At 93, Joe Silverberg is still sailing

Published on October 11th, 2023

Due west of Milwaukee is the University of Wisconsin, with the campus hugging more than two miles of shoreline along Lake Mendota. This is also the home of the Hoofer Sailing Club, established in 1939, offering a hub of social and sailing activities. In this story by WORT News, they share how it’s not just students getting on the water:

If you’ve ever spotted, on Lake Mendota, a yellow and orange boat with a little sail and one or two people in it, you’ve seen what’s called a Tech dinghy. These sailboats are typically used for training, and have been around in one form or another since the 1930s.

This summer, the Hoofers Sailing Club were able to restore a few of their Techs to their former glory–new paint, new rigging–thanks in part to the generosity of Joe Silverberg. Joe donated money to Hoofers for the Techs on a couple conditions: that he could name the boat and be the first one to sail it.

This past Sunday, Joe got his wish. And the JoJee VII set sail with Joe at the helm.

Joe is 93, and has lived in Madison most of his life. He’s been sailing since he was 13. Eighty years. For much of that time, he’s been an active member of the Hoofers Sailing Club. He started there in 1947. And though he took a break in the middle to raise a family and run a temp agency in Madison, he returned in the 1990s as an instructor. – Full report

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