Founded in 1932
Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club (CBYC) 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 low costs 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 again 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 by SCYA 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 originally 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.
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 its membership and its 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 its 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.
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 Sailing program offered many months of instruction 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 & LAYC 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 Officer of the Day program as well as laying the groundwork for implementing our new 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 Los Angeles Mayor's office, Councilwoman Janice Hahn, and the Port of LA with the architect for the Bridge to Breakwater Plan. As a result, CBYC was in the final plan showing a significant expansion and adjacent parking was promised 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.
Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club – History 2010 to 2019
The four years of 2010 through 2013, CBYC members were busy on the race course. As always, Hurricane Gulch delivered opportunities and challenges for local and visiting yachtsmen alike. Starting with the 2010 US Sailing Youth Championships, CBYC held two or three major regattas each year, including the 29er National Championships, Mercury Nationals, Optimist North American Championships, International 14 Nationals and the Optimist West Coast Championships. Members found time to win the SCYA 2010 Senior Club of the Year and introduce two new popular social activities: the monthly Birthday Bar and Book Club. The High School Sailing teams were growing, even going to Hawaii to compete.
The big news in 2014 was CBYC Member Karl Burton, who at 86 years of age sailed his Swan 62 single handed around the world. The yacht club threw a tremendous party upon his return, beginning with a boat parade to escort him home. New activities included an Anchoring Cruise to Oil Island White and introducing Adult Community Sailing instruction on Cal20s. And finally, international racing continued with the Farr 40 Invitational Regatta.
All of Los Angeles Harbor had a treat in 2015 when CBYC hosted the Schooner, America’s visit. America is a replica of the original America, which won the 1851 America’s Cup, and at 139 feet, barely fit at the end of A Dock. Local at risk youth were treated to a two-hour harbor cruise on the America, and members had a special treat enjoying a sunset cocktail cruise. Commodore Mike Burch had a competitive year, winning the Keating Coffey Flagship Trophy (LAYC Opening Day), the ASPBYC Walt Elliot Trophy and Transpac. Perhaps the two most impactful changes in 2015 were the addition of regular food service and the decision to print the monthly Lighthouse in color!
The first official CBYC Out of Area Cruise was held in 2016 with four chartered boats in the British Virgin Islands. Continuing our CBYC winning streak for the third year in a row, Commodore Bill Schopp won the Keating Coffee Flagship Trophy. Commodore Schopp also went on to win the ASPBYC Walt Elliot, sailing a Catalina 37. CBYC also received an invitation to complete in the coveted Lipton Cup. Our numbers of Associate members continued to grow, with the younger generation making its mark on the race circuit. Associate Member and Head Sailing Coach Steve Natvig and his team won the California Dreaming Series Match Racing, competing against the best the west coast had to offer from San Diego to San Francisco.
The year 2017 had something for everyone. The CBYC out of Area Cruise rose in popularity, with seven boats chartered in the Pacific Northwest. A Land Cruise was added to the cruising calendar when twelve members journeyed to El Mirage Dry Lake to try their hand at land sailing. The Junior Laser Race team demonstrated its competitiveness with many wins, including the top three spots at the Junior Olympic Festival in San Diego. Additionally, our Junior member, Cameron Feves, won the US Sailing Sears Cup Championship. Members who came for food and friendship were treated to live music at Friday Night Cook Your Owns in addition to the Birthday Bar. Membership continues to grow, and the club is fiscally responsible and financially strong.
