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Kimberly, James C. / The history of the Neenah-Nodaway Yacht Club of Neenah, Wisconsin: an account of yacht racing on Lake Winnebago from 1859 to 1957
(1957)

Chapter 2: Yacht racing comes to Neenah-Menasha,   pp. 4-20


Page 6

 
6Neenah-.(odaway racht Club 
ing her for Charles May, set his sights for Stockbridge, soon 
passed the Mayflower, and reached the marker well in the lead. 
On the run across the lake again, he widened the gap between the 
two boats to almost three miles. Falcon supporters went wild and 
considered the victory theirs. But a fickle breeze decided the con- 
test differently. As the Mayflower headed for Neenah, her sails 
caught a favorable streak of wind and she reached the lighthouse 
an easy winner. Her erstwhile rival, almost two miles behind her, 
was plugging along combatting a head wind. 
  For a short distance during this race the new Lady Maud of 
Oshkosh, a ballasted yacht with a twenty-two-foot waterline, 
compared speed with the other boats. She had been built earlier 
that year for John H. and William H. Crawford, whose love for 
the sport went back to a racing yacht of the deep-cutter type 
owned by their father, John Crawford, in Toronto, Canada. 
  In the summer of 1868 the Lady Maud, Mayflower, and Falcon 
competed over a triangle that extended from Neenah to Clifton on 
the east shore, back to Garlic Island, and home. The start was 
auspicious enough. A good sailing breeze sent the three flying 
across the lake under light canvas. But as they approached Clifton 
a thunder squall out of the northwest struck almost without warn- 
ing. Rain fell in sheets, so blinding that the boats could neither 
see each other nor find the marker. Left with no choice but to 
work out from the shore into open water, they headed across the 
lake under snug reef for the lee of Garlic Island. Just as they 
reached their goal the sun broke through the clouds. Their return 
to Neenah was without further incident, but the judges declared it 
no race because no one had found the eastern buoy. 
  Then followed a decade or more of great activity for Winne- 
bago yachts. Clubs that were organized about this time in Fond 
du Lac and Oshkosh increased the rivalry and sharpened the edge 
of lake competition. Neenah held regattas usually in the spring and 
fall and participated in those of the other clubs. Match races, 
speed trials, practice runs, or just pleasure sailing kept the yachts 
out on the lake in the intervals between the scheduled events. 
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