2013 News

Lake Levels Holding Steady This Winter!

Lake Level on December 26, 2013

As of December 26, 2014, the lake was at an elevation of 5,550.27 feet above sea level, or 35 1/2 inches below the top of the seawall, as shown in the photograph above, taken at 2 PM on December 26.

The lake was way down by the end of August, but monumental rains the week of September 9 - 13 brought the lake back up to above normal levels, and subsequently to an elevation of 5,553.37 feet above sea level on September 24, or 1 & 3/4 inches above the top of the seawall. Water had covered the sidewalk in front of the seawall and was encroaching on the southeast-facing side of the DSA clubhouse. The picnic tables under the tent were in a sea of mud.

The water subsided after that, and by October 1, it was down to an elevation of 5,552.9 feet above sea level. At that time the Corps of Engineers stated an intention to drop the lake to its approved recreational level, 5,550.0 feet above sea level, and to keep it there for the foreseeable future, weather permitting.

And so far they have!

On October 18, the lake reached an elevation of 5,550.06 feet, and since that time has remained in the range between that and 5,550.27 feet as recorded today.

This looks very promising, in terms of having plenty of water in the lake for the 2014 boating season!

DSA Annual Awards Banquet November 9

On Saturday night November 9, DSA held the year end banquet at the Cherry Creek Marina and Yacht Club. Sixty five DSA members and their families and friends joined us in a night of celebration.

The night started out with our guests enjoying appetizers, complimentary Dry Dock beer, wine, and great camaraderie and of course sailors and their sailing stories. As the evening progressed we all enjoyed a great dinner provided by our caterer “A Perfect Bite” that did another outstanding job in providing us with an excellent meal.

After our guests had dinner we started into our year end presentation and slide show. The presentation recapped the year’s activities that included our regattas, series racing as well as our social events. Here is a write-up of the activities and events identified as the highlights of the season. The presentations were followed by the awards for both our series racing for the year as well as our perpetual awards. Results can be found here, with details on the website, at http://www.denversailing.org/home/series-racing/scoring.

We wrapped up the night catching up with everyone and enjoying some good times as we head into winter and start to look forward to another great sailing season in 2014

A special thanks goes out to Barb Thompson and Curtis and Julie Rist, who organized and put together another great Banquet.

2013 Fall Work Day -- a Success!

Twelve dedicated and loyal DSA members congregated at the DSA clubhouse on a warm and sunny November Saturday, November 2, to conduct the 2013 Fall Clean-up day.

Thanks to Curtis and Julie Rist, Toby and Mika Hamer, David and Barb Thompson, Kristen Kies, Marty May, Brian Seim, Jim Ulatowski, Francine Hoffman and Philip Ryan, work was concluded in short order, followed by beer and burgers grilled on the DSA gas grill.

Toby and Mika started early, hauling out the Mako and giving her a thorough scrubbing, getting ready for winterization and storage later in the week.

Kristen spent the day giving the clubhouse a thorough cleaning, from the rafters to the floor. Working with Barb and Julie, she emptied the clubhouse of materials from the floor and counters, removed bugs and cobwebs, swept, vacuumed, wiped, and mopped, washing windows and cleaning glass until the place sparkled.

Marty, David, and Julie took out the Marina's work pontoon boat, the "HMS Kennedy" and pulled the marks, starting with # 2 and working around the lake to the RC buoy and finally #s 8, 7, and 6 (# 1 had been pulled earlier in the season after drifting into the lake outlet during the high water in mid September). This was hard and muddy work, as the heavy cement block anchors had settled into the mud, but in less than two hours they had them all out and stacked in the picnic tent area, ready for deployment again next spring.

Brian Seim single-handed the task of folding up the picnic tables and carrying them to the east wall of the clubhouse. We don't know what he eats for breakfast, but we want some! Later, Curtis and Julie covered the stack with a tarp and tied it up well.

Jim and Francine arrived in time to sand and paint the trim around the door, and help put things back in the clubhouse. And Philip and Francine emptied out the refrigerator, while Curtis provided support after returning from a successful SAIL meeting earlier in the day.

Thanks to all who participated!  

DSA Skipper Philip Ryan and Crew David Spira and Rebecca Bevrit Sail the 2013 Championship of Champions Regatta!

To qualify for the US Sailing Championship of Champions Regatta one must have won a national championship and additionally been invited by the regatta organizing committee to compete. And Philip did that, by winning the Swift Solo National Championship in June!

