California Yacht Club was started in 1922 in Los Angeles harbor by a group of dedicated yachtsman – most from Los Angeles Athletic Club and the rest active in other early yacht clubs of the day. They built a magnificent clubhouse with an anchorage of several hundred sail and power boats.
Offshore speedboat contests and long distance cruising were active pursuits as well as sailing ‘ round the buoys. CYC’s trophy case was filled to bursting early on and the Club contributed many of the leaders of Southern California’s early yachting organizations. The Clubhouse was the scene of many Los Angeles area social activities and drew visitors from around the world.
In 1922, the speedboat fraternity at CYC invited the incomparable Gar Wood to race in Los Angeles. As expected, his hydroplane MISS AMERICA roared off with all the honors. A pioneer in speedboat racing, CYC awarded the first trophy for auxiliaries and power cruisers and, at this time, launched an unlimited speedboat class for the historic DeMille Gold Cup and the Dan Pratt Trophy. The Catalina Challenge for offshore speedboats was later hosted for many years by CYC out of Marina del Rey, three quarters of a century later
The first power boat Predicted Log Race was proposed by imaginative naval architect D. M. Callis in the fall of 1929. It turned out to be a marathon long-distance trip negotiated in three legs: Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara to Monterey, and Monterey to San Francisco. A one-day layover was scheduled between legs. Among the early entrants for this race were CYC members Goetz and Wilson, who installed a Liberty engine in their BLUEBOY and pounded their way to the Golden Gate. Arriving with the boat leaking like a sieve, they raced across the finish line and headed straight for the nearest boatyard to avoid sinking. The Coast Guard cutter ALGONQUIN was the patrol vessel on that race and Retired Admiral Frank Higbie was its Executive Officer.