Thousand Island Park
Yacht Club

Races & RegattasRacing.htmlRacing.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0
Commodore’s BallCommodores_Ball.htmlCommodores_Ball.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0
Learn to SailLearn_to_Sail_June_Page.htmlLearn_to_Sail_June_Page.htmlshapeimage_6_link_0
Calendar of EventsCalandar_of_Events.htmlCalandar_of_Events.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0

The Commodore’s Ball will once again be held at the Harbor Inn under the Big Tent.  The event begins at 4:00 on the Main Dock with hors d’oeuvres and drinks prior to a river cruise to Clayton provided by Clayton Island Tours.

As is tradition, there will also be the Silent Auction.  Already, a number of businesses have provided items.  Those businesses include Freighter’s, Clayton Distillery, the Antique Boat Museum, Hilda's Place, The Golden Cleat, Spicer’s, Michael Ringer Gallery, Wood Boat Brewery, DeLuke’s Nursery, Northern Flow Vineyards, River Golf Mini Golf, Sea Bags, the Thousand Island Country Club, St. Lawrence Pottery, Brion Price Photography, and Reinman’s.  In addition, there will be themed summer baskets and TIPYC swag.

After additional hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and socializing at the Harbor Inn, a buffet dinner (with cash bar) will be served featuring a carving station with roast top sirloin, mixed field greens, baskets of warm rolls and butter, a seasonal vegetable, seafood Newburgh, marinated pork loin, garlic parmesan whipped potatoes, tortellini primavera, and a NY style cheesecake with raspberry sauce.

Music will be provided by Fred & the Eds.  The return trip to T.I. Park will be at 9:00 with additional beverages provided at the Pavilion to end the evening and Silent Auction.


In a change from previous years, the Yacht Club’s first social event will be a Blessing of the Fleet on Saturday, July 2nd, at 4:00 followed by hors d’oeuvres and drinks at the Pavilion.

The Reverend Jack Anderson will officiate the ceremony.  In addition to blessing the Yacht Club’s non-motorized fleet, people will be encouraged to attend with their own vessels – both motorized or not.  Participants can anchor or drift off the main dock during the blessing, and then either park at the Main Dock, or disembark their crews with captains returning the boats to their slips before returning to the Main Dock themselves.

For many years, the Yacht Club has hosting a social opener at the beginning of the summer season, the Line & Wine, to allow Park residents a first chance to see old friends and catch up after the long winter away from the Park.  By moving the event to a Saturday, the Yacht Club hopes even more people will be able to attend.


From only one annual event just a few years ago, the sail racing scene at T.I. Park has now grown to four, with the Laser & Sunfish Regatta in July, the James S. Dickson Race in August (both open to all ages), the TIPYC v ABM Kids’ Regatta in collaboration with the Antique Boat Museum, and participation in the Grindstone Island Sailing Team Regatta in Clayton.

Indeed, the 2nd Annual Laser & Sunfish Regatta in July became the Yacht Club’s first International Regatta in several years with the inclusion of two Canadian Entries. 

Eight Laser Sailors competed in four races, with winds becoming brisk and pushing 20 knots for the last two races.  Racing was very tight between the two leaders, Peter Bushnell of the Willow Bank Yacht Club in Cazenovia, New York (and Secretary of the International Laser Class Association, District 9) and Kingston Yacht Club member Gord Crothers of Wolfe Island.  Joe Miller of the Ithaca Yacht Club took third followed by Tom French and TIPYC Counselor Nicholas Pearson who also won first in the Junior Division.

It was a first trip to Thousand Island Park for Peter Bushnell and Joe Miller.  Both are friends of Tom French’s through the New York State Laser Racing Circuit, of which Thousand Island Park is now a part.  There are about ten sanctioned ILCA Laser Regattas across New York State every year including national events such as the No Coast Championship (with over 40 boats held in Ithaca last year) and the US Masters Nationals held at the Rochester Yacht Club in 2014 with over 100 entrants.  Peter, Joe, and Tom all took part in that event on Lake Ontario.

14 Sailors also participated in the Sunfish class with 8 boats.  The race course (for both classes) was a traditional Olympic triangle with the second lap a sausage with a beat to the top mark and a square run to the bottom.  The Sunfish were able to put in two races before the winds increased and racing was suspended.

