This weekend marks a significant milestone for the Carter Lake Sailing Club: 70 years of cruising Colorado waters.
Sunday serves as the 70th anniversary of the club, marking seven decades of “continued focus on sailing recreation in the oldest sailing club of its kind in Colorado,” according to the group’s website.
“It is a sacred little place for us,” said Jackie Gurley, a historian for the club, 32-year member and past commodore.
She said the club started in 1953 as the Denver Sailing Club, with members enjoying the waters of Sloan’s Lake. But by the end of that year, a founding member had heard of a new reservoir — Carter Lake — 70 miles north of Denver that drew the group up toward Loveland and Berthoud. By Labor Day of 1954, the group launched three boats on Carter Lake for a race.
Gurley said while the club has changed and faced challenges throughout the years, the idea of offering a place for sailors to go and enjoy the open water with like-minded people has remained.
“The goal has always stayed the same and the members have always had the willingness to do whatever needed to be done,” she said. Gurley added that the sailing club is also a “working club,” meaning any needed financing, building or maintenance for the club is done by its members.
“It is a chance to get out and play in the water and be on the lake and socialize with like-minded people,” said Susie Rubin, a five-year member of the club. “It is enjoyable that way.”
Gurley said another big aspect of the club is its work with junior sailors, offering a multi-day junior sailing camp to teach kids age 8 to 17 the basics of sailing, including boating safety, knots, boat rigging and fundamental sailing techniques.
This, she said, all goes to passing on the tradition of sailing from one generation to the next.
“We want it to continue,” Gurley said. “We want this opportunity for people to continue into the future.”
But overall, she added, the club is a great way for sailing enthusiasts to be around those like them and continue a tradition that carries back decades.
“There are a lot of opportunities for people to focus on sailing and being at the lake and meeting other people who like the same things,” she said.
More information on the sailing club can be found at sailcarter.org.