Commodore Jeff Olmstead’s Opening Day Speech

Welcome to the 45th season of Pierpont Bay Yacht Club, the little club that can. We can party, we can race, we can support the community.

PBYC has a schedule of parties and events throughout the year. Starting with our Change of Command dinner in January, and continuing with a Super Bowl party, St. Patrick’s Day luncheon and limerick contest, Opening Day of course, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day brunches, progressive dinner at member’s boats in July, Halloween, Thanksgiving potluck with VIM, and Parade of Lights viewing party in December, there is always something happening at the club. This past year VIM has also been sponsoring a series of Friday evening presentations on maritime subjects here at the club that are open to the entire yachting community.

We sponsor 9 sailing races annually: 3 in our Spring Series, which we have just completed; 3 in the Island Series during the summer, and 3 in the Fall Series. PBYC is proud of our sailboat racing program that has a long history of participation from both monohull and multihull boats from all the local yacht clubs as well as beach cats from as far away as Arizona and Texas. Our biggest event, the Island Series, consists of three of the largest races in the area: The Hardway Race which we co-sponsor with the Santa Barbara Sailing Club, the Milt Ingram Trophy Race, named in honor of one of our best racers, and the Tri-point Ocean Race. Santa Barbara Yacht Club chose our Island Series as part of their Wilson Series. One of our racers, Mike Hopper, has the distinction of being first in both the Ventura County High Point Series and the ASBCYC High Point Series for 2016. Another of our racers, Bill Gibbs, consistently wins many trophies in the Newport to Ensenada race aboard his multihull boats: first AFTERBURNER and now WAHOO. In her inaugural year, 2016, WAHOO won 3 perpetual trophies in N2E, including the Tommy Bahama trophy for best corrected time among all boats. We encourage you to view our perpetual racing trophies in the clubhouse at the reception following this ceremony.

We also participate in the annual Sailathon, a benefit for the Ventura non-profit Caregivers, Volunteers Assisting the Elderly. This association provides (I quote from their website) “non-medical, in-home support services and transportation for homebound, frail elders, preventing their premature placement into board and care facilities and making it possible for them to continue to live in the comfort and security of their own homes.” Having recently been the primary caregiver for my mother, I know how important this support can be, not only to the elderly, but to their families. I hope that PBYC will continue to support this charity in the coming years and that all of you will find a way to participate in the next Sailathon this October, whether in your own boat, by crewing on another boat, or by donating directly or through a participating boat.

And while Sailathon is for a serious cause, it’s not a serious event. How many of our guests know about the Ugly Fish Trophy? For those who don’t, it is the, how should I describe it? – Colorful? – Unique? trophy awarded each year to the yacht club that has the most boats entered in Sailathon. And it is metaphorically bolted into our trophy case, because I am proud to say that PBYC has won this award in 14 of the 15 years we have participated in Sailathon.

When I started writing this speech, I didn’t have many ideas at first, so I looked online for inspiration. One of the questions about Opening Day that I came across was from a non-yacht club member who asked of a member, “When was Closing Day?” This might be a fair question on the east coast, where they have a definite end to the yachting season, usually when ice closes the harbor to navigation. But here in Southern California, we keep our ice under better control; behind the bar, where it belongs. But we do have a Closing Day. It was last night. We celebrated it the way we do all year long at the club – with our friends, here beside the ocean. Like Jimmy Buffet, we have heard its call, and we respond in the way that seems fit to us, by coming here to enjoy its pleasures and the company of our friends. So please come along with us for another year of yachting, friendship, and celebration. Thank you.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for, Tammy Glenn, Executive Director of Caregivers, will present the Special Award.