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Club fills sails of boating fans
Local enthusiasts learn ropes or enhance skills
By Khalil E. Hachem
News Staff Reporter
Michael Sinclair dabbled in sailing when
he was a little boy but hadn't tried it in
On Saturday, the 60-year-old New Zealand
native stood on the shores of Baseline Lake
north of Dexter eagerly awaiting his turn to
rig a small boat and confront the wind.
"I would like to get going," said
Sinclair, who teaches law in New York City
and lives with his wife in Ann Arbor. His
wife paid for his sailing lessons as a
Photos by Leisa Thompson, The Ann Arbor News
Jim Rennell of Dexter, above, gets his
sailboat ready for action Saturday on Baseline
Lake at the University of Michigan Sailing Club
near Dexter. Rennell, who has been with the
club for 14 years, said "I'm just hooked on
sailing and I love doing it."
Left, many new sailors were ready and waiting for
their chance on the water as the sailing club
offered lessons Saturday. The club offers
instructions every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1
p.m. to beginners, and a place to sail for
experienced sailors the rest of the week.
Sinclair and more than 20 sailing enthusiasts
milled around Saturday at the University of
Michigan Sailing Club, waiting for the rain to
subside to start sailing and windsurfing lessons.
The club, at 8010 Strawberry Lake Road, offers
instruction every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to
beginners, and a place to sail for experienced
sailors the rest of the week, said Kevin Bosley,
commodore at the club for 15 years. Sundays are
reserved for tournaments, he said.
"It's a place for everybody," Bosley said.
"Whether you are a sailor or have never seen a
boat, you are welcome."
The sailing club was founded in 1938 by U-M
naval architecture students, who raised enough
money to put a down payment on two small sailing
boats. Now, the club offers six windsurfing boards
and 22 sailboats, ranging from a one-person boat to
one that holds six people. Equipment is available
on a first come-first-served basis, Bosley
Members vary in age from 8 to 80 years old, and
differ in skills, Bosley said. Although some
members have won national championships, most of
them work with beginners to enhance their skills,
Membership numbers vary from season to season
with about 197 people currently enlisted, but
Bosley expects that number to grow to about 350 by
the end of the season. The club accepts anyone
interested in sailing or learning to sail, with or
without a university affiliation, he said.
Before being able to use club boats, members
must demonstrate efficiency in sailing
fundamentals, such as tacking (turning the boat
into the wind), hiking (leaning to counteract a
tilt) and docking. Hannah Melia and her husband,
Tobias Berger, of Ann Arbor are still novice
sailors with four lessons under their belts.
"It is a little bit technical but exciting,"
said Melia. "Even if you tip over, it is still
Jinky Hernandez agreed.
"Capsizing is part of the fun," said Hernandez,
a dental student in Ann Arbor. She stood on the
dock Saturday after her boat turned over, promising
to stay out of the water next week. "I will try
The Ann Arbor News