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Commodore's Corner
Fred Bartrom

“Thirty-four in six.”  More about this later.


Earlier in the year one of our members asked, “Is our club’s main objective to grow our membership?” My answer may surprise you, so don’t bail on me until you hear me out. My answer was “no”.


In fact, I would put “growing our membership” pretty far down on the priority list. Don’t blow a gasket, because, I can equally say I am very proud of the new and returning folks that have joined our ranks. They have been an infusion of enthusiasm that is good for our club. Now, I can hear some of you saying, “this guy has lost his rudder”. So, before you swap my PFD for a straitjacket, let me give you what the PPYC Constitution gives as our purpose:


“The purpose of the Club is to benefit its members in the following ways:

  1. To promote the sport of sailing in all forms and the preservation of Percy Priest Lake;
  2. To develop relationships with other organizations interested in the sport of sailing or the preservation of Percy Priest Lake;
  3. To promote fellowship and association with other members;
  4. To organize, promote and provide organized sailboat races, regattas, cruises and other events of any kind and nature involving the participation of sailboats;
  5. To organize, promote and provide recreational, social and other events of any kind and nature involving the participation of the members;
  6. To organize and provide instruction in sailing including: basic skills, seamanship, safety afloat and sailboat racing.”


If we prioritize things like this, we will have the right kind of growth because we will attract people who are attracted to the things we value.


Now, back to my cryptic intro…


Our membership has grown by 34 in the first six months of 2019. Double that if you include family members. This doesn’t happen if we aren’t doing something right in the list above. I have met and gotten to know many of them. Some are seasoned sailors; others are new to the sport. Some own sailboats; some don’t. They are getting their feet wet in LATH, trying their hand at racing, attending PPYC U, chowing down with us in our social events and volunteering to help. New member or old salt, I think you would join me in the sentiment that we want each one to be successful sailors and PPYC members.


Here is the best advice I got as a new member: I was sitting on the deck the first Wednesday night of the racing season. My plan was to just watch that first night to see how it was done. There was another person on the deck looking to crew. Here comes the advice, a third person on the deck interrupted our chit chat and said, “You have a boat, he wants to crew, just get out there and do it.” It was hardly profound but we took his advice, ended up sailing together the entire season and I have rarely missed a Wednesday night since. My takeaway from this is simple: “Get connected” and “get out there”.


What is the best advice you ever got as a sailor, racer, cruiser, and/or volunteer? Shoot it to me in an email and I will try to fit it into an upcoming newsletter. I am serious about this, and I know you have something way better than mine. So, don’t leave me hanging…

Then come join us on the water. Check out the event calendar for upcoming events:


Let’s go sailing,


Fred Bartrom

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It): The PPYC Resource Center
A repository of class pictures and materials from our PPYC classes for your reference.  Information made available at instructor's permission.

Bareboating: Fun Experiences & Practical Considerations, 03.02.2019
Kurt and Nancy Berger gave us the inside scoop on chartering a boat without a skipper or crew.  The link above is to the PowerPoint slide deck presented in the class.

Galen Freeman One Design Race ResultsMay 18-19, 2019

Sailing Skills Course (PPYC U), June 8, 2019:
     Small Boat Trailering 
(PowerPoint slide show) by Bobby McCullough

Spinnaker Class:  Craig, Lee and Gary explaining how the symmetrical spinnaker pole operates.  Lots of really good information shared in this session.

Spinnaker Class:  Fred and Galen showing participants how to attach a symmetrical spinnaker

Spinnaker Class: 
Group of folks learning how to attach a symmetrical spinnaker on Craig's boat.

Sailing Skills Class:  Kathy and Joyce had a full house ready to learn and/or polish up their sailing skills.

Communications Corner
Sheila Armstrong


Written after putting in a service request ticket on my work computer.  It appears I have now killed my forth laptop since taking on my role
as Business Analyst for IT.  Excel keeps
crashing while I am building a spreadsheet analyzing laptop depreciation on five models versus cost of repairs to date (a mere 7500 lines of data on a 64-bit version). Kind of ironic, isn’t it? Not a fan of Dell today.

On to this week’s post…

I am planning to attend the showing of Maiden, the story of an all-female sailboat crew in the 1989 Whitbread Round the World Race.  Spoiler alert:  They win their class.

Even bigger win:  Crew leader, Tracy Edwards was awarded the 1990 Yachtsman of the Year Award, the first woman ever to receive the accolade, and was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Post-screening, there is a discussion with Nashville-based sailors and 
racers Ashley Evans, social chair for Harbor Island Yacht Club
(HIYC) and media and marketing chair for Nashville Vanguard 15
Fleet 77; Shea Freeman, member of Percy Priest Yacht Club;
Ania Gorska
, HIYC member and treasurer of Nashville Vanguard 15
Fleet 77; Laura “Twigs” Johnson, founder and CEO of Leadership
Academy and its Nashville Sail Camp, and member of HIYC and Percy
Priest Yacht Club; and Kim Rafferty, camp director for Nashville Sail
Camp and member of HIYC.
I see the need to help promote all-female sailing crews to practice 
and race at our club.  Long, long ago, PPYC held an event called,
“A Touch of Class”.  What I gather from those who were around back
then that while the event was for ladies, it was treated more as a
What if we took this event from our past and disrupted it from the 
ground up?  Rebrand the whole thing to be a serious endeavor?
What if we sought out women who want to try competing on an 
all-female crew, polish their sailing skills, teach them how work
efficiently together as a crew, get them on good boats, and get them
out there competing on Wednesdays and Sundays for starters?
What if we held a regatta for all-female crews and sent out invitations 
to race to other clubs to come join us?
What if we centered the race around a good cause and gave some of 
the proceeds to that charity? 
What if we were able to tap some women’s organizations to get 
behind this idea and help us organize a first-rate event? 
Steps to pull together all-female crews is easy.  Getting these women 
training to improve sailing skills and work seamlessly as a crew will
take come coordination.  Putting together a regatta for all-women
crews will take a team and time, but I believe we can have this ready
to roll out in a couple of years.  What a nice legacy our female sailors
could leave for our club. 
Think about this idea and let me know if it resonates with you. Meet 
me tonight, Friday, 7pm at the Belcourt Theatre for the showing of
the documentary, Maiden*, 97 minutes long.  It very well could be our
catalyst to support women's sailing at our club.

Time to sign off for this week. Until I see you again, be
good to one another.

Take care,

*The documentary starts tonight and continues on at the Belcourt --
just in case you cannot make it tonight.

Learn to Sail

Percy Priest Yacht Club offers many learn to sail opportunities, including Learning at the Helm (LATH), and our Basic Keelboat Class.

Find out more about the numerous racing events at PPYC, including Regattas, Wednesday Night Racing and other Club Races. 
About Us

Learn more about Percy Priest Yacht Club.

Learn more about the activities taking place at PPYC, including our Event Calendar

Check out the latest PPYC news.

What is PPYC?

Percy Priest Yacht Club (PPYC) is a club of sailing enthusiasts who enjoy spending time together in racing and social events. The main purposes of PPYC are to promote the sport of sailing, enhance boat handling skills and safety on the water, and promote fellowship and association among its members.


Learn more about the benefits of membership, how to join, and find a membership application.


Racing at PPYC is an exciting time to get out on the water, enjoy friendly competition with your fellow sailors, and the best way to improve your sailing skills.

Learning at the Helm (Lath)

“Learning at the Helm” (LATH) is a program sponsored by Percy Priest Yacht Club, meeting principally out of Hamilton Creek Sailboat Marina. This group of sailors meets every Tuesday night, April through September.