Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club

About the Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club

The Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club consists of a group of sailors who have joined together to enjoy and promote sailing and sailboat racing in the Buffalo area. The club's main focus is our racing program, which is the largest, and we think, one of the best in the area. The club also sponsors various seminars, speakers, and other educational activities to promote sailing and sailboat racing, and to enhance public awareness and knowledge of these activities.

The centerpiece of the club's racing program are our Wednesday night races. Three series of 5 races each are run between late May and early September. Trophies are awarded for each series as well as for the yearly series winners. These races routinely draw upwards of 100 boats each Wednesday. Presently we have 11 classes racing Wednesday nights: 5 spinnaker classes racing under PHRF-LE, a J-27 class racing one-design, and 5 main and jib classes racing under modified PHRF handicaps. (Link to .) The club also sponsors parallel Tuesday night series, known as the China Light races, for majority women crews (women must out number men and the helmsperson must be a woman) to encourage women to become actively involved in the sport of sailing. The China Light races typically draw 15 to 20 boats racing a 3 classes, one spinnaker, and two main and jib classes. (Link to .)

The club sponsors three regattas, the Ice Breaker, which is usually held the first Saturday in June, our main club regatta, the Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club Regatta, usually held the second weekend in July, and the Last Chance Regatta, usually held the third Saturday in September. In 1999 we added the BHSC Challenge Cup, as a part of the July Regatta, which must be won by a challenging yacht club or sailing clubs' team from the holder of the cup, presently the Buffalo Yacht Club. The club also sponsors a series of single-handed and a series of double-handed races, a series of fun races that extends the Wednesday night races through September, as long as the weather and the daylight permit, and the Adam and Eve race, which can be experienced but never described .

Finally, BHSC is one of the clubs sponsoring the Lake Erie Interclub Cruise.

The club is a member of the United States Sailing Association (USSA), the Inter Lake Yachting Association (ILYA - Lake Erie), the Lake Yacht Racing Association (LYRA - Lake Ontario), the Niagara Frontier Yacht Racing Association (NFYRA), and PHRF - Lake Erie.

On the Beach

The Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club does not have its own clubhouse, or docking or mooring facilities. The club considered acquiring these facilities at one time but the membership decided to focus on the club's on-the-water activities instead. Most meetings are held at the Chief Petty Officers (CPO) Club on the waterfront adjacent to the Buffalo Yacht Club. When a large turnout is expected for special programs, and the annual race packet meeting (skipper's meeting for the summer season) in May, are held at American Legion Post Troop I on Franklin Street in Buffalo. Members dock their boats at public and private marinas throughout the Buffalo waterfront.

When the boats are hauled, the Lake Erie gales and the lake effect snows roll in, and the water gets too hard for most sailing (some of our members take exception to the latter and just start sharpening the blades of their DNs), BHSC activities move to the friendlier confines of the CPO Club. The club holds monthly meetings September through June featuring programs of interest to sailors. The club has had the pleasure of hosting major presentations by a number of nationally and internationally know sailors including Buddy Melges, Gary Jobson, Tom Whidden, Andreas Josenhans, Dave Dellenbaugh, and others, as well as other sailing and boating industry representatives who have presented programs in their areas of expertise (racing strategy and tactics, sail making, marine electronics, boat preparation, etc.). The club has cosponsored racing seminars presented by North Sails and Haarstick Sails, and, in 1992, BHSC proudly sponsored the local presentation of a Safety-at-Sea seminar developed and presented by the US Sailing Association, one of our more important educational undertakings. In addition to the meetings and seminars, the club also sponsors a scholarship program for junior sailors to enable them to participate in junior sailing programs run by area yacht clubs.

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