Founded in 1932 Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club was established amid the enthusiasm for small boat racing sparked by the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. It was nurtured by such individuals as D.C. Shumway of the Los Angeles Recreation Department and Max Miller, our first Commodore. They wanted to create a club that maintained a low cost through the cooperative efforts of the membership. This spirit of enthusiasm and cooperation has been a hallmark of CBYC throughout the ensuing years.
The first recorded meeting was held in October, 1932 when the club's original name, the "Sailing Club," was changed to "Hollywood Yacht Club." Three months later the name was changed to "Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club." The early officers were a group of young men in a hurry. Though the club had been in existence for only a few months and had joined the Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) as an Associate Member only the month before, CBYC was asked to be the host club for all small boats in the 1933 Midwinter Regatta. We've hosted this prestigious event every year since.
The early Midwinters were held just off Cabrillo Beach, with the Race Committee stationed on the rock barges anchored off Cabrillo Pier. Since there were no restroom facilities available, serving on the Race Committee back then required real dedication. CBYC was a small boat club for many years and was host to many one-design fleets. The strongest of these were the Snipes, Geary 18's, Mercurys, P28's, Feathers and PICs.
Early CBYC Clubhouse Facilities We were a paper club when founded and early meetings were in various locations, including the basement of City Hall in downtown Los Angeles. Our dues were $1.00 per year, and the City handled all the funds. In 1948, under the guidance of Staff Commodore Francis Schwander, construction was begun on a clubhouse on the edge of East Channel in the Outer Los Angeles Harbor. Starting with two bare shacks, and with "Franny's" continuing leadership, we gradually added a galley, showers, a large and beautiful brick fireplace, a penthouse for the Race Committee, and two hoists.
Several years later, construction in the Outer Harbor forced moving of the hoists and boat storage yard to a new location at the foot of East Channel Street. In 1965 construction of a bulk loader and ore dock forced the demolition of the original clubhouse and relocation to an East 22nd Street facility. The club membership felt the heartbreak of this loss and our spectacular view of the harbor. In spite of that setback, the hard work, enthusiasm and cooperation of our members allowed the club to grow and prosper, though we remained a sailing club strictly devoted to racing.
Racing Grows at CBYC In 1971, "En La Estela de Cabrillo" (In the Wake of Cabrillo), a series of ocean races for larger boats, was added to our calendar, reflecting the increasing number of larger boats owned by CBYC members.
In 1976, CBYC gained prominence in international catamaran racing. Our challenge for the Little America's Cup was accepted by the Sorrento Yacht Club in Australia. This match race is sailed in C-Class catamarans, using the latest innovations in sail and hull technology. Our team skipper Alex Kosloff and crew Robbie Harvey, with Chuck Manning, won the cup in the final race of the best of seven series. In 1977, 16 yacht clubs from around the globe challenged us for the cup. Groton Point Yacht Club of New York won the position as challenger, and took the cup from CBYC in an innovative "hard sail" catamaran, Patient Lady.
In 1981, in joint organization with Dana Point Yacht Club, we began the "Historic Mariners Race", an offshore race from Cabrillo Beach to Dana Point sailing around Catalina Island. In later years the name of this race, which many enter as a 'Transpac tune-up' in Transpac years, was changed to the "Around Catalina" race. The race continues today!
Further Expansion and Recognition In 1982, we began developing plans to acquire new facilities in the West Channel/Cabrillo Beach Recreational Complex. In March of 1984, the Los Angeles Harbor Commission awarded the club the rights to develop Parcel F in the new marina.
Two other significant events occurred for CBYC in 1984. The City of Los Angeles again had the honor of hosting the Summer Olympic Games. Because of our racing know-how, the club was selected to conduct the Olympic Trials in the Tornado and Flying Dutchman classes. For the Olympics themselves, many of our members volunteered their time and expertise to the Olympic Sailing Committee and helped to stage the Olympic Regattas. Finally, Joanie Walker instituted an all-woman race, the annual Art Walker Memorial Regatta, the first of it's kind in the southern California area.
