The CYC Clubhouse was full on Friday, January 27, 2023, to celebrate 2022 sailing achievements at the Club’s annual Awards ceremony. As former Fleet Captain-Race Matthew Woods commented, “It is great to see everyone together again, and when people sail, they are smiling, just like tonight.” Commodore Wanda Creitz, with the assistance of a number of current and former Club officers and directors, announced a series of nominees and winners of the Club’s various awards and also honored the many members, volunteers and employees who, although they often work in the background, are necessary for the Club to offer its outstanding racing – over 1,000 starts a year, a successful cruising program, its growing juniors operations as well as hosting a full educational/social events calendar.
The evening’s emotional highlight occurred early – while Jonathan McKee’s 2022 introduction to the US Sailing Hall of Fame was being celebrated (he joined CYC members Bill Buchan, Carl Buchan and Dick Rose in the Hall of Fame), Staff Commodore Charlie Macaulay read a resolution unanimously adopted by the CYC Board naming Jonathan McKee as a CYC Honorary Life Member! The Resolution can be seen here [Link]. Sustained applause greeted this well received announcement and Jonathan’s gracious remarks about receiving such a great honor. Jonathan joins Bill Buchan, Jim Miller, Derek Storm, Carl Buchan, and Dick Rose as the Club’s Honorary Life Members. Wayne Balsiger is anHonorary Life member as of the 2022 Awards ceremony. One sad note was the acknowledgement of the recent death in early January of Bill Lieberman, 100 years old, a Staff Commodore (1969), Honorary Life Member and long-time supporter of the Club and junior sailing.
Commodore Creitz spoke about the situation with the I-14 Fleet floats at Shilshole being closed by the Port of Seattle, which could adversely affect the Club’s junior program as it uses one of those floats to store its various boats. She said that meetings with the Port would be held shortly to find a resolution, and she would keep the Club membership informed of developments.
The Club’s Discretionary Awards are voted upon by the Board in a secret ballot upon nominations from members and others, with the winners known only to Commodore Creitz and a few others on a need-to-know basis – being nominated is considered a high honor. The winning Boat of the Year was announced by unwrapping a photograph – and it was “Pell Mell,” a Pt. Bonita 27 owned by Alex Simanis and Joe Grieser. Three J-105s were the other deserving nominees: “Insubordination” (Lenny Rezabek), “Moose Unknown” (John Aitchison), and “Peer Gynt” (Sara Billey and Paul Viola).
The Sailor of the Year award attracted an extremely strong field, with Staff Commodore Denny Vaughan being named over nominees Dalton Bergan, with two 2022 World Championships and several dinghy race wins; Jay Renehan, perhaps the only skipper to win, on successive weekends, the Spring Regatta small boat regatta in a dinghy and the Spring Regatta big boat regatta in his keelboat, and with winning/top finishes in numerous other races; and Alex Simanis, winner of the California Offshore Race Week and class wins in Center Sound. Vaughan, at 83, sailed a chartered J-24 in the European Championships in Ireland, won two races and was second in the over-50 old championships and ninth overall.
Bob Combie was named the Hans Otto Giese winner for his extensive volunteer work, especially in boat maintenance, with Staff Commodore Ken Johnson being recognized for his contributions to the Awards Show and leadership in the San Juan 24 fleet. Mara Buchan Barckert, in announcing the award, added some humorous Hans Otto stories as well as noting that the first winner of the Hans Otto Giese trophy was her grandmother, Ilo Listen.
