History of the Club
SCCYC is the longest-lived yacht club in Santa Monica Bay and among the oldest on the Pacific Coast, tracing its incorporation to the depression year of 1932 on March 31, 1932.
South Coast Corinthian Yacht Club has gone through many changes from its earlier foundations, retaining the spirit of yachting and having a good time. Today, we are a cross-section of the yachting community, incorporating a variety of craft from single man rowing shells and sabots to ocean racers competing internationally and power cruisers.
As the great depression deepened and spread, two key groups in SCCYC’s early history formed; Santa Monica Sailing Club and South Coast Corinthian Yacht Club, both organized in 1932. These two groups differed considerably – SMSC was mainly composed of Star, Snipe and dinghy sailors who met informally and never incorporated. By contrast, SCCYC was actively promoted by large boat “yachtsmen”, collected dues and initiation fees and incorporated as a California non-profit corporation in 1932. On the other hand, both groups shared an interest in sailing.
SMSC sailors launched their home built boats from the sands of Santa Monica beach and met in ocean front cabins. It’s first Commodore was August Paulson. SCCYC’s first Commodore was Eugene Overton, a spirited sailor. In 1934 the Santa Monica breakwater was completed and SCCYC obtained a small meeting room on the Santa Monica Pier. The location was convenient since the Pier had a crane which could be used for hoisting the more popular boats of the day, such as Snipes and Six-Meters.
This period came to a close in 1937 with the deterioration of the breakwater and the City of Santa Monica granting a lease to the proposed Catalina Island steamer (requiring elimination of yacht moorings inside the breakwater). SCCYC abandoned its dream to build a larger Clubhouse in that area. Contributions for construction were returned; the Club disposed of its assets and liabilities and went dormant, except for the name and Articles of Incorporation.
In 1938, SCCYC and the Santa Monica Sailing Club joined forces and voted to adopt the Articles of Incorporation of SCCYC. The new group elected new Officers/Board of Directors and started to grow and thrive. By the end of the decade, the Club had joined the Southern California Yacht Racing Association (SCYRA) sponsoring the first Pacific Coast Championship Regatta in Santa Monica Bay.
About this time, another sailing club was formed out of a group of Douglas Aircraft Company employees starting a project to build their own sailing dinghies. They selected a design by George Owen and Jack Wood of MIT’s School of Naval Architecture, similar to the dinghy used at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but modified for performance in the choppy waters of Santa Monica Bay. At first, they had no official name, though some called themselves “The Hoboken Bilge Association.” When enough boats were built they became “The Santa Monica Delta Dinghy Fleet.”
The early 1940s brought a devastating war, costing many lives and disrupting many others. With the war came a recession, making survival uncertain; many businesses, social groups and clubs dissolved; but SCCYC held on. Smaller sailing groups, which would have had no choice but to dissipate, joined SCCYC. Among these, in 1942, was the Santa Monica Delta Dinghy Fleet.
As the post-war boom dawned, SCCYC was back on its feet, hotter than ever. Racing and cruising again became popular events. In 1955 Donald Morgan organized the first Sabot fleet. In 1958, Staff Commodores Warren Bradley, Firmin Porter and Donald Morgan organized the importing of seven Enterprise kits from England. And in 1959, Dick Walford organized the Satellite fleet, to later become known as the Super-Satellite Fleet.
In 1961 SCCYC helped to establish the Associate of Santa Monica Bay Yacht Clubs (ASMBYC) to promote and coordinate yachting activities in the Bay. Other Charter Member clubs included Del Rey YC, Malibu YC, Windjammers YC, California YC and King Harbor YC. Also in this year the Champion fleet was organized.
In 1966, SCCYS’s dream of the thirties became a reality. The Board of Directors in conjunction of it’s own Clubhouse on Mindanao Way. Construction started in March, and by December the SCCYC burgee hung over its own facility. SCCYC became an integral part of the thriving marina environment.
The 1970s brought expanded social and racing events to SCCYC members. Television’s Channel 2 News (CBS) covered the first official wedding ceremony on Club premises, for Flag Members John and Aneta Francis. New social activities presented by Corinthians’ President, Pat McElderry, included an annual boat show and boat hopping party. An international theme was established for SCCYC Christmas parties, with Hal Pritchard playing Santa. Weekly and monthly dinners were served, the most well known being the “International Dinners” hosted by various Club members.
