Archive for » June 24th, 2013«

Lake Monroe sail boats participate in global event

Before the rains poured down Saturday, Ken Dobbins enjoyed a relaxing day sailing on Lake Monroe.

Dobbins and his boat, along with at least 25 other boats, participated in the Lake Monroe Sailing Association’s Sailapalooza, an event part of a worldwide celebration of sailing called “Summer Sailstice.”

The event, now in its 13th year, encourages sailors everywhere to go out and enjoy the sport on the weekend closest to the summer solstice.

It is the second year the LMSA has participated in the Summer Sailstice.

Dobbins, who serves as the grounds chair for the LMSA, said he saw many more boats out on the water this year.

He thought the weather conditions may have helped, saying that before the storm front rolled in, it was a nearly perfect day for sailing because the winds stayed steady at about 15 miles per hour.

“That’s always the tough thing about sailing in the Midwest,” Dobbins said.

“Sometimes the wind kind of lays down and it’s pretty calm. But when you get a nice windy day, it’s nice to cruise out on the lake.”

He said the LMSA decided two years ago it wanted to have a large event to try to get as many people out on the lake as possible. Then the board found the Summer Sailstice on the Internet and decided it was the perfect event to take part in.

Dobbins and his wife live in Indianapolis but choose to come down to Bloomington frequently to sail because the lake is bigger than those in the Indianapolis area.

Dobbins also said the facilities are nicer in Bloomington.

He started sailing in 1979 when he went out on the Atlantic Ocean with a friend who also didn’t know how to sail. He said he learned as he went.

“I’m still learning,” he said. “It’s different every time you go out. Conditions are different.”

A year after his first sailing experience, Dobbins bought his first boat.

He was hooked.

“Sailing is a lot of fun,” he said. “You have to think to sail. You have to watch the wind, watch your sails. You try to adjust to the conditions.”

Dobbins said sailing takes a different kind of approach to the water. He said his boat’s top speed is about 7 mph, but it feels a lot faster.

“I had some friends out, and I told them, ‘This is the most terrified you’ll be going slow.’ When the wind really picks up, you’re not going really fast, but it feels like you’re just flying.”

The LMSA still has two more large social sailing outings planned for the summer, including a hog roast over the Fourth of July and a fish fry in August.

He encouraged anyone who is interested in sailing to come out and join.

“We have a social organization of the association and then obviously the sailing side of things and we just mesh those two together,” he said.

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