This year the Championship on Champions Regatta was sailed in Lightnings, at Lake Murray near Columbia South Carolina, the 4-day weekend of October 24 - 27. And what better crew could Philip get than DSA sailors David Spira, himself a highly-placed finisher in the 2013 Lightning World Championships last June, and Rebecca Bevrit, who has gained very much experience in Lightning national-level regattas over the years? And so they headed out earlier in the week for South Carolina. Boats and sails were borrowed and provided by US Sailing, so all the competitors needed to do was to show up and sail.

Eighteen races were sailed over the course of two and a half days, with the 20 competitors switching boats after each race, rotating from boat to boat so that the results came exclusively from good seamanship and not from boat condition differences.

The DSA team placed 17th in a field headed by some heavy-hitting national champion rock stars. Results here. Story here.

Way to go, DSA Sailors!

2013 Fall Frostbite Series Sept 28 – Oct 26 is Concluded!

The 2013 DSA Fall Frostbite series is concluded. We had five consecutive Saturdays with sunny skies, temperatures in the low to mid 60s, and light to moderate (sometimes stronger) winds. Read more here.

"Houston ... We Have [too much] Water!"

As of 6 AM on 9/18 the lake was just 3/4 inch below the top of the seawall. It came down some over the weekend of the Governor's Cup Regatta, 9/21 - 9/22, but then rains of Sunday night and Monday morning started the level back on an upward trend. at 9 PM on Monday evening, 9/23, the water broached the seawall and began flooding the sidewalk and paved area around the clubhouse. It continued to climb all day Tuesday, 9/24, and reached a high water mark at 11 PM of 1 and 3/4 inches above the top of the seawall, at an elevation of 5553.37 feet above sea level. In the meantime, the power to the clubhouse was turned off and the items in the clubhouse in lower cabinets and drawers were pulled up onto the counters.

The US Army Corps of Engineers plans to drop the lake to an elevation of 5550.0 feet by the end of October, and keep it there for the foreseeable future, making it likely that, with normal winter and spring precipitation, the lake will still be at that level next April 1. Stay tuned!

Colorado Governor's Cup Regatta September 21/22

Forty seven boats registered for the 2013 Colorado Governor's Cup Regatta and were greeted with a lake with an abundance of water, and a warm sunny day with nice winds. Read more here.

"Houston ... We have Water!"

As of September 6. 2013, the lake level was measured at 33 1/2 inches below the top of the footing at the crane, twenty six and a half inches below the low-water mark measured in April 2011 (and forty nine and a half inches below the high water mark measured in April, 2012). Then rains of monumental proportions -- eight inches of rain fell in spots on the Cherry Creek watershed during September 9 through 12 -- brought the lake up eighty two inches, as of 6 AM on September 18, bringing the lake back to a level higher than any seen in the last three years, and possibly in the last decade. As of 6 AM on 9/18 the lake was just 3/4 inch below the top of the seawall.

On 9/15 most of the trailered boats in the lower parking lot were moved by their owners to the middle parking lot (the one at the level of the front entrance to the yacht club). Likewise, the DSA clubhouse was emptied, with contents temporarily stored in the Commodore's garage. Thanks much to Curtis and Julie Rist, Brandon Kass, Michael Dannecker, Jim and Lori England, and David Thompson for their help on that.

Will it go higher? Stay tuned!

2013 Summer Series is Concluded.

We had ten weeks of Summer Series racing, but were rained out or blown out on some of them. Read more here.

Two DSA U-20s Sail in the U-20 NAs Sept 12 - 15

Former DSA skipper Mark Allen takes second; Jim Ulatowski ninth and Brad Lawson eleventh in the 2013 U-20 North American Championships at Marina Del Rey CA. Read more here.

"Houston ... We Need Water!"

Updated 9/3/13

If you have visited the lake recently, you'll know that the lake level is currently 32 and 1/2 inches below the top of the footing at the crane, lower than at any time in the past two years, and four feet below the high-water mark in April 2012.

Will it go lower in September? Yes, it is projected to drop another foot by the end of the season. Per the State Park, "The main release gate is closed at 0 cfs this week. We will continue to advocate to keep this gate closed or set to a minimal amount to meet downstream obligations. From now until we close the lake to boating December 1st we could lose another 12" of elevation. This is just a projection and we could be higher or lower depending on many factors. This should be used for planning purposes only."