2018. The club had a fabulous year as we continued to build on the momentum of the last few years. In January, Commodore Mike Stavros skippered the Farr 40 White Knight to 1st Place in LAYC’s Opening Day Commodores’ Challenge. Our Junior Program was active the entire year with a fantastic Summer Program and 3 High School Programs. Junior Cameron Feves and team mate Lukas Kraak placed 2nd in a tiebreaker in the U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup. Cameron was also Captain with team mates Christoper Salas and Justin Zmina in the U.S Triplehanded Championship where they placed 2nd. CBYC hosted numerous Regattas including the Cal 20 MidWinter, Farr 40 West Coast Spring Championship, Eli Reuben Memorial Opti Regatta, Spring Pt. Fermin Inverted Start, Around Catalina to Dana Point Race, Cal 20 SoCal Championship, Viper 640 PCC, Pt. Fermin Inverted for Charity, and the Holiday Opti Regatta. Our Cruising participation continued to grow with numerous cruises to Catalina and other Southern California destinations and also an Out of Area Cruise to the Gulf Islands in Canada. Our Opening Day was amazing and we even had a fly over by the Goodyear blimp. The Social Calendar included events nearly every weekend and most were sellouts. We added a Lobster Tournament as a new annual fishing event. Our Bar Food Menu was expanded and was available nightly. New wallpaper was installed throughout the Club. Our annual participation in Fleet Week LA was a huge success as we partnered with the Bob Hope USO and raised over $7,500 in donations for the benefit of our military visitors. We had great member participation the entire year in all aspects of the club. The Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) recognized the outstanding CBYC Flag Officer and Member participation in 2018 by selecting CBYC as the 2018 Senior Yacht Club of the year.
2019 turned out to be a busy year for CBYC, starting with Commodore Mike Richards win at the Commodore’s Cup for LAYC’s Opening Day Regatta. In 2019 CBYC has become more active in predicated log events with member Randee Woods winning 2nd place in the Marina Cup. As always we had a very active racing program and our cruiser’s averaged at least a cruise a month for the year including an out of area trip. The Club’s Juniors were particularly fortunate. Palos Verdes High School team participated in the ISSA Mallory Doublehanded Championship held in Seattle Washington state. CBYC Junior members; Lucas Kraak, Sophia Lopez, Gavin McJones, Justin Zmina and Emily Collins participated. Cameron Faves, Lucas Kraak, and Justin Zmina won the Chicago Qualifier for the US Match Racing Championships. Cameron Feves, Lucas and Justin also won a berth to the Governor’s Cup, which is the only age limited(youth) grade 1 match race event with sailors from all over the world. Association of San Pedro Yacht Club’s also named Justin Zmina, a CBYC member and a Club coach as its 2019 Junior Yachtsperson of the year. Finally CBYC won the SCYA’s Old Timers Trophy at the September 2019 meeting.
2020 - The Year Everything Stopped
2020 was the year of COVID-19, a worldwide pandemic. While the Club continued to operate, most of the social events, races and scheduled cruises were cancelled after March. Dining was restricted to outdoor dining and masks and "social distancing" were required at all times. Through all this, our members quarantined themselves as requested by the CDC and spent as much quality time aboard their boats as possible. Both of the aging boat hoists were replaced to better serve our dry storage members.
2021 - Mid Pandemic
Due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, the year started with a closed Clubhouse and take-out food service only. Club events such as meetings, the officer installation ceremony, watching Prada Cup and America's Cup took place on Zoom. New membership cards were created and printed in house for timelier delivery to members. In March, thanks to the positive effects of the vaccine with a dramatic decrease in the number of infected people, the Clubhouse was allowed to open, but with restricted capacity. CBYC implemented a reservation system and table service which was appreciated by many members, CBYC followed all State, County and City imposed public health rules including no inside TV viewing, 90 minute table time-limit, tables must be 8 feet apart, no live entertainment, and masks required except while eating or drinking. In June, the Clubhouse was able to open back to "normal" except masks and physical distancing were required. We had the Commodore's Welcome Back party and the 4th of July activities as well as a Welcome Transpac Racers party. We were able to have Opening Day in August with a big tent in the parking lot and in September we were able to get the eelvator working. This long delayed project was hampered by supply chain and permitting problems due to the lack of inspectors caused by the pandemic. CBYC hosted the Cal 20 Nationals in October as well as our traditional race and cruising events. In December, CBYC hosted the LA Harbor Holiday Aflot (Boat) Parade. While there were some remaining restrictions due to COVID-19 variants, events such as the Commodore's Ball, Thanksgiving Dinner, membership meetings, Christmas parties and New Year's Eve party were held.
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 90 years ago.