In Northeast Montana, the newly formed Fort Peck Sailing Club is hauling up sails and inspiring new sailors

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July 17, 2015 by Sarah Arndt

On the shores of a huge lake in Northeast Montana, a half dozen or so sailing-obsessed boaters decided to make a splash: forming the first and only sailing club on a body of water “where any boat besides a fishing boat is an oddity.” The Fort Peck Sailing Club was founded by Page Anderson and Julie Burke, who were looking for fun ways to advertise the opportunity to sail. 

How to spread the word? Summer Sailstice of course! 

According to club member Rafe Sigmundstad, "someone suggested that we should participate in Sailstice as a way to promote our club and sailing.  We advertised in the local paper and put some posters up around town.  On Saturday, June 20th, we expected anywhere from zero to 200 guests.  In all, there were about 60, which was a very satisfactory turn-out." Julie also got some matching Summer Sailstice tshirts and burgees. 

         

They then introduced the many curious newcomers to the fun of sailing: Julie and Page gave rides to half of them on the Hobie cat, while Rafe gave the rest of the intrigued visitors a ride on his Catalina 30. Says Rafe, "almost none of them had ever been on a sailboat.  I took each group out for an hour, just a short sample of a good day cruising.  It was a long day of repeated docking, and setting and dousing sails, but….

The best part? “The smiling faces and astonished children saying to their parents, "we should get a sailboat!"

      

As an added bonus, Rafe also was the lucky winner of a ’Scubr & Trekr' from Lunatec Gear. Rafe says he is “just elated to hear from you that I've won something, and look forward to trying out the Lunatec cloth in my galley!”

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