On the racing side, Staff Commodore Guy Laurendeau raced his offshore thirty-two foot yacht, Ziguener, to top honors in the Ensenada race in 1972. SCCYC sponsored the first “Ladies at the Helm” race in 1973, an activity presented by Vice Commodore Al Bergen. The Les Storrs Series of races was established in 1976, honoring our 1936 Commodore. Thanks to the adept camera techniques of Buck Trippel, South Coast Corinthian was the first yacht club to have video replay of races. In 1978, two members, Kas Kastner and Jules Rensen, established the Santana 20 fleet in the Marina (Fleet One of the Santana 20 Class). In 1979, Sandy Clark skippered his yacht, Quamichan, in the TransPac, a race to Honolulu, the first SCCYC yacht to do so.
1980 saw the first female Commodore in the Marina and the second in Southern California, Virginia Atkinson. Virginia was the second woman to be voted into Blue Gavel, an organization of Staff Commodores.
The Club saw many improvements in the eighties including a new refrigeration unit, television, large capacity ice machine and beer/soft drink dispensing machine. Gary and Pam Magnuson devoted the majority of their free weekend time to sponsoring Sunday brunches to raise money for a two-tom hoist upgrade. Unfortunately, the cost of the work proved prohibitive.
In 1983, Steve Carrick became the youngest Commodore ever among Marina del Rey yacht clubs. In 1984, Commodore Bill Sheffer hosted the now famous Commodore’s Barbecue. Bill also initiated, organized and sponsored the Clambake Cruise for Labor Day, 1984.
Then a yacht club’s worse nightmare came true. Our landlord wanted to increase the rent so drastically that we simply could not afford to stay. Our membership was at an all time low.
In 1989, we became “homeless.” But not before the biggest, best and still the only “Closing Day Ceremony” in MdR.
For two and a half years after our departure from the Clubhouse on Mindanao Way, a core of Members struggled to keep the Club alive and active. Meetings were held at other MdR yacht clubs, at restaurants, or at Member’s homes. We remained active in ASMBYC and SCYA and met our financial responsibilities to them.
The nineties were shaping up to be a decade of rebirth for SCCYC. In mod 1991, Ken Nairne negotiated a lease for a small space in the second floor of a yacht brokers’ building on Admiralty Way. It was a place, not a palace, but Members pitched in to remodel and pulled old furnishings out of storage.
After about a year and a half on Admiralty Way, Ken negotiated another great deal. We could get the old Clubhouse back for less rent than we were paying when we left in 1989. So in January 1993, we moved back to the original facility on Mindanao Way and implemented an aggressive membership drive. MdR Opening Day Ceremonies for SCCYC was one of its best ever. We came home and the entire Marina knew it.
In August 1993 with the momentum of some new Members and the veracity of more seasoned Members, the Clubhouse got a major facelift: new carpeting; linoleum; paint; bar countertop; and the promise of a strong presence in MdR.
The Club continued to grow and was extremely active in racing during the watches of Commodore Bob Kellock 1996/1997 and Commodore Mike Priest 1998. Both Bob and Mike continued to excel as race chairs and racing leaders as Staff Commodores.
In 1999, Commodore Gil Gflener, Vice Commodore Sandy Clark and Rear Commodore Sherry Barone successfully negotiated the re-purchase of the hoist by SCCYC for $1. It was restored to service using a grant from Irene Campbell (now Hay), painted by volunteers, and appropriately marked by Dick Peterson. The Star, Cal 20, and Santana 20 fleets are actively using the hoist. A hoist upgrade to accommodate heavier boats is planned.
In 2000, Commodore Sandy Clark led SCCYC into the new millennium. Racing continued and the Club continued to grow. Sandy arranged many new improvements to the Clubhouse, including new carpeting and sofas. Mike Priest won ASMBYC’s Yachtsman of the Year award. Sandy provided Direct TV for the enjoyment of the Membership. Treasurer Steve Krug selected the system for those rainy days and for watching USC and UCLA football.
In 2001, Commodore Sherry Barone started a monthly speaker series at SCCYC, bringing in experts in both the sailing and power-boating worlds. Sherry also started the Junior Shipmate Program in June 2001 to teach teams of Special Olympic athletes and able-bodied children how to sail. ABC and Fox TV networks covered this event. Rear Commodore Terry Stingfellow and Port Captain Ron Tvenstrup were instrumental in supporting and helping with the program on the water, as were Sean and Peter Beale, Charlotte Auroux, John Edwards, Deon Claiborne and Mike Oliveau, Jr. UCLA, the Cal 20 fleet, Terry and Darlene Stringfellow and Ron Tvenstrup provided the training boats.
