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About Our Chicago Chapter


Officers:  Commodore Susan Tonon, Treasurer Dennis Higdon
Staff:       Yeoman:
John Grey,  Webmaster Mike Fitzsimmons

The principal purpose of our Club is to have Fun!  When we can, we couple that fun  in some way with sailing.   We have boats of our own now!  We have Sunfish at Lake Opeka in Des Plaines Illinois.  We also sail on Lake Michigan in 16 Foot Hobie Cats and 13 Foot Hobie Waves at the Wilmette Beach Harbor.  We held our own Regatta this past September in Lake Michigan at Belmont Harbor.  Our Regatta  hosted Virgin Atlantic, Quantas and Air Canada.  Air Canada lost out to Virgin in the final race but everyone who attended had a great time in perfect weather.    

Our club often attends or hosts a Regatta that challenges one or two other Airline clubs to race and socialize for a long weekend or  week together.   Some of our past Regattas have included inviting other Airlines like British Airways, Air Canada, Lufthansa, Finnair, Quantas, Air New Zealand and KLM to see Chicago and race against us at Lake Geneva.  We usually host the guests at our own homes to keep their costs low.   Picnics,  Sunset pleasure sails, Chicago tours, Shopping and Barbeques all are part of each event.  The best part about these events are that we make friends from around the world and participate in Regattas in their countries in reciprocal races and parties.  

An example of a two recent World Airline Sailing Championship events was the July 1999 meeting of 12 Airline sailing clubs in Hamburg, Germany.  The host airline, Lufthansa, arranged for racing in Outer Alster Lake, which is located in midtown Hamburg.   We not only raced in style in 20 foot National Conger dinghies, we shopped, toured and partied throughout the event.  Races are held for two days after one day of practice in the race boats.  The event came to a fantastic close with awards ceremonies, dinner and dancing while cruising on the Elbe River.    Just as exciting was our most recent World event in London in July 2000 at British Airways Dinghy Racing Club.   They were excellent hosts for 13 Airlines.  Activities included BBQ, River Thames cruise with dining and dancing and a fantastic Awards Dinner and Dance at their Concorde Club at Heathrow Airport on the last day of Racing.   This year's event is in Finland, courtesy of Finnair Sailing Club.  We host the 2002 event right here in Chicago.

One of the best parts of these events is the renewal of old friendships and the forging of new ones.  As airline employees, we all travel around the world.  It's great to invite our sailing friends to stay with us when they are in town and then stay with them when we travel to  their events. 

In March of 1999, our club was invited to compete with Quantas and Air New Zealand (the host) at the spectacular Queenstown lake in the South Island of New Zealand.  The races were not that exciting due to lack of wind, but the location was!  This is where Bungee Jumping was invented!  Rocket rides, Jet Boat thrill rides, Byplane excursions, Historic Steamer ferries, great shopping and New Zealand hospitality made it worth the trip.  We lost the races but won the best vacation you could hope for sharing time with the Australian and New Zealand friends we have known and sailed with before.


    Other events and locations that our club has participated in:

Summer Friendly Regatta, Chicago Belmont Harbor J22's Virgin, Air Canada & United Sept 16, 2000

 23rd World Airline Sailing Championships June 1998 - Host SAS at Bergen, Norway

Summer Invitational Regatta September 1998 Lake Geneva WI, Guests British Airways

22nd World Airline Sailing Championships July 1997 - Host United Airlines, San Francisco

Sunset Sails aboard "The Great Old Broad" on Lake Michigan with dinner at Columbia Yacht Club

Christmas Parties, Pot Luck with our unique Gift "Steal" lottery game 

Pre Race warm-ups July 1999 with the British Airways club in London racing their Enterprise boats 

Attending the Strictly Sail Exhibition of Sailboats and gear at Navy Pier each February

Racing Hobie Cats at Wilmette Harbor and Burgers at Meyers Tavern Wednesdays in the summer

Monthly meetings to plan our next party, regatta, race or trip or just share pictures and stories

Next event:  The 26th W A S C, Host Finnair, Naantali, Finnland, Jun 28, 2001.


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Site last Updated on: Wednesday, September 19, 2001
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