This has impacted, and will continue to impact, our ability to launch boats when racing.

Three DSA U-20s Sail the Peak Seven Regatta at Lake Dillon Aug 24/25

By Brad Lawson Fleet Captain, U-20 Fleet 4

"It ain't over 'till (or until) the fat lady sings" is a phrase commonly used in association with organized competitions, particularly sports. It means that one should not presume to know the outcome of an event which is still in progress. More specifically, the phrase is used when a situation is (or appears to be) nearing its conclusion. It cautions against assuming that the current state of an event is irreversible and clearly determines how or when the event will end (Wikipedia).

Three U20s from Fleet 4 showed up at Dillon Lake this past weekend….. unfortunately the wind did not. Read more here.

2013 Cherry Creek Junior Open Regatta August 10

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Racing Recap

Saturday morning dawned as a beautiful sunny day after heavy rains the previous two nights. 34 competitors and their parents, coaches, and mentors gathered for breakfast -- provided by Juice Plus! of Colorado -- followed by registration, a Skipper's meeting, and lunch, anticipating a great day of sailboat racing in the gentle NNE winds that were developing. At noon, the competitors, race committee, helpers, and spectators headed out, but unfortunately, the winds died, and did not resume for the remainder of the day. One "race" was held, a free for all boats back to the docks, using whatever means the skippers could think of to get back to the marina, no holds barred. Results here.

Many thanks to the race organizers and volunteers who planned, organized, and ran the regatta:

  • Regatta Organizers Francine Hoffman, Steve Davis, and Brandon Kass
  • PRO Tom Downing
  • Race Committee Helpers Troy Rockwell; Brad Lawson; Marty May; Dan Fesenmeyer, Alex from Bow Mar, Jim Ulatowski, Jay Leidal, Doug Work, and Bill Cabrall.
And special thanks to our sponsors, the Cherry Creek Marina and Yacht Club; Francine Hoffman Photography; Ameriprise Financial, Juice Plus of Colorado; Community Sailing of Colorado; and the Denver Sailing Association.

Six U-20s Compete at the 2013 Aspen Open Regatta

Congratulations to Cliff Begnaud who took first place in the 2013 Aspen Open Regatta!

Mark Allen on Junta made the voyage from Salt Lake City again this year. However, misfortune struck when he broke a rudder gudgeon. It turns out to be really difficult to steer a sailboat without a rudder. Fortunately, he was able to apply a quick fix and missed finishing only the first race. Also in attendance were Tom Downing on Velocitize, B.W. Billberry on Mongoose, Jim Ulatowski on Juiced!, Marty May on Red Line and Cliff Begnaud on Underdog. Read more here.

2013 DSA Spring Series is Concluded!

The 2013 DSA Spring Series, May 9 to July 11, has concluded! Spring Series Race # 1 was canceled for both the keelboats on Wednesday and the dinghies on Thursday, due to thunderstorms, but all other race days saw at least one race, with mostly 2-race evenings and two 3-race evenings. There was some excitement during Keelboat Spring Series #7, when strong gusty winds caused the mast to break on Brad Lawson's U-20, Redbeard. Other evenings worth remembering were Keelboat Spring Series # 6, when haze from the Black Forest fire in Colorado Springs made for poor visibility, and the afternoon prior to Dinghy Spring Series # 4, when a strong gust of wind caused the newly-erected tent to collapse, bending the tent frame like a pretzel. Also, Dinghy Spring Series # 10, on July 11, when winds were blowing 20 with gusts to 32. See Bill Tracey’s video Here! And this Spring series will be remembered for the advent of low lake levels, so low that by Keelboat Spring series # 5, we were no longer able to crane-launch our J/24s. For the Keelboat Series we had from 9 to 15 boats on the water for each race, depending on the day, and from 2 to 26 boats out for the Dinghy Series, depending on the day. Read more here.

Three DSA U-20s Line Up Their Ducks at the Lake Dillon Timberline Regatta June 29 - 30

By Cliff Begnaud U-20 # 126, Underdog

On Friday evening, as preparation for a weekend of racing was winding down, our dog Fidget started barking aggressively at something in the front yard. I went to the door to see what had her so riled up and saw a family of Mallards marching single file from under my truck. They crossed the ditch and found the grass greener on the other side of the street. My wife, Patti, walked up behind me to also see what was out there. She said,” Ahh, I see you have all your ducks in a row”. Now, that would be something worth a bark.

