Author: Frank Kersting, past Commodore
Outdoor enthusiasts and families in our region are used to enjoying summers at Barren River Lake. Nearly everyone makes at least one trek to the lake during the season. But most do not know that Barren is home to another recreational treasure, the Port Oliver Yacht Club (POYC), a sailing club on the ‘Beautiful Barren’ with numerous coves and scenic sailing waters. Joining a sailing club is the perfect way to learn to sail and meet other sailors. With over 100 members, POYC sailors come from all walks-of-life and ages. What they all have in common is a passion for sailing.
Founded in 1967, our club is located across from The Landing, near the Barren River dam, on land that was leveled as part of the dam construction. The property is maintained through spring and fall work parties, which are an enjoyable way to spend a day at the lake. The club features a “yard” where sailors can store their sailboats year-round and a rustic pavilion for gathering, grilling, and enjoying the beautiful lake scenery. The property also offers a camp site for members wishing to stay a few days at the lake. A ‘head,’ our restroom facility, provides an opportunity to shower before returning to the demands of city-life. The main feature at the lake is the launching ramp and dock. The dock is typically full of sailboats during the sailing season, with the pleasant sound of lines slapping the masts, bringing to mind thoughts of travel and sailing adventures. According to Deborah Champion, member and past commodore, “It’s just the perfect place to be on a summer day!”
The club has an active schedule, with monthly meetings at the property and social functions throughout the year, ending with the traditional Christmas Party celebrating the members annual accomplishments. How does having a July 4th barbeque at the lake followed by a pontoon boat ride to the State Park Lodge to watch the fireworks sound? POYC does that and IT IS FUN! Events such as movie nights, sunset sailing and club dinners take place throughout the summer and into the fall. During the sailing season, the club sponsors both a recreational and competitive racing program. All sailors are welcome and encouraged to participate. There is nothing more exciting than watching the sailboats jockey for position at the starting line of a race. A day of racing is followed by dinner at the pavilion, where everyone swaps stories about the days events. All members are invited to the club social events that take place after Saturday races.
POYC is a family-friendly club and the place for anyone interested in sailing. Annual dues are extremely reasonable and available at an associate and full level. You do not have to own a sailboat to join! As an associate member, you and your family are invited to all POYC activities, and you will have full access to the club facilities and club-owned sailboats to enjoy a day on the water. The associate membership offers a low-cost way to experience boat life on ‘The Barren.’ A full membership provides the same benefits as the associate, but also allows a member to store their boat in ‘the yard’ all year for less than the cost of 5 months boat storage.
Interested in testing the waters? Each spring, Bowling Green–Warren County Community Education (http://www.commed.us/taking-classes/fitness-dance-recreation/) offers beginning sailing classes taught by experienced sailors at POYC.
Our Sailing School will be held on four consecutive Saturdays beginning May 9th from 10am – noon, and costs $40 for one person or two for $75. You’ll learn the parts of the boat, basic sailing techniques and knots. Sessions include both classroom and “on the water” instruction. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also have a One Day Youth Sailing Camp scheduled for June 6th. From 10am-noon. The Sailing for Youngsters Camp includes both classroom and on the water instruction and costs just $10 for Children ages 9-14. Parents are also welcome to attend with their children. Contact Rob Hatcher at email@example.com or 270 681-1963 for more information.
Sailing can be a lifelong hobby and the adventure of a lifetime! It’s a great way to both commune with the outdoors and appreciate the natural world. Harness the wind and join our family-friendly sailing club! The Port Oliver Yacht Club is indeed a hidden treasure, waiting for inquisitive adventurers looking for something new to discover! To learn more, visit the POYC website at portoliveryachtclub.com.