In 1986 we formed Cabrillo Landing and began construction of our new clubhouse, slips and commercial building. As we progressed toward development of our own marina facility, the club expanded it's membership and it's horizons. Power boaters were never excluded, but without a good facility, they were not attracted. Completion of Cabrillo Landing brought a substantial increase in power boats to the club and, in 1987, we had our first predicted log event.
On March 1, 1987, the clubs slips received their new occupants. Opening Day 1987 saw our 55 year old club in it's beautiful new clubhouse.
Expanded facilities have given us more responsibilities and activities. Now the prominent one designs in the club are the Cal 20's, Catalina 30's, and the Tornados, with the J-boats coming on strong. Our racing, cruising and social calendars have been expanded to meet the interests of our diverse and active membership. In 1987 we hosted the Tornado Nations and the PHRF Regionals. In 1988 we increased the number of events we hosted for the SCYA Midwinters and, in July, hosted the Cal-20 Nationals. In 1989 CBYC again challenged for the Little America's Cup, then held by McCrae Yacht Club in Australia. Our challenger, Wingmill, was a high-tech, reversing wing sail catamaran. The new boat met with disaster just before the first race, capsized and was destroyed by a combination of rough seas, gusty winds, and the downdraft from a TV helicopter trying to get close up film coverage.
The 1990's In 1991, we hosted the Catalina 30 National Championships. Our Junior Program was expanded to include a six-week summer sailing course and active involvement in year-round racing with other southern California clubs. In 1989 we co-hosted the Sabot Nationals.
Our women also began getting the attention they deserved. Besides the Art Walker Memorial, the club has hosted the Adams Cup Quarter Finals, held special women's one-design regattas, and on February 3, 1990, hosted the First Annual Women's Sailing Conference, sponsored by SCYA. Over 200 women sailors, experienced and novice, attended the seminars and received on-the-water training in 25 yachts of all sizes, skippered by women.
In August, 1990, we entered the world of ULDB-70 racing by hosting the Summer Sled Regatta. This invitational, multiple race event for '70 Raters was designed specifically as a spectator sport. The huge sleds raced around courses inside the harbor that are normally used for smaller boats. Many members came out to organize, spectate, and go aboard these state of the art racing machines. The event was so successful that it was added to the ULDB-70 Class High Point Series in 1991.
The New Millennium 2003 was another banner year for CBYC. We had a very challenging racing season that was highlighted by successfully defending the SPBYC Walt Elliott Challenge Trophy. Our Junior program offered many months of learning and fun to the kids of CBYC as well as to the children of the local community. We also received a $10,000 donation to our Junior Sailing Foundation, which was donated by the Port of LA. The club sponsored several cruises for events up and down the coast, which included our first ever joint CBYC & LACYC Commodore's Cruise to Howlands Cove on Catalina Island. CBYC members were also very active in supporting the Los Angeles Maritime Institute's Brigantine Top Sail Program, which was in the process of building the Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson. Our $10,000 donation to the program earned us the privilege of having a plaque with the CBYC name over one of the berths. This was also the year that CBYC started our paid OD program as well as laying the ground work fr implementing our new CBYC website.
During the spring, the Port of Los Angeles unveiled their Bridge to Breakwater Plan which Eliminated CBYC. A call to the membership resulted in an excellent turn out at the first public meeting which was recognized by the meeting organizers and was the start of the campaign to have CBYC retain a significant place in the resultant Bridge to Breakwater Plan.
Significant support was solicited and received from the Mayor's office, Councilwoman Hahn and the Port of LA with the Architect for the Bridge to Breakwater Plan. As a result, CBYC is in the final plan showing a significant expansion and near term parking is promise to start in the fall of 2005.
The CBYC facility is approximately 18 years old and starting to show significant wear and tear; however, the initial phases of redecoration have occurred. New lighting in the dining room installed, a new sound system and projector installed, and the old wall coverings were removed. While it will be several years getting this finished, a great start has been made.
