Come Sail Away.RANDY OATES, SENIOR VICE PRESident for marketing at Bank of the Ozarks in Little Rock, sees the message on his desk plaque every workday: "We cannot direct the wind, but we can align the sails."
It's a philosophy for business, for life -- and for the pastime to which he's passionately devoted: sailing.
"I know a lot of businessmen ... who think they can direct the wind," Oates said. At some point they tend to learn otherwise, just as he has realized over and over again at Lake Maumelle, where he is a longtime member of Grande Maumelle Sailing Club.
Not that Oates or the 42-year-old club's other 225 or so members head to the water for the express purpose of absorbing life lessons. What they want to do is race. In fact, Grande Maumelle is the northernmost club in the country to race year-round, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. another club member, Drew Daugherty of Little Rock.
"Racing is what holds our club together," he said, although the group did rescind To declare a contract void—of no legal force or binding effect—from its inception and thereby restore the parties to the positions they would have occupied had no contract ever been made.
rescind v. a rule that made racing a requirement for being a member. Still, "we're pretty serious about it," he said.
After a while, though, a certain degree of philosophizing phi·los·o·phize
v. phi·los·o·phized, phi·los·o·phiz·ing, phi·los·o·phiz·es
1. To speculate in a philosophical manner.
2. takes hold.
"There is no satisfaction in the world like taking a boat from the dock for the first time and then returning," Oates said. "There is no satisfaction like sailing out beyond sight of land and then returning."
Being surrounded by water as far as the eye can see "changes your whole perspective on what's important and what isn't," he said.
Most obviously important, though, is the competition, said Daugherty, who said his $50,000, 30-foot keelboat keel·boat
A riverboat with a keel but without sails, used for carrying freight.
Noun 1. keelboat - river boat with a shallow draught and a keel but no sails; used to carry freight; moved by rowing or punting or is the most expensive craft at Maumelle -- barely a down payment on some of the multi-million-dollar yachts found not far away on the Arkansas River Arkansas River
River, rising in central Colorado, U.S. At 1,450 mi (2,333 km) long, it flows east through southern Kansas and southeast across northeastern Oklahoma and bisects Arkansas, where it empties into the Mississippi River. .
"The definition of sailing is two boats on the same body of water," Daugherty quipped.
His own drive to compete has taken him as far away as Seattle and Maine.
"I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. what it's like to drive without a boat behind me," he laughed, estimating that he pulls his second, much smaller boat 40,000 mile a year.
The Grande Maumelle club, headquartered at Jolly Roger's Marina at 11800 Maumelle Harbor Road, has an unusually valuable resource in Lake Maumelle, says Qates. He calls the "incredibly clean" body of water "one of the finest sailing facilities in the country."
Because it's a reservoir for Little Rock, swimming and skiing aren't allowed in the lake. Fishing is, but anglers tend to seek out one spot, rather than disturb the water -- an immeasurably im·meas·ur·a·ble
1. Impossible to measure. See Synonyms at incalculable.
2. Vast; limitless.
im·meas important point for sailors.
"People come from all over the country to sail here," Daugherty said.
When a Dallas club was looking to stage a national race in its own back yard, he recalled, its premier member -- multiclass champion Kelly Gough, a former America's Cup America's Cup: see sailing.
Most prestigious trophy in international yachting competition. First offered under another name in Britain in 1851, the cup was won easily by the America from New York and subsequently became known as the sailor -- told fellow members they no hope of improving on Lake Maumelle.
As a result, next year the national race Forty-Flyers will be held in Lake Maumelle. That event will mark the seventh time the club has hosted a national Forty-Flyers competition, a record unequaled by any other club, said Daugherty.
The national class races--held for top performers in a given class of boats, and overseen by each classification's national club-tend to draw about 70 boats. U.S. Sailing Championship of Champions draws competitors from all over North America North America, third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. , matching up the 20 overall champions for individual classes, Daugherty said. Grande Maumelle hosted that prestigious event in October 1998.
Given central Arkansas' small population and the lake's location in the middle of mountains, "we have a club here we shouldn't have," he acknowledged. "We're beating the odds big-time ... We're just like an oasis."
Daugherty's father, Hal, founded the club about the time Lake Maumelle was opened in March 1959. Before that, the elder Daugherty and like-minded sailors trekked to Lake Norrell in Benton or Brady Mountain Marina on Lake Ouachita Lake Ouachita (Pronounced WAH-shi-tah) is a lake created by the damming of the Ouachita River by Blakely Mountain Dam. The lake is located near Hot Springs, Arkansas. Lake Ouachita is the second largest lake in Arkansas, behind Bull Shoals Lake in Northwest Arkansas. to race.
The club's centerboards -- open-cockpit crafts 13 to 18 feet long that generally carry two people--compete from May-October. Keelboats--cabin boats that generally range from 22-30 feet with a crew of five or six - race from November April. Most club members own one of each, said Daugherty, who races mainly in the summertime series. He calls his centerboard cen·ter·board
A movable keel in a sailboat that can be pivoted upward to reduce the boat's draft in shallow water.
Noun 1. , a 500.5-pound Y-Flyer, "the love of my life." His 10,000-pound keelboat, however, is retired.
The current racing season kicked off in earnest over the weekend with the Sand Snake Regatta regatta: see rowing; sailing.
