The Highland Yacht Club (HYC) as we know it today has progressed from very humble beginnings on the sandy shore across the adjacent cove. Our first sailing season at the new site was 1984, just after being officially chartered with the state of Tennessee. Prior to establishing our current home at the site of the old ARO Lodge, the club met at the AEDC Recreation area and sailed from there. The Highland Yacht club was originally formed in the 1950’s. HYC was an active force in developing sailing amongst the AEDC community. Early members included the families of Doc Goethert, Pat and Patti Clemmens, Bob and Sally Rhodes, Don and Aulene Barton, Bob and Eldri Paulk, Ken and Doris Templemeyer, Rogers Starr, Jack Shea and many others. The remnants of their boats and sailing influence can be seen in the current membership as it was a training ground for several of the reincarnated HYC. Sailing then was with Snipes, Thistles, Mobjacks, Penguins and a mélange of small dinghies that were sailed off trailers that were kept under the tree at what is now the Gossick Leadership Center. The original HYC faded away and was resurrected in the early 1980’s as primarily a boardsailing and catamaran sailing club. The move to the current site was the beginning of a growing family consisting mainly of enthusiastic boardsailors. In hindsight, this move can be seen as the catalyst for growth of the club. A major visionary for that move was then-Commodore USAF Lieutenant Jim Blanner. Other early members to the club that helped shape the club as it is today included Cliff Wurst, Nery Mejicano, Tom Jennings, Jim Stanford, Tom Bentley, Carlos and Nancy Bussche, Dick Austin, Matt Crawford, Jack Shuttleworth and Paul Stevens. After many members took the opportunity to submit artwork for the club logo, the logo chosen was a design by local artist and sailor Perry Waller. That logo is still proudly displayed today.
The Club has been the site for many regattas over the past two decades. The annual Spring Regatta occurs in mid-May, and the annual Fall Regatta is held mid-September. In the early years of the club, a Friendship Boardsailing Regatta, the genius of then Mistral Team Rider Cliff Wurst, was held. More recently, the club has played host to the Coronado 15 Southeast Regional and National Competitions as well as the Catalina 22 Southeast Regional Competition. We are known far and wide as a friendly club with great hospitality, great food and beverages, and typically great wind. Visitors to the club are often amazed to find that most of the sailing vessels are clean, which is a sign that we are a sailing club that truly sails. Our clubhouse may only be an open pavilion, and the beetles laid claim to much of our pine tree forest in 2002, but the members of the club contribute time, funding, and ‘elbow grease’ to make the HYC a comfortable habitat for those ashore while the sailors are on the water. Each summer, we offer classes to teach participants the basics of sailing, and additional classes to learn to sailboard. The local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops have for years spent time at HYC earning sailing badges under the guidance of several of our members. At Christmas, Sarah Hailey organizes a team of club members to ring Salvation Army bells. Of course, their efforts are rewarded at the annual Christmas party gift exchange where some ‘special gifts’ return every year…usually at the Bussche home.
In addition to the monthly meetings and regattas, the primary social events for the HYC include a raft-up on the 4th of July to watch the AEDC fireworks after a day of pirate games and picnicking. Our other annual event that is so memorable is the New Year’s Day raft-up to toast the New Year, watch new skippers make their induction leaps from their bows and sometimes cheer on the skiers from the Ski Club.
The women of the HYC have been an active group from the beginning. From the days of the ‘Yachtless Club’ to the summers of ‘Women for Sail’, they have crewed, skippered, cheered, and of course, cooked their way into the hearts of many a sailor.
After the loss of several beloved HYC charter members who left the club to sail ‘in the great beyond’, our club established a Fallen Sailors Scholarship. Currently, this scholarship honors the lives of Tom Jennings, Bob Latremore, Cliff Wurst, John Boyd, Clyde Rooker and Harrison Shoulders.
Our club has grown and changed from a sailboard club to primarily a club of cruising vessels and dingys. The next generation of sailors at HYC are now learning the skills required to out-maneuver the older generation in weekly Sunday races. The Junior Sailing Club has acquired a small fleet of Optimist boats and we all hope that they continue to remember their beginnings as ‘lake sailors’ when they become those world-famous sailors they aspire to.
Over the years, our site has been the setting for so many special times in the lives of our members. From weddings and memorial services, both onshore and on the water, to birthday bashes and graduation celebrations, we have celebrated our friendships with one another. Organizing this cookbook has been a labor of love, and a tribute to a great group of fun-loving people.
-Wendy Moore, Editor, From The Galley