It is always fun learning to sail just a little better every year. Hope to see you soon at ECSC. Your Commodore, Larry Conrad
March 3, 2017

Commodore – March 2017

Sailing season is getting closer every day. Spring will be here in less than a month. The first race of the season is just a month and a half away. We are all getting anxious to go sailing.

Speaking of warmer weather, our past Commodore Perry Cameron wrote last year about sailing in March to take advantage of the strong winds. Rumor has it that he beat March by a month this year. Club spies have given me reports that his J24 was seen out sailing on some of the warm February days we had last month. Now that is real dedication to sailing.

Sailing soothes my soul. There is something special about gliding through the waves using only the wind for power. Tweak a sheet, traveler or other line and feel the speed change. Tune everything so the tiller feels good and the windex points just right. Feel the boat get in that groove and just go. Worries fade away when I focus on sailing. 

Our Eagle Creek Sailing Club makes sailing even better. Social events, regattas, education programs and racing all enhance our experience. Drop the hook and raft up with friends for a relaxing day on the water. Watch our youth learn to sail and represent our club at regional events. Learn new skills from fellow club members. ECSC members are always ready to welcome and help each other.

Are you ready for the season to begin? I know I am.

 

Larry Conrad