Angostura Reservoir is almost as far away from an ocean as possible. The North American Point of Inaccessibility, the place furthest from any coast on the continent, lies somewhere between Kyle and Allen South Dakota.
As the crow flies, Angostura is less than 70 miles from the point of inaccessibility. Given its landlocked location, it may be the last place a person would expect to find a thriving and passionate sailing community.
But it exists nonetheless.
The Angostura Yacht Club is a collection of sailing enthusiasts who've been exploring the reservoir since the mid-1970s.
The name and composition of the club has changed over the years.
The club was founded in the mid-1970s by a few locals and some Air Force men who met at the lake sailing Hobie Cats (small, fast double-hulled sailboats). Eventually, the group of sailors attracted some mono-hull vessels and the group was officially named the Black Hills Hull Racers. Later the club was renamed the Black Hills Sailing Association.
In 2015, the club had another name change, landing on its current name, the Angostura Yacht Club.
This year the club has about 30 members but at times has been as large as 50.
The club welcomes all with an interest in sailing, regardless of the type of boat or whether a person owns a boat at all. Not all members own sailboats. “We have plenty of Club members who don’t have a boat," said club Commodore Greg Oleson.
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Oleson said part of the club's mission was to promote all facets of sailing, including bringing new people into the fold. He said his own involvement began when he responded to an ad in the Rapid City Journal offering interested people a free sailboat ride 18 years ago.
"Sailing is a wonderful sport," said Oelson, "There's nothing like watching the sails and hearing them pop in the wind, moving across the water without an engine."
The club has a variety of activities including their Tuesday night "beer can" race series where all types of sailboats compete in an informal race. The last race in this series will be July 23.
Other events and activities include a Jimmy Buffett Day potluck taking place this Saturday, races on Labor Day Weekend and a moonlight sail in August.
Sarah Gross, Vice Commodore of the club said that in addition to the events, the club provides a community and support network for troubleshooting issues that can arise with boats.
In the Spring, the club puts on a sailing education class in conjunction with the Black Hills Community Education Program in Rapid City.
The club also created a fruitful partnership with the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department to create some of the infrastructure at Angostura necessary for sailing.
Anyone interested should visit the Angostura Yacht Club’s Facebook page.