LAST WEEKEND IN SAN FRANCISCO we celebrated the 90th anniversary of the founding of the esteemed St Francis Yacht Club and the 100th "Opening the the Bay." An annual Rite of Spring, Opening Day is organized by the 100+ clubs comprising the Pacfic Inter-Club Yachting Association, aka PICYA.
OK, so in the whole history of the world these anniversaries may not be monumental, but, indeed, they were well-celebrated milestones for the Northern California sailing community. Coincidentally, the three-day celebration began with a power outage which crippled SF, including the Marina District in which StFYC is located, for most of Friday.
In the midst of that blackout, StFYC conducted it's first-ever "Legends of Sailing Regatta" in the club's J/22s. Club members crew for an impressive roster of world champions, Olympians, Yachtsmen of the Year and generally superb skippers including Craig Healy, Mike Martin, Pam Healy, Paul Cayard, Molly Carapiet, Shawn Bennett, Sean Svendsen, Russ Silvestri, Chris Perkins and Caleb Paine.
Friday night was StFYC's gala 90th Birthday Party. The power finally came back on in the late afternoon, but setting up in the dark and preparing meals for 350 guests for dinner? Club staff pulled off a minor miracle.
There were loud cheers in the bar when the power came back on just in time for the Roaring 20's-themed party. The clubhouse had been turned into a speakeasy, with guests gaily attired in garb of that era. "Flappers yes she's one of those!"
Historical, musical and other yachting events filled out Club's weekend, including an intra-club regatta (won by Staff Commodore Terry Anderlini), and participation by many members and yachts in PICYA's Opening Day blessing of the fleet and boat parade on Sunday.
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2017 is a significant year for many other North American sailing organizations. Apparently the 7th year of of decade is auspicious, and not just in the Chinese culture! Here, courtesy of John Arndt, Bay Area yachting denizen and editor of our popular local sailing broadsheet Latitude 38, is a list of other auspicious anniversaries this year:
MMBA - 150th anniversary
Seattle Yacht Club - 125th
Bainbridge International - 100th
PICYA - 100th Opening Day on the Bay
St. Francis Yacht Club - 90th
Lake Merritt Sailing Club - 90th
Newport to Ensenada Race - 70th
North Sails - 60th
LIdo 14 Class Association - 60th
Harken - 50th
Ullman Sails - 50th
New England Ropes - 50th
Antigua Sailing Week - 50th
Latitude 38 - 40th
And last but not least, the 50th anniversary of San Francisco's "Summer of Love."