If you were to take a tour around Turtle Pond one sunny morning, you’ll probably spot some sails in the water and a few folks on land, with remotes in their hands. Most likely they are the Turtle Pond Yacht Club (TPYC) members who gather frequently to race their sailboats on the rather large pond that lies adjacent to the Braelinn Golf course on the south side of Peachtree City.
Radio controlled (RC) sailing is an individual competition that is dependent wholly on the skill of the sailor in the face of the wind. The favored sailboat is the Dragon Flite 95 (DF-95) that stretches to three feet after assembly from its kit. Each boat is controlled by a hand-held radio transmitter. One level on the radio controls the rudder that navigates the boat while the second lever is used to adjust the sails in favor of the wind.
Boat racing on Turtle Pond is a fun, competitive activity. On race day, a water route is set up, favorable to the current winds. Sailors strategically navigate their uniquely decorated boats through a couple of turns toward and away from the wind, before breaking at the finish line. Because the boats are propelled solely by wind, no wind or too much wind may render an uneventful race on the pond. Other adverse conditions for sailing are rainy, or extremely cold or hot days.
Chuck Ellis, a retired Army and commercial aviator, is one of the club’s first and most enthusiastic members. He was on his power walk one sunny morning when he bumped into some boat racers, and has since been “hooked” on the sport.
The 11 year old TPYC is a casual group without rules or officers. The club also carries no fees and minimal costs. “To become a member you just show up and introduce yourself,” said Ellis, who is the main contact for the club. It’s a fun sport for those who are desiring fellowship and some friendly and fierce competition. New members are trained by other experienced members, one-on-one, and then encouraged to practice their newly acquired skills on Turtle Pond. Most members live in or around Peachtree City.
Seasoned sailors like Chuck may desire to race his boat in higher level competitions. These regattas, held regionally and nationally, usually require the EC-12, a considerably larger and more sophisticated sailboat that takes many months to construct and assemble. Sailors travel to the different parts of the southeast for the regional races, and anywhere in the U.S. for the national competitions.
Overall, sailing on Turtle Pond as a TPYC member provides the perfect combination of a sport that’s easy on the wallet, while offering a healthy way to soak up some Vitamin D, and make fast friends. There couldn’t be a cooler way to pass the summer months.
For new members’ inquiries about The Turtle Pond Yacht Club (TPYC,) contact Chuck Ellis at email@example.com or leave a private message on the TPYC FB page @turtlepondmyc