Staff Commodore John Ellis (Commodore in 1958) wins a free drink at the CYC Bar for the July 13, 2022 Quiz. Answers:
Alan Holt is the junior holding two 1956 awards. In his
right hand, the Sears Cup – emblematic of the Junior
North American Sailing Championship – which has been
awarded since 1921. To participate, Alan and his crew
Fred Ray and Steve Banks, had to win the local title, the
PIYA Regional eliminations and the Pacific Coast
Championship. The competition was held just outside of
Montreal, Canada on a wide spot of the St. Lawrence
River in a variety of conditions, with the last of 8 races the
decider. The crew won on a tie-breaker, based on more
second places! Reflecting the times, the sailors and
family members traveled to Montreal by train.
In Alan’s left hand is the Virginia Platt Trophy awarded to the outstanding CYC Junior Sailor for the year. This trophy was donated by the I-14 fleet in 1953 to be awarded to a CYC junior based on sailing record and participation in Junior Club activities. Evidencing the Holt family’s sailing skills, Alan’s brother, Dennis Holt, won this award in 1958. Other winners of this trophy include Brian Wertheimer, Carl Buchan and Derek Campbell. The Virginia Platt Trophy, unfortunately, has disappeared and is no longer in CYC possession!
(See below for information about Virginia Platt, a brilliant young woman with an extraordinary, if far too brief, a career.)
And Alan Holt’s boat, a Star named Ariel, locally built and rigged, was the first Seattle boat to participate in the Olympic Games! Alan and his crew Dick Gates won the Olympic Trials held in San Francisco, besting former Star World Champions Bill Buchan and Lowell North, among others, for the right to participate in the 1972 Olympic Games held in Kiel-Schilksee, Germany.
Virginia Platt, Seattle born, graduated from high school in 1940, studied architecture at Vassar College for two years and contemporaneously taught physics for the US Navy. In 1943, she studied mechanical engineering at the U. of Washington, subsequently receiving her undergraduate degree in science and a masters in physics, and taught physics at the U from 1943 to 1952 (including while she was an undergraduate!). Platt was one of the first women in the country to become a member of the Sigma Xi science honorary.
Platt sailed, owning a 21’ sloop named Pete-Too. She joined CYC in 1948, and by 1950 she was on the Board as Secretary, a position she held until 1952, and she contributed occasional articles to the annual Helmsman. She also was a member of Seattle Yacht Club.
While visiting relatives in Carmel, California, Platt contracted polio myelitis and died there in October 1952 at the age of 29. She is buried in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Seattle.
The Helmsman for 1952 carried two tributes to Virginia Platt. First, a comment by Commodore Francis A LeSourd: “We will not forget Virginia Platt. No one was more devoted to Corinthian. We remember her efficiency as Secretary, but what shall really endeared her to us was her great human interest. As a gatherer of humorous and spicy information on Corinthian goings-on, she had no equal. Her tragic death was one of the greatest blows to fall on our club.”
And this Memoriam:
TO A CORINTHIAN:
Whose service to her Club cannot be measured
Whose infectious laughter and ready wit lightened many a dull moment
Whose time was ours, when needed, with no reservations
Whose dependability and efficiency eased the burdens of our officers
Whose capacity to give or herself to any project was unlimited
Whose interest in and friendliness toward people was boundless
Whose lack of personal vanity in her achievements as noteworthy
Whose strength of personality and genuine individuality was recognized instantly
Whose friendship was a gift to be treasured
Who exemplified the truest tradition of sportsmanship, not only in sailing, but in her daily living
TO VIRGINIA PLATT, this Memoriam is dedicated.