Until Marina del Rey and King Harbor were completed in the early 1960‘s there was little moorage available for sailboatsso there was little racing. Back then the Santa Monica Yacht Harbor was behind the now demolished breakwater off the Santa Monica Pier. South Coast Corinthian Yacht Club was represented there as was one of the original ‘Snipe’ one-design fleets (they launched from their trailers on the pier with the hoist used to off load commercial fishing boats.) When the two marinas opened, yacht clubs began to form and the foundations of a vital boating area were laid.
Click on the Year Book of 1968 picture to view it:
Yacht racing requires lots of support: from the buoys anchored in the water, to the Race Committee boat that signals the races’ starts and records the racer’s finish times, to the yacht club that organizes the race and hosts the festivities after, and to the group empowered to create handicap rating systems – yacht racing requires many supporting institutions.
The first Santa Monica Bay yacht clubs had to raise funds to construct their clubhouses, so joining a yacht club required a substantial financial commitment, and there was even a waiting list to get in line to pay those thousands of dollars. This expensive ‘buy-in’ was an especially big obstacle to the less permanent sailors in the local military and aerospace industries who would not be around to enjoy their yacht club investments for years to come.
That was the environment that led founding Commodore Mitch Dazey and a few other King Harbor sailors to start the South Bay Yacht Racing Club in 1964. Within a decade the Club moved to Marina del Rey and has supported area racing ever since.
I joined SBYRC in the mid-70’s when I moved into the area with a Ranger 26’ sailboat and a recent infection of the racing bug. My application to join my friends’ “landed” club was stuck on a waiting list, and club membership was a requirement to enter races – a reasonable rule to make sure each racer paid his share to the various organizations that supported the racing.
There followed more than a decade of rapid expansion and interest in racing sailboats, and SBYRC thrived on the influx