Photo courtesy Fleet 204.


Photo courtesy Fleet 204.

By Glen Repko, Schroon Lake Association

Have you ever wanted to try sailing?  You might get a chance on Saturday August 15th when Central New York Hobie Cat Fleet 204 sailors visit Schroon Lake, NY.

The group is a sailing club headquartered in Syracuse, NY.  At the invitation of the Schroon Lake Association, lake stewards for beautiful Schroon Lake, they will be visiting the lake at the public dock by the Bandstand all day Saturday, August 15th to visit with the public and anyone interested in the sport of Hobie Cat sailing starting at 10am.

They will be offering information about sailing Hobie Cat multi-hull sailboats, regatta racing and offering an opportunity to go for a ride.  Later in the day they will be sailing Schroon Lake to learn more about the Lake, wind and area for a possible full sailing regatta in the future.

Hobie Cat sailing is very popular throughout the country.  Fleet 204 members are part of Hobie Cat Division 16 organized by the Hobie Cat Association, (HCA).  The Fleet is made up of top notch nationally recognized racing sailors.  They compete against some of the best multi-hull sailors in the country.  The Hobie Cat 16 (foot) sailboat was recently highlighted and participated in the Pan Am Games in Toronto when team members Mark Modderman and his daughter Grace took the Silver medal on July 19th.

Fleet 204 has been around for 39 years and has hosted an annual sailing regatta in May in Syracuse on nearby Oneida Lake.  Over 60 teams -- comprised of a skipper and one crew member at the helm of Hobie Cats of varying sizes  -- attend the event.  The teams bring friends and family members with them to participate in and watch the regatta. 

Participants will travel from Canada, Michigan, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the entire northeast U.S. to compete in these very fast sleek sailing crafts

With their visit to Schroon Lake Fleet 204 is hoping to help organize a future regatta on Schroon Lake.  Fleet 204 Commodore Therese Straigis said “We are happy to send Fleet sailing representatives at the invitation of the Schroon Lake Association to check out the Lake conditions, surrounding area, the Village and facilities they offer.”  She continued, “To attract large numbers of competitive regatta racers, all types of things need to come together and we are encouraged by what Schroon Lake has to offer and are very happy to accept the invitation to participate in this visit on August 15th. The Town has done a great job and we are looking forward to sailing there.”

Hobie Cats come in different size lengths and styles.  The most popular is the Hobie 16 which is used for both casual and recreational sailing but is also found in all competitive regattas.  There is a 13 foot version called the Wave which is perfect for kids, families and is also used for racing.  For the real experienced and competitive sailors the Wild Cat is an 18 foot long craft utilizing 3 sails including a spinnaker in addition to the traditional and jib sails found on the 16. 

Local Hobie Cat sailors are invited to bring their boats to the public beach and launch area to participate in the sail around event.  The public is encouraged to participate by visiting with the Fleet 204 Hobie sailors starting at 10am.  Experienced skippers will be on hand to answer questions about sailing and Hobie Cats.  If you are interested in taking a ride, arrive anytime between 10am and 1pm.  A safety waiver will be required by all participants, children between the ages of 10-17 will need a parent/guardian’s permission to sail in the event.

For more information about Fleet 204 and the event, visit fleet204.com or contact Bruce Krupke at 315-427-1719 or locally Glen Repko of the Schroon Lake Association at glenschroonlakeassociation@gmail.com or by calling 914-456-2222. 

Spectators are encouraged to visit the beach and watch the sailing event from shore or from personal watercraft on beautiful Schroon Lake.  This event is open to the public at no charge and all are encouraged to visit with the sailors and view the beautiful sailboats with their colorful sails.