A comic once said, "If the sea calls, hang up! In 1973, a group of Venice area sailors didn't hang up - they organized the Venice Sailing Squadron (VSS) to promote sailing, seamanship and navigation. Today, with nearly 90 memberships, The Venice Sailing Squadron is one of the most active sailing organizations in Southwest Florida.
In order to keep the dues at a minimum, the club is run entirely by club member volunteers. VSS organizes races, cruises and bountiful monthly potluck dinners, which include informative programs related to sailing. The latter are held on the second Wednesday of each month from October through April at the Venice Community Center. Our May meeting is our Change of Watch or "COW". This meeting is a cruise and picnic where we recognize racing and cruising achievements and the induction of new officers and board members. We own no real estate and thus don't fit the usual definition of a yacht club.
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in sailing, sailboats and boating in general. We do have members that are ex-sailors and are now power boaters. For more information check our Membership page.
Good-natured rivalry exists between those who race and those who use their boats for cruising. The racers doubt that a cruiser knows you're not supposed to hit the starting buoy on your way to victory. The cruisers question the racer's ability to survive the savage sea and find the sea buoy marking the entrance to Boca Grande, let alone Nassau, Bermuda or New York. Some members have split personalities and both race and cruise. VSS sponsors two race series each month, a buoy race and a distance race. October through May the club plans monthly cruises to various ports-of-call which are usually one to two overnights. There may also be additional cruises lasting 7-14 days depending on the destination.
In addition to the camaraderie shared afloat and at the potlucks, the social scene includes a steak cookout in October, a Holiday Party in December, and the Change-Of-Watch cookout in May. The October steak and Change-Of-Watch cookouts are supplied by VSS. Also in December, members recognize Venice area bridge tenders and the local Coast Guard with gifts of holiday cookies delivered by Santa and his helpers.
The Venice Sailing Squadron meets every second Wednesday of the month during the season for potluck suppers and educational programs. These events are held at the Venice Community Center located at 326 So. Nokomis Avenue in Venice. The meeting time is 6:30 p.m.