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No Water? No Problem!

Johannes Brinkmann, AYC Commodore
Published: April/May 2012

The Austin Yacht Club (AYC), located on the south shore of Lake Travis, just 30 minutes from downtown Austin, has prevailing southeast winds and hilly shore contours,that make for interesting and challenging sailing. Another feature making interesting sailing for club members these days, has been the lakes declining water levels. Among its 450 members, the club lays claim to national and international champions, including Olympic silver medalist Doug Kern, Pan American Games gold medalist John Bartlett, and six-time Mallory Cup winner Scott Young.

Photo taken from AYC clubhouse of the yacht club harbor Taken from the second story deck at the AYC club house of the yacht club "harbor". During normal water levels there are 4 docks with 40+ boats each on dock. The docks have been moved to the end of the point.

But the ongoing drought in central Texas is creating unique challenges for the club this year. Lake Travis is currently 60 vertical feet lower than its "normal" full levels. Boat docks that were a short walk from the clubhouse last year, are now a quarter mile away. Both of the clubs concrete ramps are high and dry, and cars now park in areas that would normally be deeply submerged.

Undeterred, the club's series races continue, with solid participation. The Austin Yacht Club is currently preparing for a major Texas Sailing Association invitational regatta this spring, and in May AYC and the University of Texas Sailing Team, will host the 2012 Inter Collegiate Sailing Association National Championships, an event that will bring hundreds of competitors, judges, sailing enthusiasts, and spectators to the club.

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