Pull Quote: "Sailing is a great getaway. Whether it's racing, cruising, or the challenge of getting across the lake using only wind, sailing has a way of providing an escape from our everyday worries."
There’s something about time out on the water that brings peace and healing to the mind and soul. On any given day, you’ll find individuals and families enjoying time on the waters of Clarks Hill Lake, home of the Augusta Sailing Club. Founded in 1953 by individuals who shared a passion for sailing and enjoying the lake, this family-oriented club, which is run by a volunteer board, provides a variety of activities and events for water lovers.
Augusta Sailing Club Vice Commodore Kim Bagnoni says, “The club focuses on this passion for sailing. We do that through recreational sailing – going out and having fun - as well as racing and social events. There is also the aspect of sharing the love of the sport with the community.”
“We have lots of sailing opportunities,” says Kim. “There are adult sailing lessons that are open to the public. They are a great way to get introduced to sailing.”
“We offer at least some sort of racing every other weekend, especially during the spring, fall, and winter,” continues Kim. “We also have large racing events. Some are just local like on Labor Day, but we also have the Castleberry Robertson and Halloween Regattas, when people come from all over the country. Almost all of the regattas are open to the public.”
For those who prefer a more laid-back approach to sailing, there are opportunities for day and full moon cruises. In addition to on-the-water activities, the club offers monthly social events such as international night, an oyster roast, and events surrounding holidays like Easter and Halloween. Members also enjoy access to dock space, dry storage, a beach area perfect for lounging or swimming, camping areas, and a variety of class offerings that include boater safety, race management, CPR, and other helpful skills.
“We have a very active junior program,” adds Kim. “We offer six weeks of camp during the summer (June 7-July 16) that is open to the public. There is adventure sailing - where they get comfortable on the water, learn sailing terminology, and learn how to rig and sail a boat. It’s all about them having fun on the water.”
“We also have an opportunity for kids to take beginner to intermediate classes within a specific boat,” explains Kim. “With these half-day camps, they focus on an individual boat, the skills within that boat, and how to become a better sailor within that boat.”
For Kim and her family, getting her kids involved in the racing side of sailing has provided an amazing outlet for youth sports as well. “I have lived in Augusta for twenty years,” shares Kim. “My kids range from age ten to eighteen and we’ve done the soccer/dance/basketball/cheer route. We found Augusta Sailing Club about 5 years ago and it has completely changed our lives. It's been an amazing place for our kids to grow up. They've been able to focus on a sport that they love, while being surrounded by a supportive community that extends throughout the southeast. There’s a lot of comradery on the water. They want to mentor each other and help each other – it’s not something you typically see with other youth sports.”
With the desire to share the passion of sailing with the community, the Augusta Sailing Club hosts groups such as Camp Ivy and Camp Joint Venture for a day on the water. Kim says, “We teach them water safety and take them sailing.”
On May 8th, the Augusta Sailing Club will host its annual Open House. The public is invited to join club members for a day of sailing, fun activities, and touring the club’s property. Although RSVP’s are not required, they are helpful for planning.
For more information on the Augusta Sailing Club, or to register for their Open House or upcoming summer camps, visit augustasailingclub.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.