Sailing in Louisville KY

Admiral Hornblower

Super Anarchist
1,174
481
NE Ohio
Much to my chagrin, it seems likely I'll have to move to the Louisville, Kentucky area because of my Dad's job. The only club that seems nearby is the Louisville sailing club. Can anybody that has lived in that area of Kentucky chime in? what's the sailing/racing scene like, more specifically, is there any Laser racing that goes on? What's the Ohio river like as a sailing venue?

thanks,

AdmH

 

Alan Crawford

Super Anarchist
1,374
644
Bozeman, Montana
I grew up sailing on the Ohio River in Owensboro, KY. The river is sailable starting sometime in May (after spring "run-off") through November. During these times (May - November), sailing on the Ohio is about like a lake but always head upstream so when (not if!) the wind stops, you ca get back to your launch site. Spring is not safe as river is high, current is strong and lots of floating debris. Typical inland breeze in Summer and Autumn. Watch carefully always for barges - they normally stay in the channel but not always. 

Louisville SC has (had?) a Laser, Thistle and Highlander fleet. I've raced there one time. There are a lot of sailing clubs on lakes within 2 - 4 hour drive in KY, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee: Cave Run, Port Oliver, Indianapolis Sailing Club, Eagle Creek, Bloomington (IN), Nashville (two clubs) etc. You are also about 3 hours from Kentucky Lake. Most of these clubs have at least one open regatta each year if not two (one in the Spring; one in the Autumn).

 

highlander709

New member
25
13
The Ville
Our largest and most active Fleet at LSC is the Sunfish Fleet sailing on Tuesday nights from late May through early October.  We average 12-15 boats most Tuesdays but have seen as many as 20 on the line some nights.  Our annual Sunfish Pumpkin Regatta in October has averaged 20-30 boats for the past 5 years with folks from as far away as Wisconsin attending. Our Thistle Fleet is also active on Saturday afternoons with between 5-8 boats on the line typically.  We have also have a Laser Fleet which isn't active and a Force Five Fleet which is growing.  There are also a couple MC's with another expected this season.  While LSC is home for dinghies, the Derby City Sailing Club on Wednesday evenings has a large and diverse PHRF fleet with several S2 7.9's  PM me if you'd like more info.  I have the pleasure of serving as Commodore at LSC for 2022.

 

WCB

Super Anarchist
4,403
862
Park City, UT
@Admiral Hornblower Good call doing some research before moving there.  I did the same thing when I was relocated from Vermont to Utah in 2006.

I started sailing at the Great Salt Lake in Ultimate 20s but after a couple of years I wanted something different so I started the Park City Sailing Association.  Just be aware that if you wanted to race Lasers for example, sometimes you have to take the reins and build something.  That said, 12-15 Sunfishes seems like a no brainer to get started with but you could also be the spark plug that brings back their Laser fleet.

 

Alan Crawford

Super Anarchist
1,374
644
Bozeman, Montana
Laser sailing on the Ohio River in Owensboro, KY (2 hours downstream from Louisville) in the 1980's during the summer. That Laser was purchased from a Laser dealer in Louisville. 

855781509_OhioRiver.jpg

 

Alan Crawford

Super Anarchist
1,374
644
Bozeman, Montana
Nice pic Alan! Out of curiosity, does the Ohio River ever get any sort of waves, like the sort one could practice s-turning or wave catching on?
From my experience, when the wind is blowing against the current (not much current during summer / fall) which can be typical as a lot of breeze is SW, W or NW direction, there can be some short, kind-of steep waves that make for good reaching. Dead downwind good practice to keep from putting the bow into the wave in front. Upwind, good practice in steering around waves to keep from plowing through. Mind you, these waves are nothing like you would find in coastal areas and do require some breeze but they are more significant than with same wind strength on a lake with no current.

 

rikiwiki

New member
1
1
Ahh, this thread caused me to finally post something (silent voyeur). I just brought a Laser back to Louisville from Maine and have two other guys at the Louisville Boat Club interested in pulling together some informal 6-pack races. We're planning on building racks and storage on the docks to attract more engagement. I'm a lifelong ocean racer, so will be learning about sailing on the Ohio myself. Would love to connect with any and all of you to get back into racing (though caution I'm currently only home on weekends). Reach out if you're around.
 

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