Iowa Great Lakes Association 1953

Sailing is great sport. To know sailing is to love it and to have a hobby which can be actively participated in regardless of age. There is much to it-many a man who has spent a lifetime on the water still learns something new about boats, the wind, or the water almost every time he ventures out.

Yet the rudiments of sailing are simple, much simpler than they seem at first, to the uninitiated. Much of the difficulty and apparent complication is because there is so much about sailing which is entirely new to the beginner. The parts of the boat, the terminology, even the few things that have a familiar counterpart ashore have a new name on the water. All of which makes getting started much the most difficult step of all.

The first sail boat race was held on August 1, 1867. There were six boats entered. The boats entered were the “Old Tub”, winning first place and sailed by L. W. Waugh, the “Martha Washington” was second with Mr. Crandall and R. L. Wilcox as captain and crew. Other boats entered were: “Okoboji Star,” “Lady of the Lake,” and “Queen of the West.”

The next year the first Yacht club was formed. The first regatta was held on July 4, 1868 with six boats entered. Interest gradually was lost and the yacht club ceased to exist.

Late in the century, people again became interested in sailing and in 1900 the first races were held with Fort Dodge Point as the starting point.

By 1906 it was decided that sailing added much to the lake region and a club was again formed. The club house was on Pike’s Point, there many fashionable gatherings were held including dancing, dining, bathing and billiards. By 1908 it was incorporated and was most exclusive. The club house later burned.

The club flourished for quite a few years and then, with the coming of automobiles and lake roads, it gradually folded.

The Okoboji Yacht Club was again revived in 1933 with much enthusiasm that has continued all these years.