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Sailing In Milwaukee: 'An Art Form' For All To Enjoy

Milwaukee Community Sailing Center

Milwaukee has no shortage of ways to enjoy the water: Kayaking along its rivers, swimming in Lake Michigan, fishing off a breakwall, taking a boat tour of the harbor, or river-cruising to a favorite riverside restaurant or bar.

There’s still one option that we haven’t mentioned – and it’s one that’s been around for almost the longest: sailing. Drive over the Hoan Bridge on a pleasant summer day, and you’re bound to see a picturesque scene of Milwaukee’s lakeshore, complete with puffy white sails dotting the harbor.

For many, the idea of actually being on a sailboat may seem just as distant - considering it too expensive or time-consuming. But leaders of the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center say their mission, since the center was created in 1977, has been making sailing accessible to everyone in the Milwaukee area. After 40 years, the center believes it’s taught over 15,000 adults how to sail.

"Sailing is more of an art form," says Holly Church, the center’s current director. "It’s learning how to figure out where the wind is coming from.  How do you adjust your sail this way or that way?  And there are mechanics that are involved in the process that make sailing a relatively easy sport to do, physically."

Church recently joined WUWM’s Rachel Owens to talk about what the sailing center offers, its history, and whether sailing really is for everyone:

You can find more information about the sailing center, including its annual Lobster Boil event on Friday in Veterans’ Park here.

Rachel is WUWM's Morning Edition host. <br/><br/>