Stories from the Pewaukee Yacht Club
The Pewaukee Yacht Club
Pewaukee Yacht Club
N22 W28204 Edgewater Dr.
P.O. Box 101
Pewaukee, WI 53072
Founded in 1896 on Pewaukee Lake in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, PYC is a sailing club dedicated to scow and dinghy sailing. Their signature annual event is the E Scow Blue Chip Regatta .
The club has a full roster of sailing events for all scow fleets, including A, E, C, MC and X scows. In addition they also have active Melges 17, Laser and Optimist fleets.
The Pewaukee Yacht Club was founded in 1896 by a group of sailors from the Milwaukee area with a desire to race 40’ flat bottom Class A scows. The following year, 4 yacht clubs from surrounding lakes joined the PYC in establishing the Interlake Regatta Union which promoted regional scow regattas. The rivalries which developed between these Wisconsin inland lakes live on to this day. Within ten years of its founding, the club championed scow racing and added 2 additional scow fleets (C and D) to its racing schedule. Today there are over 150 registered boats.
Pewaukee Lake became popular with early sailors in part because of its southwest orientation which takes advantage of the prevailing direction of the summer breezes. Most surround glacial lakes in the county have a north-south orientation.
We are all about Scow sailing
Scows are high performance planing hull boats with no seats, cup holders or electronics. Fleets range from 16’ to 40’. The boats are all about speed. Yes, you can tow water skiers.
The Club sponsors a heavy schedule of races across 8 different fleets with practice races most weekday evenings and championship series races on the weekends. It maintains continuing relationships with national and regional sailing organizations such as the Inland Lake Yachting Association (ILYA), Wisconsin Yachting Association and US Sailing. Our facilities include dry slips for our members' boats, storage for small sailing craft, grilling facility, kitchen and bar.
The Pewaukee Lake Sailing School provides professional sailing programs for beginner to advanced children and young adults. Students choose between several fleets including Optimists, Lasers, Cub boats and Club 420s. The joy of sailing gets passed down through the generations. 125 years after it’s founding, you’ll find 8th generation PYC members in our sailing programs.
The PYC is a volunteer organization. Its members organize all regattas, events, judging teams and contribute hours of work and talent in maintaining our heritage as a first class sailing venue. The club hosts 3-5 major regattas/year including some with 300+ sailors and guests.
The E Scow Blue Chip Regatta is our club’s signature event and unique in several ways. It’s the only annual regatta we host where competitors must qualify to receive a coveted invitation. The result is a 3 day race series of the highest level of E Scow competitors from around the country. The regatta has been sailed on Pewaukee for over 49 years by the absolute best E Scow sailors in the world. Invitations are sent based on performance in high profile regattas during the current season.
The real draw of this event is our guest skipper which sails under the sail number "? ". The invited guest is typically a world renown sailor which has earned Olympic medals or world champion honors across all forms of sailboats from Americas Cup yachts to the 16' Moth. They all know the prestige of sailing in this event. It’s fun to see how fast the guest picks up on the nuances of boat handling and characteristics of the scow. Yes, the guests do occasionally win the regatta.
Yacht Club History Time Line:
1909 Moved PYC headquarters from Waukesha Beach to Lakeside. Races used permanent buoys set at Rocky Point, Waukesha Beach, Buena Vista and Lakeside.
1911 engineered a revival of the C Scow buy ordering 10 boats and selling them to members for $200.
1921Milwaukee Yacht Club invited scows to a regatta in Lake Michigan. The PYC won every race. The regatta was never held again.
1924 The E Scow was designed by PYC member Arnold Meyer.
1927 club was temporarily relocated to Oakton Resort.
1931 The Inland Lake Yachting Association assigned letters to each club. PYC receives the coveted symmetrical “V”
1950 Purchased our current 235’ of lake frontage for $7,050.
1957 Pewaukee Lake Sailing School is formed.
1966 First E Scow Blue Chip regatta is held and current clubhouse completed.