SCCYC hosted the Adams Cup Area J women’s finals for the second time in three years in August 2001. Staff Commodore Mike Priest again led the event and served as Principal Race Officer, supported by Race Chair/Staff Commodore Bob Kellock. Vice Commodore Doug Russell and Nancy Russell led an excellent series of hospitality events, as well as for many other occasions all year. SCCYC also hosted the ASMBYC Home Port Regatta in November.
Aggressive membership growth was continued by Membership Chair Carl Radusch.
Secretary Nancy Werner and Mark Register created an updated SCCYC web site.
Club enhancements for 2001 included new vinyl flooring, dishwasher, stove, BBQ, dishes/glasses, and TV (with Bob Tusler leading the fund-raising). The Club remained extremely active, with numerous fundraisers – Turning the Tides on MS, Diabetes Foundation, American Red Cross, Special Olympics – as well as conducting numerous other special and usual Club social functions.
In 2000 and 2001 Mike Cheda , racing his Santana 20 (Bandit), won the Marylyn Ritchie trophy for top boat for the Wednesday Sunset Series at Cal. In 2003 Dr. Sandy Clark, with his Davidson 44 – Quamichan, swept the Salsa Division of the Del-Rey Yacht Club, Marina del Rey to Puerto Vallarta Race. The crew included 4 past commodores, Sandy Clark, Gil Gflener, Bob Kellock and Mark Register. Commodore Carl Radusch, with his Ross 40 Sparta, cleaned up in Long Beach, taking the Catalina Island series. In 2007 Steve Arkle (a.k.a. Sparkle) won the Schock 35 Pacific Coast Championship on Power Play and Karyn Jones was awarded the Peggy Slater Trophy for her contribution to women’s sailing by SCYC.
The recent renaissance of the Lido 14 fleet brings SCCYC back to it’s dinghy roots. Two of our Lido fleet, Tracey Kenney and Peter Beale, have had remarkable success and were promoted to the A Fleet in 2007. The Lido 14 fleet has greatly impacted the entire club from increased bar donations on Thursday nights to filling 7 of the 11 Board of Directors positions.
In 2006 Jerome Sammarcelli brought the Open 5.70 sport boat fleet from France to SCCYC, the first fleet to be established in the United States.
In recent years the profile of the club has been on the rise with Stu Coleman and Dana Hutton taking active roles in ASMBYC and Bruce Fleck representing the club on the PHRF board.
2008 welcomed Beacon Editor/Webmaster/Race Committee member, Stu Coleman as Commodore, who lead a big surge in our racing program with 32 boats in 6 classes participating in our March 22 Les Storrs Regatta and 2-page spread coverage in the Argonaut newspaper. The July One-Design Weekend had 18 boats in three classes. The oldest yacht race in Santa Monica Bay, the August Outlook Trophy Race, otherwise known as the Ironman race, saw 17 entries and 14 finishers. SCCYC partnered with the San Fernando Valley Yacht Club to host post race hospitality for their cruiser races and with WSA to support their sailing programs. Commodore Stu Coleman led the club’s effort to be recognized as the Southern California Yachting Association “Club of the Year” for the first time in the club’s 76-year history.
2009 had Commodore Tom Estlow continuing our partnerships in sponsoring Women Sailing Association Meetings and events and San Fernando Valley Yacht Club post-race festivities. Monthly Wednesday movie nights with a nautical theme continued to flourish, the Lido 14 continued to grow with 6 boats travelling to compete in the High Sierra Regatta . The Open 5.70 fleets blossomed with 6 of the new sport boats competing in One-Design Weekend. 21 Boats competed in the Ironman Outlook Trophy race with member, Brian Mason, winning the centerboard class with Lil Dude. Bruce Fleck and Larry Hoskinson won the Campbell Cup in costumed style aboard the mighty Bandit. Tom Estlow and wife Karmen attended every SCYA meeting and with their tireless leadership, SCCYC was again recognized as SCYA Club of the Year.
