Meeting was interesting and amicable. Heard the needs and concerns of CYC for 100 feet of shoreline for sailing school, a long dock for boats to line up for racing etc, and a 2 story club house/schoolhouse needed, need parking lot, safe drop off, etc.. Desire to leave majority of buoys where they are and vacate only those along rock wall, and add buoys to Southeast corner and a second dock (leave original in at refectory probably), near our South/southeast launch location. Still want a hard surface boat launch at South (think of that as the windsurf location for clarification purposes here) , and school boats at South sandy shore. The long dock and buoys is the discussion point that squeezes us to a very difficult ability to sail from the South, even if they wrap more to the SE. They do not want to put boat buoys along the rock walls, as that is unpopular with the renters, and we obviously do not want to have a long dock and buoys squeezing the South shore into a very unusable windsurf launch and sailing area. They offered to try to get the rock rip-rap removed near the fishing dock to broaden our launch area, but that does not improve the sailing if they have the dock and buoys. The CYC members were under the initial impression that we still had dagger boards and could easily tack our way out of any encroachment and get "above" the docks and buoys. They would also like to share the beach with us to place the school boats across the shore line . This is basically back to a similar plan that we objected to before, but the building would be somewhat closer to the SE.
The NorthWest corner site was discussed (this is the site we approved at our initial meeting) , and we (windsurfers) have not dismissed it, but it is admittedly expensive. It is on the 1996 Park Board Comprehensive Plan, and is a better site for us than giving up the South. This give the CYC land, parking lot, street parking, and it can be built to give them all their needs. (This presumes a complete shift of docks and buoys to the NW). When the time comes for funding (obviously it is not now), support for the right location, funding will materialize, in my positive thinking attitude! This site is not the location Gurban wanted, to put another income-producing commercial venture on the other side of the lake like Tin Fish, but there is a large amount of public objection to commercialization to Calhoun already, and the Event Site proposal on the South died for that.
BUT in regard to us, if the CYC moves South, we will now have 2 locations of buoys and docks! It was mentioned to me that another vendor will take over the dock and boat house when CYC vacates that, and the buoys will stay there. So, if they moved the school South with the plan they proposed at this last meeting, it looks like the buoys would stay also along the (north)West side also (minus the short section by the North rock wall that doesn't impact us much), and the dock stays. Still have the squeezed reach, and no shore access on that side. Don't freak out yet, it is just discussion at a meeting. If we can get a NW location, we could reasonably ask for a vacating of the NE side of all buoys to the NW side.
Thus, in my mind, this is not a done deal as far as discussion goes. Many of us are still opposed strongly to giving up the South location, squeezing the South location to a very difficult or unusable location, and having the North remain the same, with no improvement. This is about compromise. We discussed meeting all of the CYC needs, and compromising the windsurfers needs in many, many respects. Hopefully we will be able to meet many more times, and find mutual and equal compromises. At this time there is no funding, and we know that the Park Board would like a "cheap" solution (at our expense), which is the South side because they have to spent very little, but that is simply not tolerable to us, nor to many people in the community. I attended the Fundraiser for Lisa Goodman on the same day as our meeting, and there are many supporters for our situation or equal presence on the lake. It is our only City Chain of Lakes to sail, they now know it, and they support us. We have to decide that we want to continue to windsurf on Lake Calhoun and that it is important to us. Important enough to take the time to educate your friends, neighbors, politicians, and all lay people, on WHY we need 2 shores of Lake Calhoun in order to sail there, and why we as a sport, we cannot access other lakes freely. Most people think you can travel around like a boat.
Lastly, I have been asked again at this meeting by a CYC member ;"we can move the Canoe racks right now if you agree to (this) plan today". My answer was the same that day as it was two years ago; "Do the right thing regardless, not contingent. Those racks should be removed for safety reasons long ago." I expect to see the Canoe racks there, for a long time to come.
It is IMPERITIVE that the Yacht Club and the Windsurfers think of themselves as a Sailing Community, and act accordingly. It is NOT about meeting 100% of ones needs. It is very much about EQUAL opportunity on the lake as the first and most basic premise. Also, if the Park Board would look beyond Calhoun, for meeting some of its needs ("loving it to death"), or being the only sailing lake, or sailing school, we might be able to "spread the wealth" a bit. Bringing in more fishing boats, more lazers, more commercialization, is not necessarily a good thing for Calhoun . More is not more.
Hoping that we can be part of a bigger Sailing world. If anyone knows someone in Madison, please check out their Sailing Club, which includes windsurfing, and find out how they do it!
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