When we arrived in Dillon on Saturday morning for setup in the usual spot along W. Lodgepole street, we found that things had change dramatically. Read more here.

USA 2355, Leverage, Places 18th in the J/24 US Nationals!

Congratulations to Rick and Jay Leidal and Team Leverage, who traveled to Wayzata Minnesota (near Minneapolis) to sail in the 2013 J/24 US National Championship on Lake Minnetonka, June 20 - 23. They placed 18th after sailing 8 races, with their highest finish an 11th place. Way to go, Leverage! Details here.


Two DSA Skippers Place Well in the 2013 Lightning World Championship!

6/14/2013 2013 Lightning World Championship, Castiglione del Lago, Italy

Steve Davis placed 18th out of a star-studded cast of 46 in the 2013 Lightning World Championships, and David Spira placed 23rd. Steve sailed with Laura Jeffers and Amy Smith Linton; David sailed with Todd Whitman and Randy Shore. Well done, Steve and David! More here. Full Report here.

In the week before, during the 2013 Lightning International Masters Championships, at Castiglione del Lago, Italy, DSA Lightning skippers Steve Davis and David Spira, placed 10th and 11th respectively. Steve sailed with Laura Jeffers and Amy Smith Linton; David sailed with Todd Whitman and Randy Shore. Full results here.

Tent Frame repaired!


It was harder that it sounded, but Curtis and David, in three hours time, put steel sleeves on the ten tent rafters and got the tent frame straightened out. This was after a strong wind gust on May 30 damaged the tent and frame.

Here is how it looked before they started.

And here it is after:

Cherry Creek Lake is Low and Is Forecasted to Go Lower


If you have visited the lake recently, you'll know that the lake level is currently 21 inches below the top of the footing at the crane, lower than at any time in the past two years, and 14 inches below the low-water mark of 2011.

Worse, due to commitments to deliver water to downstream water-rights holders, the Upper Cherry Creek Water Association has forecasted that the lake will drop two more feet before the end of the summer, and even more if evaporative losses are not offset by heavy rains upstream.

This has impacted, and will continue to impact, our ability to launch boats when racing.

Note that Cherry Creek Marina plans to aggressively pursue multiple local, state, and federal agencies and authorities to work out a mitigation plan and prevent the lake from dropping so low and so fast. So the predictions shown above may not actually come to pass. Stay tuned.

Extremely Close Competition at the Carter Lake Regatta!


By Clifford Begnaud, # 126, Underdog

The 54th annual Carter Open regatta was well attended this year. BW Bilberry was back from his winter hibernation in Costa Rica, Tom Downing had his camper for onsite accommodations. Jim Ulatowski, Marty May, Brad Lawson and yours truly were all in attendance for a very enjoyable, but very tiring weekend of One Design racing.

Carter Lake was up to its old tricks of shifty, puffy and disappearing/re-appearing winds. No matter what you did, the lake might reward you for it this time; or smite you with a surprise leaving you wondering what the heck had just happened.

Read more here.

"Houston ... We Have A Problem!"

5/30/2013 (two weeks, to the day, after the tent was installed) by Curtis Rist Commodore, Denver Sailing association

As you may be aware it is blowing like stink at the lake today. The tent is damaged; the force of the wind on the surface of the tent facing the dam forced the rafter sections to collapse and buckle at the joints. I clocked the big gusts at 35mph and the steady blasts at 21 mph. The fabric is in the clubhouse (felt like I was hauling the main sail in aloft in a gale) and will need some grommet repair before we place it back on the frame. The frame will need some work to stiffen up the joints in the rafter sections.

Stay tuned -- our DSA Board is working on a solution.

2013 Shootout/Hornblower Regatta May 18 - 19


We had mostly sunny skies and moderate temperatures, interesting winds, and no rain for the recently concluded 2013 Shootout/Hornblower regatta. Through the outstanding work of our Race Committees we got in three races on Saturday and three on Sunday (and four on the dinghy course). Supper on Saturday of grilled burgers and hot dogs, and appetizers, salads, and side dishes provided potluck-style by the DSA board, coupled with delicious Dry Dock Amber Ale made for a nice conclusion to the first day.

