Captains skipper small sailboats in Casting Pond regatta

INCLUDES PEACEFUL VIDEO | See where some outer East Portland folks are going to sail their tiny boats …

Although these captains, steering remotely, are racing their sailboats around a course in the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond, this “fun sail” is not a competition.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A warm summer’s afternoon seems the perfect time to cruise around with one’s sailboat. But, buying and maintaining full-size watercraft is expensive, and requires a crew.

That’s not a problem for the captains and members of the Rose City Model Sailing Club (RCMSC) — who enjoy their “day on the water” by sailing miniature, remote-control boats in the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond. That’s also the place where the Rose Festival’s Milk Carton Boat Races take place late each June.

Captaining his sailboat – by remote control – is RCMSC member Terry Goodell.

“We get together every couple of weeks; sometimes we race, but often it’s what we call a ‘fun sail’ – like we’re doing here today,” explained Rose City Model Sailing Club Commodore Gary Pietka.

“What we’re doing today is an opportunity for anyone, young or old, to try their hand at sailing one of our small remote-controlled sailing boats,” Pietka told East Portland News.

See what it’s like sailing small, remote-controlled sail boats in our video presentation:

These sailboats do not speed along with the help of a motor-driven propeller, Pietka pointed out. “These craft are non-motorized, with the exception of two servos (electronic actuators that rotate and push with precision) operated remotely,” explained Pietka. “One servo steers the rudder, and the other one positions the sail.”

That’s it. The boats really are being sailed!

As seen in this composite panoramic image, standing on the curb of the Casting Pond, these captains keep their eye on their sailboats.

“Since they are powered by the breeze, when the wind dies it’s a sport or hobby that takes a lot of patience,” Pietka observed when all the boats drifted to a stop as the light wind disappeared.

But, before long, a gentle puff of wind got the sailboats moving again along the water.

It doesn’t take much wind to move these sailboats across the water, but when there’s no breeze, these craft glide to a stop.

One can purchase one of these 8 to 10 pound remote-controlled model sailboats for under $100. “And, our membership [in our club] is inexpensive, at just $20 a year,” the club’s Commodore grinned.

Learn more about the Rose City Model Sailing Club by visiting their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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