Macabee Werndorf took honors with first.  Second place was awarded to Maryjane and Walker Pennington with Hannah Baker and Nicole Hatton taking third.

The kids also came up with their own awards – Best Turtle & Coolest Sunfish.

James S. Dickson Memorial Race

As always, the James S. Dickson Memorial Race was held the first Sunday of August.  Named after one of the founders of the modern day iteration of the Thousand Island Park Yacht Club, this was the 20th year of the event. 

The 2016 honoree was long-time Yacht Club member, Jane Gillett.  Jane recalled many memories and antidotes from her twenty-plus years of service to the club.  She also informed attendees that the Lightning owned by her mom in 1938 was one of the first Lightnings made.  It has been reported that at one time, T.I. Park had one the largest Lightning Fleets in the country.

Eight boats with twelve sailors in two classes competed in the race – five Lasers and 3 Sunfish.

Nick Pearson will have the honor of holding the famed stovetop trophy as champion of the 2016 race.

TIPYC v ABM Hosted at Main Dock

The 3rd Annual TIPYC v ABM Fun Regatta was hosted by the Thousand Island Park Yacht Club in 2016.  16 Students from both schools participated, racing both Sunfish and Optimist class boats. 

The sailors had a chance to meet other kids their age with similar interests and the instructors compared notes on how to keep up with a sport that is growing more and more in popularity.  Everyone was a winner with awards for best capsizes, recoveries, hiking, and several other humorous categories.  In what has become a tradition, food and refreshments were supplied by the guests, ABM

This year’s TIPYC v ABM will be hosted by the Antique Boat Museum in early August with TIPYC providing the refreshments.

TIPYC Well Represented at GIST 2016

Seven Yacht Club Sailing School Students and Counselors participated in the Grindstone Island Sailing Team Regatta.  For the first time in its seven-year history, the regatta was held at the Clayton Yacht Club in French Bay instead of at the head of Grindstone Island.  Over $1000 was raised for the Pure Blue Fund to support clean water.

Counselors Nicholas Pearson and Kevin Moore along with Leo Greene sailed Lasers.  They were joined in the family friendly open class by Andy & Sam Greene with Jen O’Neil in an O’Day Day Sailer.  Toby, Walker, and Jeff Pennington raced in a Rhodes-designed Wooden Pussy Catboat. 

Regattas Not Possible without Committee Boat Volunteers

A successful sailing race or regatta has many moving parts.  The events need to publicized, boats prepared, and shore crews organized for registrations and general hospitality for participants and guests.

On top of that, volunteers are needed for pretty much the entire day of the race for the committee and safety boats.

A general committee boat is anchored at the start and it is their job to start the races and maintain a tally of the results.

It is also wise to have at least two safety boats to assist sailors if they capsize or experience equipment issues.

Much thanks to all the people who volunteered to make the 2016 TIPYC Season such an incredible success.

If you would like to be more involved, please contact Tom French at


TIPYC Youth Racing Team Formed

The Yacht Club is excited to announce the formation of a Youth Race Team beginning in 2017 with plans to travel to two New York State events, including the US Sailing Junior Olympics in Rochester. 

The first event is the Centrals on Sodus Regatta on July 7th & 8th with youth racing in Club 420s, Lasers, and Optimist Sailboats.  In 2016, there were upwards of 50 kids participating. 

The second racing opportunity for our team will be July 29th through 31st in Rochester for the US Sailing Junior Olympics.

The Junior Olympic Sailing Program (JO) is a nationwide series of sailing regattas for youth ages 8 to 18 designed to encourage young sailors and develop their skills.  Events mix Olympic-style competition with elements of learning and fun for all levels–from beginning racers to those with Olympic aspirations.

US Sailing, the National Governing Body of the sport, started the Junior Olympic Program in 1997 to draw more young sailors to the sport.  Each regatta offers youth sailors the opportunity to learn, enjoy the fun and excitement of competitive sailing, and develop skills for lifelong involvement in the sport.  It also gives talented junior sailors an Olympic pathway.  Over 50,000 sailors have participated since the program began in 1997 and many youth take their first step into competitive sailing at JO events

Prizes at JO events are awarded in a format similar to that at the Olympic Games with class winners stepping up to a podium to collect Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals, but the events also celebrate all those who participate and competitors who exhibit the virtues of sportsmanship.  Special fun prizes and sportsmanship awards are presented at many JO events.

