Club 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, three of whom still remain members of the club, attended this meeting and they elected the following Charter Officers to manage this association:

Commodore……………………………………Jack Brown
Vice Commodore…………………………Charlie Curry
Rear Commodore……………………….Jerry Goldberger
Secretary…………………………………………Tom Elsert
Treasurer………………………………………..Charlie Jett
Harbormaster…………………………………Ken Miller
Social Chairman…………………………..Beth Jett

There are also a few life members:

Matt Colker
Paul Harbor
Beth Jett

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. 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. Sporadic racing events were held through 1978 which culminated in the first Grand Annual Regatta in October. Eighteen 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. 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. One-Design Fleets chartered at the lake were:

Sunfish Fleet – 1981
Thistle Fleet – 1986
Flying Scot Fleet 165 – 1988
Hobie- 16 Fleet – 1989

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 one-design daysailors) are fortunate to have “Captain Hooks” Boatyard available. 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. Honorary membership was created in 1998 and bestowed on June Hook for all of her ongoing support of the Association.

In 1988, the CRSA became involved with the Lexington Hearing and Speech Center via the Center’s sponsoring of the Bluegrass Charity Regatta; a charity event to raise funds for the Center. This very popular event that began under the leadership of Al Lawton, has raised over $62,000 for the Speech and Hearing Center as of 2006.

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.

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, raft-ups 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 the years.

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.

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 – A rotating trophy and a permanent julep cup, presented to the outstanding member of the year in recognition of overall contributionsto CRSA, commitment, leadership and good sportsmanship.
The “Commodore’s Award” – Presented to an individual who displays unusual dedication and responsibility to facilitating the programs of CRSA.
The “Best Crew” Award – Presented annually to an individual who most consistently assists a captain in racing.

The Most Active New Member Award – No explanation needed here!

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