Cave Run Sailing Association
A Brief History
On December 11, 1977 a meeting was held in Lexington, Kentucky by several local sailing
enthusiasts to discuss the formation of a sailing club at Cave Run Lake completed in 1974 to
provide flood control to down-stream areas in Kentucky and Ohio. Ten families were
represented and membership, by-laws and racing committees were established. The first official
meeting of the Cave Run Sailing Association was held on March 1, 1978. Thirty-two Charter
Members attended this meeting and they elected the following Charter Officers to manage this
Vice Commodore…………………………Charlie Curry
Rear Commodore……………………….Jerry Goldberger
Social Chairman…………………………..Beth Jett
The Sunfish was the most popular sailboat in the newly formed CRSA. Seven Charter Members
were Sunfish sailors. No more than two of any other boat type was represented.
Three Charter Members still remain members of the Association and there are several life
members. These are:
The first sailing event, “All Sails Day”, was held on Saturday, May 1, 1978 and the first
racing was held the next day. Six boats participated and the Race Committee made do
with borrowed and make-shift equipment. Sporadic racing events were held through
1978 which culminated in the first Grand Annual Regatta in October. 18 boats sailed in
the regatta in a mixed handicap fleet. This regatta has become the major sailing event
each year, typically drawing 30-40 boats for the weekend event.
A more active social and racing schedule was established in 1979 including a spring
and fall racing series with separate starts for daysailors and cruisers with the cruising
boats serving as race committee boats. Liaison with the U.S. Forest Service and the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began in 1979 to help improve the sailing related facilities
at the lake.
By 1980 the membership of the Cave Run Sailing Association had grown to 67 families.
The racing schedule was expanded to 16 races and a pontoon boat was purchased to
serve as a race committee boat. A chase boat (aptly named “Big Ugly”) was acquired a
few years later. Under the guidance of Jack Brown, the club began conducting courses
for those interested in learning how to sail. Many sailing school members have since
joined CRSA. In 2006 CRSA acquired a new Committee Boat and motor, a luxurious 24
foot modern industrial strength pontoon boat.
Since 1978, over 350 sailors have raced at Cave Run Lake. The first of several major
regattas was hosted by CRSA in 1980..the Midwest Regional Sunfish Championships.
The experience gained at this even led to additional events hosted by CRSA:
1980 – Midwest Regional Sunfish Championship
1981 – Force 5/Apollo Regional Championship
1982 – North-American Sunfish Doubles Championship
1983 – US-1 National Championship Regatta
1988 – Volant National Championship Regatta
1988 – National One-Design World Championship
1991 – Flying Scot Ohio District Championship
1992, 93, 94 & 95 – Thistle Thoroughbred Regattas
2000 – Blue Grass State Games Sailing Competition
2004 – Flying Scot Ohio District Championship
In 1983 Skip Hunt was certified as a recognized Race Official by the United States
Yacht Racing Union. In 2006 Chris Bollinger and Dave Davison were also certified.
These certifications are further enhancements of our abilities to adequately host and
manage major invitational sailing events.
The Grand Annual Regatta continues to be quite successful in that many sailors from
nearby lakes in Ohio and Indiana come to sail with us. These sailors (many established
One-Design Fleets) have historically done quite well due to their increased sailing
experience. It has become clear to many CRSA members that the establishment of
One-Design Fleet racing would enhance their sailing skills and since 1986 One-Design
sailing has become very popular at Cave Run Lake.
One-Design Fleets chartered at the lake were:
Sunfish Fleet – 1981
Thistle Fleet – 1986
Flying Scot Fleet 165 – 1988
Hobie- 16 Fleet – 1989
Many members of these fleets are also attending class activities at nearby lakes thus
gaining valuable sailing experience and spreading the Cave Run influence. Flying Scot
Fleet 165 was recognized as the 1991 Fleet of the Year by the Flying Scot Sailing
Association for the enthusiastic support and participation of its members.
In 1988 CRSA became involved with the Lexington Speech and Hearing Center
sponsoring the Bluegrass Charity Regatta, a charity event to raise funds for the Center.
This very popular event, began under the leadership of Al Lawton, As of 2006 over
$62,000 has been raised for the Speech and Hearing Center
A mooring field was installed at the Scott Creek Marina in 1981 in response to the
increased popularity of sailing. This resulted in the attraction of larger cruising boats (up
to 30’) that routinely would be kept in the water as opposed to trailerable 20’ – 23’ boats.
Those members who choose to keep their boats on trailers (mostly on-designed
daysailors) are fortunate to have “Captain Hooks” Boatyard available
Forest Service in August 1979. As a result, the prospectus for a lodge at Caney Creek
includes a sailing marina.
CRSA participates in the “Adopt-a-Highway” program by providing clean-up services
along 2 miles of Route 801 adjacent to the lake.
The Cave Run Sailing Association is the only recognized sailing organization in Eastern
Kentucky with a 150 mile sphere of influence. Members of the Club come from
Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio.
A Lifetime Membership Classification was adopted by the CRSA Officials in 1989 to
recognize outstanding service to the Club. The members so honored to date are Jack
Brown, Beth Jett, Ruth Brown, and Tamas Gal.
Without the goodwill of June Hooks, whose rental storage facility is located, adjacent to
the Scott Creek Marina and launching ramp, the sailing opportunities at Cave Run Lake
would not be as successful as they are.
Sailing activities at Cave Run Lake have become full weekend events including racing
and social events. Four weekends each, in the spring and fall, comprise the heart of the
CRSA yearly schedule with Saturday and/or Sunday racing. Saturday night socials, raftup’s
and camping, sailing schools and camps, fun day events, off lake cruises, the
Charity Regatta, the Grand Annual Regatta, winter socials, and the annual banquet in
November have rounded out the annual calendar of events for CRSA members over
CRSA began teaching sailing classes for beginning and intermediate sailing. Instructors
included Al Lawton, Paul Harbour, Steve Applegate, Jim Bugay and Bill Lubawy. Bill
Jones serves as the sailing school principal and organizes the on the lake instruction.
Classes have had between 15 and 30 students and consist of two evenings of “ground
school” followed by a Saturday of on the water experience with CRSA skippers for both
Beginning and Intermediate sailing. The classes have been an excellent way for more
people to become familiar with CRSA and with sailing in central Kentucky.
In recent years, bareboat cruising events have been added to the association’s
schedule of activities. These fun-filled adventures provide an economical way of
exposing the membership to coastal sailing.
Routine ongoing work of CRSA Officers deal with efforts to improve convenience items such as
tie-off docks at launching ramps, positioning of light poles so that masts can clear, storage for
dinghies, and a recognition of certain unique requirements associated with sailboats. The Club
wrote a proposal requesting the construction of a sailing marina at Cave Run Lake which was
submitted to the United States
Honorary membership was created in 1998 and bestowed on June Hook for all her
support of the Association.
In 2000, CRSA became a 501c4 social organization, reducing liability exposure of all
members (especially officers and CRSA insurance costs).
CRSA also established several awards to be presented annually at the membership
The Charles Jett III Award, consisting of a rotating trophy and a permanent julep cup, is
presented to the outstanding member of the year in recognition of overall contributions
to CRSA, commitment, leadership and good sportsmanship.
The “Commodore’s Award” is presented to an individual who displays unusual
dedication and responsibility to facilitating the programs of CRSA.
The “Best Crew” award is presented annually to an individual who most consistently
assists a captain in racing. The most recent recipients are:
In 2006 Commodore Sam Moore, with the approval of the Executive Committee,
instituted the “Most Active New Member” award.
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