By Pamela A. Keene
You can take part in the romance of sailing on Lake Lanier through nearly a half-dozen clubs on the lake. All you have to do is contact the clubs and they can help you connect with sailors who are willing to use you as crew on races or perhaps offer you a cruise to introduce you to the sport.
Some of the clubs support education and casual events on the water; others focus on racing specifically. With five clubs to choose from, there’s a chance for people of any interest level to get their feet wet sailing on Lake Lanier.
Here’s information about the lake’s membership sailing clubs:
Atlanta Inland Sailing Club
AISC hosts the Dogwood Regatta each spring and 20 Wednesday night races in the main channel of the lake off Aqualand marina in the summer. The group’s chief purpose is racing. It is active from late March through September. aiscracing.com.
Barefoot Sailing Club BFSC is known for its annual Barefoot Open Regatta each fall, but it’s also a great social and educational outlet for people interested in sailing, new sailors and old salts. The club hosts cruising and events and members are encouraged to take new sailors out on their boats.
The club’s monthly meetings on the fourth Monday of the month take place at Nemoe’s Tavern and Grill, 6025 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, and visitors are welcome. Speakers’ topics include how to cruise, boating safety, racing pointers and special guests who share their stories of the sea or the latest information about sailing and technology. Social events include monthly cruising and an annual lobster boil. www.barefootsailingclub.org.
Lake Lanier Sailing Club, Flowery Branch LLSC is one of two land-based sailing clubs on Lake Lanier.
It hosts an annual open house for the community — this year’s event will be held on May 12. In addition to regular sailboat races for one-design boats and larger auxiliary boats, the club holds three multi-day sailing camps for youngsters each summer; these camps are typically open to children of members only. The club offers a full year of social events, including wine tastings and sunset concerts. Both wet-slip and dry storage are available for members. www.llsc.com.
Southern Sailing Club
SSC hosts the Love the Lake Regatta each September to benefit the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. Known for its laid-back approach to sailing and racing, the club hosts several competitive racing series each year. The club’s website is rich with content about sailing techniques, social events and information for both racers and cruisers. www.southernsailingclub.org.
University Yacht Club, Flowery Branch
As a private members-only club, UYC offers its members full club services, including both wet and dry storage for all kinds of boats, social events and boating outings for members and their families, plus a clubhouse with dining room and restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner on select days. Fuel, pump-out and a ship’s store are located on site. UYC’s Bulloch Chapel is the site of Sunday morning church services in the summer. www.universityyachtclub.org.
Additionally, there are several sailing schools on Lake Lanier that provide various levels of instruction and sailing certifications, and social events:
Lanier Sailing Academy, headquartered at Holiday Marina. laniersail.com.
Lord Nelson Charters, located at Lanier Islands. www.lordnelsonsharters.com.
SunRise Sailing Academy, based at Sunrise Cove Marina. sunrisesailingclub.com.
Windsong Sailing Academy, with on-shore classes and in-water instruction based at Holiday marina. www.windsongsail.com.
With this many options, there’s no excuse to simply watch those pretty sailboats from the shore or the cockpit of your power boat. Give sailing a try and you may just be hooked.