Seven Seas Moves
Seven Seas is moving this November from their location in Minneapolis to
Shorewood Yacht Club in Excelsior, MN.
Sailing into uncertainty
Hammond Yacht Club and sailing fleet prepare to leave marina
BY BOB MOULESONG
The mood was reflective, and a little melancholy, as members of the Hammond
Yacht Club's sailing fleet got together Saturday morning for a final race before
leaving the Hammond Marina.
The 900 boats currently docked at the marina must find a new home — until at
least May 2008 — to make way for expansion of the Horseshoe Casino.
The race was a chance to say good-bye, not only to each other, but to their
charter member Pete Duerr, who last month succumbed to ALS, also known as Lou
Gehrig's disease, after a year-long battle.
"Pete started the sailing fleet club in 1991, when the marina started up," said
Pat Reynolds, the owner of the Karizmaddie and is the current sail fleet
captain. "Pete organized our Wednesday night races, our Spring dinners and also
coordinated races with other yacht clubs."
The sail fleet club conducted races each Wednesday during the season at the
Hammond Marina. The number of boats entered in the race each week varied between
15-22. Some were smaller, 20-foot boats, while others were as long as 50 feet.
Determination and skill, not size, usually decided the winner.
"The races provided us an opportunity to get together and compete locally," said
Maureen Foos, owner of the boat Cool Heads Prevail.
"Many of the people you see here today have been here for 10-15 years," she
said. "These races helped to build a community spirit among us, and it's sad to
be losing that."
Although the Hammond Port Authority has stated the marina will re-open in the
Spring of 2008, many members of the sail fleet aren't sure if they will return.
"It's hard to say at this time," said Mike Sanders, owner of Tenacious II.
"We don't have any information. How many slips will be available, will there be
a limit on boat size, things like that," he said. "There are no details for us
to base our decision on."
Many of the boaters have already left. Some have found new homes in Michigan
marinas, and a few at the Michigan City Marina. Others, including most on hand
Saturday, are still unsure of their future. But on this bright and breezy
Saturday morning, several members got together to have a final race in honor of
the man they refer to as "the founding father" of the sail fleet.
The race entry fees, as well as all the money left in the sail fleet coffers,
will be donated to the ALS Foundation at the end of the month.
Duerr's widow, Madalyn, joined Foos' crew for the race, and Reynolds presented
her with three flags to commemorate her late husband.
"It's hard to express how much our family appreciates this gesture," she said,
referring to the race as well as the donation to fight ALS. "Pete was a humble
man, and he'd blush right now if he could. But I think inside he'd be happy."
Reprinted with permission from NW Indiana Times.
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