The Junior Awards winners were preceded by a tribute to Annie Sorensen, the Club’s Junior Sailing Director who, after three plus years, will be moving on mid-year. Under her leadership, the number of junior sailors participating in the sail camps and junior racing camps has more than doubled, with the Club’s juniors participating on 8 different high school teams in 2023. 2023 summer camp registration is now open to CYC members and race team registration will open shortly. The George Spalding Memorial Trophy for Junior Inspirational Award had co-winners: Francesca Dougherty, a member of the all-teen crew that successively completed Race to Alaska as well as a driving force in the CYC juniors race team, and Arden Rathkopf, captain of the Ballard HS race team that won the NW Regional keelboat championships and active in the juniors program and a whaler operator. The Garrett Horder Memorial Trophy recognizing a junior’s active and successful racing program went to Dieter Creitz, winner of the RS Aero 5 Worlds and top finisher in many other junior and senior events; the other nominees were AnTe Lin, excellent Optimist sailor, and Jacob Posner, winner of the Junior Sabots Nationals over 141 other sailors, top 420 racer in the NW yacht racing circuit and high finisher in several national events.
The Greig Memorial Trophy for cruising leadership and sailing was awarded to “Wind Dancer” and Chris McMuldroch and Jennifer Lathrop, while the Boating Family Award went to Scott, Shelby, Sailor, Kate, Ryan and Barret Milne – Scott, Shelby and Ryan competed against each other in the 2022 J-24 Worlds in Texas in three different boats! And as well as in the competitive local Lake J-24 fleet. Ryan is a top Opti sailor, and the entire family cruises together on the family’s lovely S&S 57 “Lightning”.
A palpable sense of relief throughout the attending crowd was felt when it was announced that no one had “fessed-up” to any sailing mishaps in 2022 and thus the Dog House Trophy did not add a 2022 “winner.”
The Club’s Performance Awards go to winners of specific races and regattas. The 2022 winners of the Commodore Trophy, the first race of a weekend destination event, was Jenny Heins and Tim Huse of CYC on “Those Guys” while the returning Gibson Trophy race was won by Al and Jane Johnson of CYC on “Charlotte”. In the Center Sound series, Steve Travis of CYC on “Smoke” won all three races in the IRC class while Andy Mack of SYC won the Blakely Rocks and Pully Point races on “Grace” and Paul Butler of PMYC sailed “Dos” to a win in the Possession Point race. Andy Mack and “Grace” won the Werner Ohmes Foghorn Trophy for best overall result in Center Sound while Paul Butler and “Dos” won the Northwest Challenge Cup for best overall result in Center Sound, CYC Spring Regatta and PSSC. The Bill Lieberman Trophy for the best result by a Junior CYC member in the Optimist Northwest Regionals went to AnTe “Andrew” Lin.
The Club’s Honor Roll of Champions includes winners of world and national championships or achieved honors of a similar nature. The 2022 additions are:
- Jonathan McKee, US Sailing Hall of Fame
- Jonathan McKee and Alyosha Strum-Palerm, Race to Alaska winners
- Dalton & Lindsay Bergan, Tasar World Champions
- Dalton Bergan, RS Aero 7 World Champion
- Dieter Creitz, RS Aero 5 World Champion
- Dan Falk, RS Aero 9 World Champion
- John & Della Hoag, Hobie 18 North American Champions
- Peter Nelson, Grand Masters Hobie 16 World Champion
- Jacob Posner, Junior Sabot Nationals Champion
- Alex Simanis, Callifornia Offshore Race Week, 1st Overall
The Club leadership recognized the many members, volunteers and employees who make the Club the leading sailing club that it is: Race Committee PROs Charley Rathkopf, Troy Childs, Egor Klevek, Geoff Pease and Jared Hickman; the many Race Committee scorekeepers and volunteers and whaler drivers/markset operators; protest judges headed by Wayne Balsiger and Jeff Snell for the Lake and Sound, respectively; the Boats Committee headed by Bob Combie and Mark Bradner with special attention for the work by Brian Watkins with a whaler renamed the “Brian W” in his honor; Jen Hobden for her work on the CYC website, Leigh Donovan for the TellTale, Melanie Edwards for race registration and Derek Storm for race management and scoring; Karen Sheide at the bar; and especially our excellent General Managers, Cindy Barrett for the first 9 months of 2022 and Becca Brocard joining CYC last fall. Also thanked for the many fine photographs shown in the slideshow accompanying the awards were Jan and Skip Anderson of “Jan’s Marine Photography.”
All in all a festive fun event and a great start to the 2023 season.