For sailors with world-class ambitions, Junior Olympic events provide an opportunity to compete in large, regional fleets with Olympic-style racing.  Sailors who excel at JO events typically progress to the national arena and U.S. Sailing Olympians typically emerge from the ranks of the program.  Perhaps one of our T.I. Park Sailors will one day grace that Olympic stage.

Preparing for the TIPYC v ABM


After its most successful Sailing School season ever in 2016 with over 60 students participating over the summer and most weeks with more than 20, the Yacht Club has decided to expand the Sailing School Program by offering two sessions per day, Monday through Thursdays.  A morning session will be for beginners with more advanced students participating in the afternoon.

This change will only allow for more focused instruction to advanced students while also allowing for greater Counselor-in-Training (CIT) development. 

CITs will have a chance to teach and work with beginners in the morning and still receive advanced instruction in the afternoon.  In the past, the program attempted to teach advanced sailing skills to the CITs at the same time they were assisting in instruction, which was not ideal.

Sailing School is set to begin on Monday June 26th.  The last week is tentatively the week of August 10th. 

Private & Group Lessons Expanding As Well

Want to take the family or friends out for a nice afternoon or evening sail?  TIPYC counselors are available for just such an endeavor!

Groups of four or five can experience the thrill of sailing in our O'day Javelin.  Under the guidance of one of our US Sailing Certified Instructors, participants can decide how involved they wish to be in the sailing of the boat.  Simply enjoy the wind and sail, or take the tiller and hold the sheet!  Our counselors are prepared to offer any level of involvement and instruction that you wish.

These two-hour packages begin on the TIPYC Sailing Platform where participants can help raise the sails and push off.  Longer excursions are also available.

Adult Lessons Still Available on Fridays

As in past years, Adult Group Lessons will be available on Fridays from 9:30 until noon. 

For the past couple of years, participation numbers have been less than 5 (sometimes one), making this an excellent and economical way for adults to learn or refresh their sailing skills in a small and individualized setting.

Sailboat Rentals for Members are Back!

Qualified members of the T.I. Park Yacht Club can once again rent a Sunfish (pending availability) on Mondays through Thursdays from 10 AM until 3 PM.  Rentals begin at $30 per day. 

Individuals wishing to rent a Sunfish must be adult members of the Yacht Club in good standing and will also need to demonstrate the ability to sail.  This can be done by presenting a US Sailing Small Boat Certification (obtained by completing US Sailing’s “Little Red Book” of Demonstrated Sailing Skills). 

The US Sailing Small Boat Certification can be earned by participating in one of TIPYC’s Adult Sailing Programs with either private lessons or group instruction on Fridays.

As with all TIPYC Sailing Programs, life jackets are required.

Sailing School Expanding Into 2 Sessions
Morning for Beginners; Afternoons for Intermediate

2016 Racing Action

Blessing of the Fleet to Be 2017 Season Opener

Commodore’s Ball at Harbor Inn on Saturday, July 15


With help from the Thousand Island Park Corporation, the Yacht Club installed several foam mats on the Skiff Slide at the Main Dock.  This improvement should help reduce scratching and scuffing on boat bottoms as they are being launched and retrieved.  It should also help prevent injuries from slivers or nails on the decking and make for a generally friendlier surface for feet.

The mats were installed on the Sailing Platform a few years ago to great effect.  As a result, an initiative was begun to install them on the skiff slide as well.

Each slot on the slide was provided with at least one foam mat, with several receiving two.  It is hoped that the Yacht Club can finish the project this summer by insuring all spaces have at least two mats.

As the TIPYC racing program continues to expand, with guests visiting the Park from afar, it is essential that the Yacht Club do everything possible to minimize potential scuffing damage to boats and insure the safety of users and participants in Yacht Club programs.

Park residents who use the skiff slide will also benefit from the improvement.

The mats do require removal at the end of season to prevent ice damage and also allow the decking underneath a chance to dry out.

Foam Mats Improve Main Dock Skiff Slide