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Written by Andy   

Reprinted from The Oakland Press - Sunday June 28th 2009.

 

In 1934, a group of 22 sailors broke away from the Oakland County Boat Club, where most members operated motor boats, and set up their own group — the Pontiac Yacht Club for Sailing Craft Exclusively.

Now called the Pontiac Yacht Club, the sailors are getting ready to celebrate their 75th anniversary on Saturday, July 4, with a party.

Based on the shores of Cass Lake, the group, which has 150 families enrolled, relies on volunteers to keep up the docks, grounds and boat house. Races take place on Cass Lake.

Members come from all around Oakland County.

Rick Dishaw of Orion Township enrolled his two sons in the club’s Junior Sailing instruction class last summer.  “That’s how I found the club, and then over the winter I decided, already being a sailor, that I need to do this on a regular basis and decided to join,” Dishaw said. “I started crewing with a boat skippered by Mike Hecker for the regular Wednesday night and Sunday morning races, which is turning out to be great fun.

 

“I’ve been very happy with that decision so far, as I continue to meet some really nice people.”

Gary Reinheimer, the group’s current commodore, has been a member for a decade.

“We’re a pretty unique club,” said Reinheimer of Farmington Hills.

The members work at the clubhouse “to keep costs down,” he said.
Sailing, Reinheimer said, has a wide appeal.

“It can be peaceful and relaxing or a very exciting, energized activity. It can be done by young or old, strong or the not-so-strong, male or female.”

New members always are welcome to join. Members can be seen racing their boats at 7 p.m. every Wednesday and at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays.

Reinheimer can be found out on the water two to three times a week.

“I love to work on the boats, I love to sit on the grass (near the clubhouse) and listen to the water,” he said. “Mostly these people are my family.

“It’s the most peaceful place I know.”

 

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