After racing on the second day we assembled for awards and more Dry Dock Amber Ale before heading out. Congratulations to Michael Kline and the crew of Nauti Moose for winning the Shootout Trophy, and to Fletcher Avery for winning the Hornblower trophy. See the scores listed below for details.

Thanks much to our sponsors for your support: The Dry Dock Brewing Company; The Cherry Creek Marina and Yacht Club; Ameriprise Financial; Jersey Mike's Subs; Juice Plus; and the Dillon Yacht Club. Without your support there would not be a regatta.



2013 Shootout/Hornblower Regatta Photos by Greg Schertz

Read More Here.

"Houston ... We Have A Tent!"


Thanks to the good work of DSA members Steve Davis, Curtis Rist, Brad Lawson, Darek Buczinski, and David Thompson, there is a new tent covering the patio behind the DSA clubhouse!

You may remember that the old tent was torn to shreds in a wind blast last October 17.

This spring, Steve Davis ordered the new tent, had it shipped to house, and delivered it to the marina on Wednesday, May 15. It came in two eight-foot long boxes weighing 250 pounds each.

On Thursday, Curtis and David, with some critical help from Brad and Darek, assembled and erected the tent in just under three hours, from opening the box to taking the photo.

And it was just seven months to the day from the disaster of October 17 -- and just in time for the upcoming Shootout/Hornblower regatta.

Well done, DSA!

2013 Thaw-Out Series, April 6 - May 4


Series Racing Summary

This season we had five Saturdays scheduled and we raced on all five of them. That’s in contrast to last year when we only got in three race days (see 2012 Thaw-out Series Results). Winds were generally light, and the water level was lower than it was last fall, and colder than in the previous year, but we were racing! Read more here.

Two DSA U-20s Connect the Dots at the Chatfield Fiesta Regatta, May 4 - 5

5/6/2013 By Clifford Begnaud, # 126, Underdog

As we engaged in the race to get our boats out of the water and un-rigged, Jim Ulatowski congratulated us for "connecting the dots" in the last race. As I pondered his comment, I thought that this was an excellent description of what it takes to win a sailboat race. In many venues, but most especially in Colorado, the "dots" are usually a moving target. We always need a good start, we need to choose the correct side of the course, we need boat speed, we need to point high, we need good tactics and boat handling, we need good mark roundings etc, etc. Read more here.


Charleston Race Week April 18 - 21 Was a Blast!


Charleston Race Week, known for great wind, challenging current, excellent race management and southern hospitality, really lived up to its reputation this year with 285 boats, over 3,000 sailors and winds that were rarely under 10 knots and frequently over 25.

Team Redbeard In Action
Read more here.

2013 San Diego NOOD - U-20 Regatta Report

By Brad Lawson Connecting the Dots Proves Challenging for DSA U20 Crews

Being a successful one-design buoy racing team requires an intuitive knowledge and exceptional sailing skills to make sense (and use) of light to moderate, shifty and puffy wind conditions efficiently. Many that enjoy this sport call this aptitude “connecting the dots.” The importance of this aptitude being never more evident at this past weekend’s 2013 San Diego NOOD (National Offshore One Design) regatta. Read More Here.

Denver Boat Show January 11 - 13

Darek Buczynski helps a visitor with her passport

Our sincere thanks to the Fifteen DSA Members who staffed the DSA booth at the recently completed 2013 Denver Boat Show:
Day Time Name Name
Friday Noon - 4 PM Curtis Rist Barb Thompson
Friday 4 PM - 7 PM David Thompson Curtis Rist
Friday 7 PM - 10 PM Joanna Antkowiak Marc Castells
Saturday 10 AM - 1 PM Joel McGuire Norm Jarvis
Saturday 1 PM - 4 PM Joel McGuire Marc Castells
Saturday 4 PM - 7 PM Steve Davis Jan Davis
Saturday 7 PM - 10 PM Toby Hamer Mika Green
Sunday 10 AM - 1 PM Jim Ulatowski Francine Hoffman
Sunday 1 PM - 3 PM Brad Lawson Darek Buczynski
Sunday 3 PM - 5 PM Curtis Rist Brad Lawson
Special thanks to Curtis Rist, who, along with Brandon Kass of Community Sailing Association helped set up the booth on Thursday and take it down on Sunday. And thanks to the many visitors who stopped by to find out more about Denver Sailing!

Curtis is ready for visitors to show their knot-tying skills

Norm answers questions about DSA

Barb on duty

2012 News

2011 News