June 2018 Commodore's Corner

One of the joys of belonging to a yacht club is the opportunity to visit other yacht clubs. Within the yachting community, this is known as “reciprocity.” What this means in practical terms is that you can show your EYC membership card at any one of 25 yacht clubs in the U.S. and Canada and they will welcome you warmly.

Jane and I recently traveled to San Francisco for a family wedding. And, to my delight, I learned that the reception was being held at the St. Francis Yacht Club. If the Eugene Yacht Club could be described as “casual” then the St. Francis Yacht club is definitely “formal.” From the moment you walk in the door of their $10 million clubhouse, to the staff dressed in uniforms, and list of “Olympians” who grew up in their club, there is the feeling that you have arrived on “hallowed ground.” It was fun to wander around and look at the trophies inscribed with names of sailors I had only read about, to gaze at intricate scale models of America’s Cup Boats, and to admire their gift shop (look, but don’t touch).

With all of that said, when I introduced myself as Commodore of the Eugene Yacht Club, Jane and I were welcomed with genuine warmth. And when I mentioned that I had talked to their Commodore about a burgee exchange, they apologized that she was racing on the East Coast, but they would certainly make sure that she received our burgee upon her return. And sure enough, last Tuesday, I received a FedEx overnight package with a St. Francis Yacht Club burgee and a card from Commodore Theresa Brandner!

I mention all of this because there is a particular “kinship” that binds sailors together. And doesn’t matter whether you belong to a “blue blazer” yacht club, a “T-Shirt” yacht club, or a yacht club taht's something in between. What connects us is the joy we feel when we are out on the water and the friends that we are with.

Here at EYC, we have really kicked into high gear. The Memorial Day Regatta took place on a picture perfect weekend with nearly 50 boats out racing. Many thanks to Dean Mitchell (regatta chair), to Janet Mitchell (fabulous meals), to Rich Johnson (race committee), and Dan Merritt (club host), and to all who worked behind the scenes. Just two weeks later we hosted the “Live on the Edge” Regatta with less than perfect weather! Thanks to Roeland Kapsenberg (regatta chair) for another great event, and again to the crew in the kitchen and all those on race committee. In less than two weeks, we will host our annual Sail School which is our largest event of the year! Reneé Wingert and Heidi Leyba have planned an exciting and fun week for all ages. Whether you are enrolled in a class, or volunteering, I hope you will come out and share in the fun. And just five days later, we will host July 4 at the club. Stephanie Lunceford is planning games and fun along with a delicious meal. Susan Bloom is in charge of the parade and Glen Hughes promises fireworks that are bigger than ever.

In closing, I hope that you will join with me in keeping Kay Lee Brown in your thoughts and prayers following her husband Dave’s death. For more than three decades Dave has served our club in leadership as well as in quiet and unseen ways. He will be deeply missed by all.