70s Lightning drifter
Current News
Wow! Spring is finally here and the SYC boatyard is OPEN!

We are looking forward to a full sailing season at the lake this year including:

  • Monthly first (or last) Friday dinners out.
  • Monthly moonlight sails June thru September.
  • Resumption of the free community sailing lessons.
  • Resumption of SYC club racing.

 You can participate in all of the above for only:

  • $50 social membership or
  • $100 boating membership or
  • $150 racing membership

Send your check to SYC, Box 221, Topeka, KS 66601 or use Paypal via the Shawneeyachtclub.org web page

We are looking forward to another great year at SYC,  

Mark Marling

An Appeal to SYC Alumni

Do you remember:

Those lazy summer days watching the sailing activity from the shade under the old hyperbolic paraboloid shelter?

Brent Nothern

SYC's Brent Nothern died unexpectedly December 14, 2020. Brent was a fixture at SYC since he was young and, in more recent years, sailing and working with his dad, Austin, on their boats.  Brent was also a photographer and generously provided SYC with photos of many of our events. Our hearts go out to his family. We'll miss seeing Brent out on the water.


SYC Facility Upgrade Plans

SYC Site Plan

With 2021 being SYC's 80th year, plans are in-the-works for a major upgrade to club facilities to support future generations of local sailing enthusiasts and make room for new developments at Lake Shawnee.


Forbes Weather
36.0°F - Fair
West at 11.5 mph
Wind Chill
Coming Events
(Subject to Covid Restrictions)
  • 5/15, Work Party, 9:00 am, SYC
  • 5/28, Wine & Cheese Party, 5:30pm-10:00pm, SYC
  • 6/2, First Intro to Sailing & Racing, 6:00 pm, SYC
  • 6/6, First Sunday Race, 2:00 pm, SYC
  • 6/26, Full Moon Social, 5:30pm-10:00pm, SYC
Mark's Sailing Blog
Mistakes I've Made This Year (so far)
Going into the top mark at the Nationals this year, positioned in the top 10, I hit the mark (1). Re rounding instead of doing a 360(2) cost me about 20 boat places. I should have continued on, and then done a 360 penalty turn. Probably would have only cost maybe 5 places.

Not recognizing that the boat was slowing down in increasing wind. Because I was still able to hold it down and point high, I thought I was OK (Lottawana and Nationals). Probably cost me 4 to 8 boat lengths per mile. Trying to point high in light winds will also slow you down. The solution is to ease your sheet or traveler and bear off a little. In high wind also move your board back a little. Everything just works better if you have a little speed.

Going down wind and not remembering that the wind seems to travel in lanes. Some lanes are faster than others. If you are not in the fast lane, get there. One recent race (yesterday) I was passed by two boats who were in the fast lane. Then they moved over in front of me! I then moved over into the now vacant fast lane and was able to pass them back. If you can see the puffs, go get in them. Sometimes, even when you can't see the puffs, there is still a fast lane. If you see the other boats going faster, get over there.

OK, this one is a little tougher for me to diagnose. In light air, nearly laying the windward mark, boats are lifting out on your weather quarter. Do you hold on hoping their wind will fade? I usually do. Bad decision. One race at Lottawana cost me seven places, another cost me two places. Several races here at Shawnee this year I've lost places when this happened. The solution is to swallow your pride and cut your losses and go get into the better wind.

Miscellaneous thoughts:
When ever two boats cross upwind, one of them is going the wrong way.
If you don't know which tack is the correct tack, be on the tack pointing you closer to the mark.
The wind is seldom from a uniform direction.
If two boats are 100 yards apart, and the wind shifts 10 degrees, the gain (or loss) is a staggering 25 yards.
Keep checking the angles you are making with the angles of the other boats.
Always consolidate your gains when you can. Or cut your losses (don't hold on to a looser thinking it will come back).
It's a geometry game. (But you got to go fast.)