2010 saw our 2008 Corinthian Spirit Trophy winner, Bruce Fleck, take the helm as Commodore with 2008 Racer of the Year, Tracey Kenney, stepping up as Vice
Commodore. The clubhouse battled and won a war against the termites and despite them no longer holding hands, the old wooden clubhouse continues to stand. The club welcomed new members, Gigi Barbes and Noah Farrell. SCCYC took over management of the Thursday Night Dinghy summer regatta, the Sunstroke Series from CYC, as our member Lido 14s and C-15s outnumbered entries from California Yacht Club. Open 5.70 Fleet Captain won the overall SBYRC Champagne Trophy and 15 members raced in the SCYA Midwinters regatta. The Club experienced the Chile Tsunami with the water dropping down to the mud in front of the clubhouse with little damage. The club continued its cruising heritage with many club cruises under the leadership of S/C Sandy Bartiromo. Newish members, Charles and Joanna Smith won their class at the 6th annual Fleet 2 Invitational. The Corinthian Cup Layover race to King Harbor and back had 21 boats competing. The Sunstroke Series continues to bring in more boats and special thanks to Rob Bray’s D.I.S.C. sponsorship of this regatta. The Outlook trophy saw 20 entrants with Vincent Paternoster taking the bullet. The Campbell cup saw the Bandit Team win again with Commodore Bruce and Staff Commodore John Thomas and longtime crew and screenwriting legend, Mike Cheda exploiting the light winds to victory. At the installation dinner, we welcomed Tracey, Karyn and Steve as our new bridge and honored S/C Sandy B as Cruiser of the Year and Gary Magnuson as our Corinthian Spirit honoree. Commodore Bruce Fleck led the club to be recognized as the SCYA club of the year for the 3rd year in a row! Wow!
2011 welcomed Commodore , Lido sailor and Open 5.70 racer, Tracey Kenney, to the helm of the club. S/C Sandy Bartiromo put together a great Cruising Calendar. Longtime devoted flag Member Dana Hutton was sworn in as Commodore of ASMBYC and the fabled Bob Kellock was recognized as a Life Member. We had a legendary Superbowl event that invited everyone to jump into the pool that continues to this day. Tiffany Becker joined the club bringing us to a 7-year high of 70 members (and her awesome tacos). Larry Hoskinson and Gigi Barbes won the Super Bowl Regatta in the Lido B Fleet. S/C Bruce Fleck continued his taco dinner event and Gigi Barbes brought home the burgee from NYC (The Nassau Yacht Club). Gigi’s uncle was a founding member of that Bahamas yacht club in 1931. Mary Ho, Laser sailor (and future WSA Commodore) presented a slideshow of her trip to Easter Island. Sadly, the club mourned the loss of Steven P. Arkle’s Schock 35, Powerplay, on a delivery to Long Beach, a boat enshrined on our Newport to Ensenada Trophy. Longtime member, Peter Beale, became the proud owner of a beautiful 36’ Magellan Ketch, Free Sprit. and has been taking club members out for daysails. The Sunstroke Series continued to flourish with growing Lido and C-15 fleets. The Commodore’s cruise to the Isthmus was a big success. Jim Doherty and his Camelot crew won their class in the SMWYC Outlaw Regatta. The Santana 20 Bandit was the Overall Winner and Sandy Clark’s Quamichan was the first to finish in the Intra-Club Campbell race. Commodore, Tracey Kenney was invited to the US Sailing Championship of Champions regatta where she competed in the Flying Scot and represented the club well.
2012 saw former WSA Commodore, Karyn Jones take the helm of the club into our 80th year as a Yacht Club.. S/C Stu Coleman wanting to work on his cardio became Bar Manager. We had a great opening day thanks to the stalwart volunteers, Robert Symer, Gary Magnussen and Larry Hoskinson. The Club welcomed Lara Jacques as a new member. An occasional poker night was introduced. Fleet Captain, Jerome Samarcelli, completed the 165nm Bishop Rock Race aboard his Pogo2 in little more than 30 hours. The Sampson’s hosted an amazing St. Patrick’s Party after the Les Storrs race and followed that with a great Kentucky Race night. Matt Schultz, Lifesail program saw five of his student built optimists Set sail in L.A.’s MacArthur park Lake, the first time sailboats had graced that lake. S/C Clark Garrett’s daughters Mika and Annika, racing for Marymount High school, helped propel the school to a second place finish out of 30 schools in the Golden Bear regatta in San Francisco Bay. The Spring Cruise was cancelled due to ferocious rain which now seems like a distant memory, hmm rain… Robert Symer, Trish LaVay and S/C Jerry Magnussen worked to get us great new mood lighting for the bar. The Accidental Wine Company brought us our first of several Wine Tasting events. Club mascot Nemo went missing but his kidnappers were caught and our favorite clownfish was returned to the bar. Jerome competed in the PSSA Catalina to Port race with winds up to 30 knots with high boat speeds from 12-19 knots! C-15 Sailor, Steve Miller joined the club in time for Sunstroke series that is now seeing 11 Lidos and 8 C15s on an average night. Tracey Kenney on her Open 5.70 won the PHRF class in the Corinthian Cup race to King Harbor and back.
