About Us

Leaders

Commodore:

Paul Follansbee

Secretary:

Sandy Trend

Treasurer:

Walt Read

Race Committee:

Walt Read
Rob Knowles


History

In the early 80’s, Gary Searles started hosting sailing races at his camp on Crystal Lake in Harrison, Maine. After a couple of years, he moved the races to Long Lake, just off from his offices at the Anchorage. He ran two races a year. As many as twenty boats of all sizes participated. He used PHRF handicap system and made awards for the first three spots. In two classes. Tee shirts and a buffet were included in the $20.00 entry fee. Gary not only sponsored the races, he raced in them. He and Henry Hudson were the real founders of racing in the area.

Around 1988 or 1989, three sailors who sailed in the two annual races, felt they would like to race more often. Rob Knowles, Alan Boise, and Virgil Duemler got together one winter evening and decided to create a sailing club that would race on Tuesday nights and maybe a couple of more weekend races. The club was founded on three principles. First, it had to be simple and easy, secondly, it had to be cheap, and lastly, it had to be fun. With this in mind, we gathered people together and set $25.00 as the fee that would off-set trophy and operation costs. We decided, for liability reasons, that we would not create a formal organization. Alan put the checking under his tax number and Virgil and Rob got the racing marks, and set up the courses. Jim Allen, from Naples Marina was racing at the time and sold Rob Knowles the pontoon boat for $.96 along with the maple tree that was growing in it. A napkin was the bill of sale. Rob bartered for a number of motors and finally bought the one we currently use.

Almost immediately, Gary gave the responsibility of all the weekend races to the club. Since that time, we have run the entire show. Gary continues to sponsor the races and we continue use his docking facilities. He no longer races but is still a lynch pin in the system. Around 1997 or1998, Pat Klofas joined the sailing club and instantly sponsored the Tuesday Night Series. Lake Region Therapy has been its only sponsor and continues to support the club. We have had great success with this series, hosting as many as 25 boats on a given night.

The club had a brief period when Ken Wotton was Social Director and had many evening tie up parties anchored just off one of the many islands in Long Lake. Several years in a row, a number of boats would gather up and go into Sebago for a couple of days; rafting up at night was quite an event.

Racing and introducing new sailors to racing has been the greatest success for the club. We have four major races a year including the Bray’s Cup at the end of the year. We have had a number of formats including races that have gone the entire length of the lake. Lake Region Sailing Club is comprised of a myriad of different sailors at different skill levels. We have never had any protest flags for the races and the interaction of all the sailors with one another is one of support. We are competitive but only to a point. This speaks volumes about the group.

Lake Region Sailing Club is twenty years old now and sailors have come and gone and some have returned again. We have nurtured young sailors, and we have enticed older folks to get into sailing. We have, for twenty years, presented a beautiful picture on Long Lake. No one can watch twenty-plus sailboats tacking and shifting, wing-on-wing or heeled over on a beat and not be moved. This club is a success.