Questions Frequently Asked About the CLCF
Q: Why is this organization called “Cruising Fleet” when most of the information on this website is about racing?
A: When the fleet was formed back in 1972, the founders scheduled more cruising than racing events. By the 1980s, racing had become dominant, but the name Cruising Fleet just stuck to us like epoxy.
Q: Does the fleet schedule any cruising events at all?
A: Our long distance races might be considered cruising events, especially the Sheldrake Race which features a post-race party at Kidder’s Landing and the race to the annual dinner party at the Red Jacket Yacht Club near the north end of the lake.
Q: What is the connection between the Cruising Fleet and the Ithaca Yacht Club?
A: The CLCF is an independant organization that is partnered with the IYC to promote casual racing on Cayuga lake. Participation in the CLCF is not limited to members of IYC.
Q: What kinds of races does the Cruising Fleet organize?
A: We run three types of races: Races around the buoys, latitude races, and long distance races. On the Home Page of this website, you’ll find an explanation of what theses types of races are like.
Q: When do those races take place and how long do they last?
A: The around-the-buoys and latitude races all take place on Sundays, with the Skippers’ Meeting at 12:45 and the first start at 1:30. Those two kinds of races usually last between one and three hours, depending on the wind.
The long-distance races all start on Saturdays, usually around 9 a.m. How long they last depends on the distances. The Sheldrake Race can be over in less than three hours, the 50 mile races can take over 24 hours.
Q: Can I sail with the Cruising Fleet even though I don’t own a boat?.
A: Certainly. If you come to a Skippers Meeting on a race day, we will find you a boat to sail on as a guest or crew.
Q: How do I get into racing as a keel-boat owner?.
A: Here are two pieces of advice:
1. Start by sailing in our latitude series which do not involve the hazards of crowded starts and mark roundings (See the piece on “Sailboat Racing for Cruising Sailors” on this website).
2. Find a boat to crew on in our around-the-buoys races. That crewing experience will prepare you to duke it out with other boats at the start and around the buoys.
Q: What does it cost to join the Cruising Fleet?
A: It will cost you between $ 0 and $ 100 depending on how involved you want to get.
If you have a keel-boat and want to race only in the summer events, that is in the latitude series of eight races and in the four long distance races, there will be no charge.
If you don’t own a boat or don’t want to race it, you can sign up as a crew for $ 25 per year.
If you own a boat and want to join the Cruising Fleet as a first time skipper, the racing fee will be $ 100 for the first year. That fee entitles you to race in the 11 Spring Series and 11 Fall Series around-the-buoys races.