During June, CBYC held the first Farr 40 Invitational regatta in the history of the club. This event featured world class crews and boats and was won by John Kilroy aboard his boat Samba Pa Ti.
2005 was a terrific year at CBYC. Our membership grew with more than 50 new members. We began the redecoration of the clubhouse. Commodore Pam Meisel skippered the Farr 40 White Knight in LAYC's Opening Day Commodores' Challenge and came home with 1st Place. Junior member Ryan Hoeven was named 2005 ASPBYC Junior Yachtsman of the Year. CBYC hosted the Cal 20 National Championships, the Mercury National Championships, the Olson 30 National Championships, the SCYA Midwinter Regatta, the Alter Cup Area J Qualifier and more. We held the SCYA/ASPBYC Race Management Seminar and the SCYA Racing Rules 102 Seminar. CBYC continued its tradition of hosting US Navy ships and crew with Navy Days LA ' IV when CBYC was the USS Stethem's home away from home for a five day port visit. We adopted three tall ships competing in the Tall Ships Challenge Race along the Pacific Coast and were the start boats as the race continued from Point Fermin to San Diego.
In 2006, the membership overwhelmingly agreed to make CBYC an equity club. CBYC's Junior Program continued its growth with its High School Sailing Program, and our juniors competed coastally and nationally. CBYC's Race Management Committee saw several new PROs. Our racing program continued to grow this year highlighted by an incredible showing of more than 80 entries in the Laser Pacific Coast Championships. Our cruisers continued to explore of the coastal clubs and sites. CBYC continued to support our Navy personnel by hosting two 'Navy Days ' LA' events. Officers and crew from the guided missile frigate USS McClusky were welcomed to the Club for a fabulous 4th of July event. Later in the year, the nuclear submarine USS Los Angeles was hosted by the Club as she visited for the first time ever her namesake city.
2007 saw CBYC celebrating its 75th Anniversary. Commodore Melis Askew brought home 1st Place honors in LAYC's Commodore's Challenge skippering Zoltan Katinszky's Farr 40 White Knight. Staff Commodore Frank Dair was honored as the 2007 ASPBYC Yachtsman of the Year. CBYC saw major infrastructure updates in its properties. We hosted the PHRF Championships, the ASPBYC San Pedro Bay Cup, the Opti Challenge, the 420 PCC, and the Shadden #2 420s to name a few. The juniors attended and placed in more regattas than ever. CBYC cruisers continued to spread Corinthian spirit to all ports visited. Our marina was declared a 'Clean Marina', and the Club now has an Emergency Preparedness Plan. We continued our extensive charitable fundraisers benefiting youth sailing, our military, holiday gifting to underprivileged children, regional food banks, and the Fisher House Foundation. Navy Days - LA welcomed the officers and crew of the USS Rentz and raised money f or their MWR Fund. As the ultimate highlight, CBYC was named the SCYA 2007 Senior Club of the Year, our third time in 11 years!
2008 was a rewarding year. Our junior membership grew to exceed 20% of our membership and our junior sailing teams placed in the top third of regattas. We raced from the Stanford University 'Cardinal Regatta' to the USC 'Rose Bowl Regatta' to the CSUSD 'Gaucho Regatta'. We won the right to host the Opti Nationals in 2009 based on our race management skills when hosting the Opti PCC's and National team practice in 2008. Russ and Deanie Collins received the CBYC Burgee of Merit for their support of junior programs. The bar furnishing were replaced with new bar stools, chairs and tables along with a social gathering seating area near the bar. The project was funded through the contributions of participating members. A new marina and dry storage security system was installed providing visual surveillance and recording capabilities.
Our history continues . . . We're proud of our growth and accomplishments over the years, as our members continue the spirit of cooperation, enthusiasm, and hard work that sparked creation of the club more than 75 years ago.