A high-end Unix-based pSeries server from IBM. Introduced in late 2001, the model p690 incorporates mainframe class self healing capabilities and partitioning to the pSeries (RS/6000) family for the first time. for catamarans and centerboards. The Hog Wild Regatta will be held over Memorial Day weekend. That event could draw as many as 100 boats, Daugherty said, and the winner will become the favorite to win the national championship for Y-Flyers.
Per capita [Latin, By the heads or polls.] A term used in the Descent and Distribution of the estate of one who dies without a will. It means to share and share alike according to the number of individuals. , he said, Grande Maumelle may be the most active club in the country. Along with Maumelle, by far the most popular in the state, other sailboat racing lakes in Arkansas This is a list of the major Lakes of Arkansas, United States:
Lake County Area (acres) Average Depth (ft)
Bull Shoals Marion 45440 67.0
Ouachita Garland 40100 65.0
Dardanelle Pope 34300 14.2 are Greers Ferry Lake Greers Ferry Lake is the artificial reservoir formed by Greers Ferry Dam, a United States Army Corps of Engineers dam in North Central Arkansas. It is located about 60 miles (0 km) north of Little Rock. , DeGray Lake DeGray Lake is a lake on the Caddo River, 8 miles (13 km) from Arkadelphia. DeGray Lake offers a huge span of recreational area and spectacular views. Arkansas Scenic Byway 7 is located on the eastern shore of the lake, and provides views of the lake, and also places to stay down and Lake Ouachita, Oates said.
Mastery of sailing also heightens vacations, he said, recalling that he has chartered boats while visiting the British Virgin Islands British Virgin Islands
A British colony in the eastern Caribbean east of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Road Town, on Tortola Island, is the capital. Population: 21,700.
Noun 1. , the Honduras, the Bahamas and elsewhere.
"It's the best way in the world to go see a place with beaches," he said. "It's like packing up your hotel room and taking it to every stop."
Oates paraphrased Herman Melville's assertion that "when you arrive by land you're a tourist. When you arrive by sea, you're treated as one of the locals."
"That's as true in Key West and it is in the British Virgin Islands," he said.
Oates got interested in sailing in 1968, three or four years out of college.
"I had always been interested in sailing," he said, "so I bought a boat and basically taught myself how to sail."
"As a kid I grew up reading about pirates and going to sea and this kind of thing ... I guess I'm still a kid at heart," he said.
Qates was 33 in 1977 when he became the group's youngest commodore ever.
Qates says he races sailboats rather than cars because sailing uses the forces of nature instead of a man-made engine. Too, the course is never the same--the water's currents are always different, and so are the wind patterns.
Like Daugherty, Oates races a Y-Flyer, an 18-footer with a single cockpit.
Daugherty sometimes waxes eloquent on the subject of such boats: "They're like jewelry jewelry, personal adornments worn for ornament or utility, to show rank or wealth, or to follow superstitious custom or fashion.
The most universal forms of jewelry are the necklace, bracelet, ring, pin, and earring. , they're fragile, they're tweaked See tweak. just the way you want them to be ... It's a real delicate thing we do."
Given the importance of calculating the boat's properties, the wind, the water and other factors, "it's a real cerebral sport ... 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical," Daugherty said.
Sailing is also a very family-oriented sport, Oates said, one that teaches kids a lot of responsibility.
"I bought a Sunfish sunfish, common name for members of the family Centrachidae, comprising numerous species of spiny-finned, freshwater fishes with deep, laterally flattened bodies found in temperate North America. for my sons when they were 6 and 9," he recalled. "When they were teen-agers, I felt safer with them on a boat than in a car."
The Grande Maumelle club welcomes novice sailors, Daugherty said.
"We'll teach anybody to sail for free," young or old, he said. "We're like a fraternity rush-we want more people."
The rudiments of sailing from and back to a dock can be learned in three or four hours in an afternoon. But learning about wind patterns and water currents and handling a boat in competition can take a lifetime, Oates said. "It would certainly take a summer to become proficient," he said.
And there's always an element of luck. Coping with, and sometimes overcoming, the wind and water makes for "a wonderful, never-ending challenge," he said.
The club's membership ranges from beginners 13 to 14 years old to very active competitors in their 60s and 70s, Oates said.
"There's some advantage to racing boats as you get older -- you get a little wiser," he said. "You develop some patience with the wind and the water."
A regular club member pays a $125 fee and then $35 monthly dues. For associate members -- who don't have a sailboat or don't sail on Lake Maumelle, and who don't have the voting rights Voting rights
The right to vote on matters that are put to a vote of security holders. For example the right to vote for directors.
The type of voting and the amount of control held by the owners of a class of stock. that accompany regular membership - initiation is $20 and monthly fees are $10.
"We are not exclusive, we are not expensive," Daugherty said. "We are friendly, but we are serious."
Getting started with a modest, used boatcan cost as little as $1,000-$1,500, he said. A bigger keelboat can cost about seven times that if bought used, while a new craft will probably run $30,000-$40,000.
Finding one, regardless of the price, is another matter in a state dominated by powerboat dealers. Other than jolly Roger's, Daugherty knew of no place in Arkansas where the sailboats can be bought.
"The only way to buy a boat is to get to know a sailor, and he'll tell you where to buy them," he said.