A HISTORY OF THE ASSOCIATION OF SAN PEDRO BAY YACHT CLUBS
On March 28, 1967, representatives of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club and Los Angeles Yacht Club met to found an organization of yacht clubs for the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbor areas. The leading light of this meeting was Keating Coffey, a Staff Commodore of LAYC; he set the meeting, drafted an Articles of Association and By-Laws and chaired the first meeting. Harry W. Sturges of LAYC was the first Commodore of the new organization, called the Yacht Club Association of Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors, now the Association of San Pedro Bay Yacht Clubs.
The purposes of the association were spelled out: "to promote activities of mutual interest to all organized yacht clubs in Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors; to encourage interclub support of local, regional, national and international yacht racing competitions; to coordinate the action of member clubs in their contacts with governmental authorities in matters affecting yachting in and adjacent to Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors; to promote friendly relations between member clubs and cooperation in local racing calendars; to assist in settling any misunderstandings or disputes between member clubs; and to engage in activities through the Southern California Yachting Association and otherwise in encouraging and promoting yachting and concerted action between member clubs." Throughout its history, the association has striven to meet those goals so as to improve the quality of life for boaters within the area.
The very next year three more clubs joined the YCALALBH: Seal Beach Yacht Club, Little Ships Fleet of Long Beach and Huntington Harbour Yacht Club. The Navy Yacht Club of Long Beach joined in 1970, and over the years most of the yachting associations and yacht clubs in the area have become members; 14 area yacht clubs and associations were members in 2001.
Early on, the association embraced the three activities that are the foundations of the service provided to this day to the local racing community: coordination of a master racing calendar of member clubs, establishment and maintenance of commonly used racing marks and promotion of interclub racing events. The first Master Calendar was coordinated in 1968 and the first Schedule of Common Marks was established in 1969. The first interclub regatta was sailed for the Walt Elliott Harbor Challenge Trophy, dedicated in the memory of her father by Mrs. Betty Elliott Field, in 1968.
Over the years the association took on more tasks. A new team-racing event, the Al Adams Team Race, was established in the Seventies, pitting teams of PHRF boats from member clubs against each other. In the Eighties the association directly assumed the responsibility of maintaining marks in the east end of San Pedro Bay and established a series of awards to recognize a local Yachtsman, Yachtswoman and Junior Yachtsperson of the Year.
The Nineties saw a significant change in the association when it was renamed the Association of San Pedro Bay Yacht Clubs, recognizing the fact that the YCALALBH had extended its reach past the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors as far back as 1968, when Huntington Harbour Yacht Club became a member. The San Pedro Bay Cup was deeded in 1992 to replace the Al Adams Team Race trophy, and the first San Pedro Bay Cup Regatta was sailed in 1994 and has been contested annually since. A change was made in the Association By-Laws that expanded the eligibility of membership to a wider circle of boating organizations, and different categories of membership were established in recognition of the differing needs and capabilities of these new organizations.
As the ASPBYC enters the 21st Century, the Association continues to expand its service to the local sailing community. A website was established in 1999 that includes not only most of the deeds and documents that govern the ASPBYC but also the annual calendar and an imaginative display of the status of the common marks. In 2000 the ASPBYC took on the task of supplying the US Coast Guard a calendar that includes the location, size and responsible individuals for the events hosted by ASPBYC-member clubs.
In its more than thirty years of existence, the Association of San Pedro Bay Yacht Clubs has provided service to the boating community of the San Pedro Bay. Whatever the future of boating in San Pedro Bay may be, the Association of San Pedro Bay Yacht Clubs will serve the changing needs of area boaters.