2013 had Lido 14 sailor and future Snipe restorer, Steve Vincent, assume command our March Lido Invitational welcomed 22 Boats to compete in 3 classes in the exit channel. 11 Boats competed in the Corinthian Cup with Jim Doherty’s Camelot as the best finishing SCCYC boat. The Commodore won the Sunstroke Series Lido A Class with future members Susan and Werner taking 2nd and Vincent Paternoster Sweeping the C15 class. Charles and Joanna Smith were the top boat in the 2013 Lido Fleet 2 Championship aboard the mighty, Lido Mosquito.
2014 Nick Sampson
2015 saluted Trevor Bazely as commodore and our new social chair Michelle Markham began a new social program with movie nights, rum tastings and more. We celebrated George Biddle’s 71st Birthday with a very well attended Potluck Dinner. Michelle and Aleks overhauled the Bar Management duties and the club experimented with an online system for O.D. Shifts. Trevor worked tirelessly with Michael Bashar from Pier 44 to coordinate our move to temporary digs in Fisherman’s Village until our new clubhouse is built on Bali Way.
2016 welcomed Kelly Cantley as commodore who had stepped off the ladder for a few years due to work obligations. Aleks Tamulis introduced the Shallow Water series with the help of Race Chair, Matt Kreke, and PRO, Bob Kellock for dinghies of all types to race inside the Marina on weekend days, with 17 boats including C-15s, FJs, a Johnson 18, Lidos and Snipes. Our Lido Fleet 2 Championship saw the Snipe fleet reduced to one after equipment and weather took their toll, Vincent Paternoster and Steve Miller clinched the C-15 fleet; David McDaniel and wife Minyoung finished 2 points out of first bur then a Tie-breaker on the last race for first ended with Jen and Chris Kitchen taking 2nd in the B fleet. Charles and Joanna Smith did well in the “A” Fleet but it was their organization and sponsor contributions that really contributed to this event’s success. The Les Storrs Regatta brought out strong showings in PHRF A, PHRF B Martin 242 and some Cruisers for the MDR Spring Opener again thanks to RC Matt Kreke, RC Boat, Camelot with Jim Doherty and stalwarts, Larry Hoskinson and Tom Estlow in the markset boat.. Scott McKenney and his J32, Betty, with SCCYC crew of wife Nancy, Kathy St. Amant, Lara Jacques and future members, John Goebel and Mark Brazil stormed down to Mexico in the Newport to Ensenada race in 20:35 but after a halyard issue, didn’t finish as fast as hoped. Pilot and Beneteau racer, Mike Quigley, hosted an awesome Cinco de Mayo dinner complete with Mariachi band. Trimaran owner and member, Nadine Nettman Semerau published her first novel, a wine themed mystery titled, Decanting a Murder.
Port Captain Steve Miller and House Chair/Future Commodore Jennifer Kitchen worked with the dry storage fleet to manage the transition to our new hoist-less clubhouse with aplomb. And Jennifer and her move team worked tirelessly to ensure a seamless August 27-28 final move of the clubhouse furnishings and all of the artifacts the club has collected in its 80+ year history.
Ever vigilant Mike Quigley in Mariner’s Bay D Basin was awoken to a neighbors dock fire and through quick thinking put out a dinghy fire that nearly engulfed nearby boats. Bob Kellock and Samantha Carlson celebrated their last? Corinthian Cup as they officiated the race they had met at back in 2005. 3 club boats participated and Jim Doherty and his Camelot crew won Cruiser 30+ and the Kitchen Family in the Ranger 33, Zephyr, placed strong racing with their two darling boys on their first overnight sailing trip.
2017 Brian Keown