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Loch Lomond Yacht Club Celebrates 60 Years and the Return of Racing

Loch Lomond Yacht Club (LLYC) in San Rafael is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a weekend of fun, culminating in the “The Swinging 60s Anniversary Bash” on Saturday, August 14, three days after its official birthday. Founded in 1961 by a handful of boat owners, the club held their very first meeting on August 11 in Fred Manley’s Boat Shop at the Loch Lomond Marina. By the end of its first year it had grown to 50 members, and by 1964 had almost 200 members and a newly built clubhouse. Now, 60 years later, the LLYC, which was once described as “Cheers with boats”, has a membership of approximately 120 and a fleet of about 50 yachts, both sail and power.

A ‘Cruise-in Happy Hour and Dinner’ will kick off the weekend-long birthday festivities ahead of Saturday’s dockside games and “maybe a dinghy race around the harbor during the afternoon.” Then at 5 p.m. the “big birthday blowout” gets into full swing with guests encouraged to dress in ’60s-themed attire (a good opportunity to dig out all those cool outfits stashed in the back of the closet). There will be a live band, and a “Retro ’60s” small-plate food buffet, and to quote Fleet Captain Matthew Byers, “I guarantee, this will be a party you do not want to miss!” Unfortunately due to the lingering pandemic issues the party is not open to the public. However club members and their guests and reciprocal yacht clubs will be out in full force!

If this is just a weeknight gathering, imagine how much fun the party will be!
© 2021 Loch Lomond Yacht Club

As for racing? Byers said LLYC hasn’t held races in about 25 years.

“This is a very new program for us. We have a small but growing fleet of local sailors from not only Loch Lomond YC, but from San Rafael and Marin YC as well.” It’s no wonder the members are celebrating!

This year’s racing consists of a beer can series on Thursday evenings starting at 6:30 p.m. And while they use various courses throughout the season, a typical course is “from the start at 17, south to G15 just north of the west tower of the west channel of the Richmond Bridge, then north to a port round of East Brother Island, then back to the finish at G17.”

Loch Lomond beer cans
“The course has been run in as little as 40 minutes, and everyone is usually back across the finish line by 8 p.m.” By which time the club bar is open for post-race drinks and race results, and a do-it-yourself bbq on deck, with hamburgers and hot dogs with all the fixings, and salad, for $10.00.
© 2021 Loch Lomond Yacht Club

“Members of any yacht club on the planet can race with us!” Byers added. “If a skipper does not belong to a yacht club, but berths their boat at Loch Lomond Marina, they are welcome to race with us as well. Yacht club members who cannot make it out for the race itself are more than welcome to join us at the club after for drinks and the bbq.”

Racing is conducted under NC PHRF (Northern California Performance Handicap Racing Fleet) rules and guidelines and the 5-4-1-Start sequence.
© 2021 Loch Lomond Yacht Club

Thursday night beer can races will continue through to September 30, and conclude with “The Oily Chicken Regatta” — the two top-scoring boats battling it out over a “long distance” race from G17, south to R2 just west of the Richmond Long Wharf, then north to The Pumphouse at the entrance to the Petaluma River Channel, passing in between Point San Pablo and The Brothers. The race will then continue south to the finish at G17, passing between The Sisters, and Point San Pedro. “A pretty creative race course if you ask me!” Byers said.

But the fun on the water won’t end there. Racing will resume in November with a midwinter series on Saturday afternoons. The all-volunteer club also hosts weekly Friday night dinners, and (pre-COVID) an event at least once every Saturday. “We also have several weekend cruise outs to spots around the Bay and Delta,” Byers told us.

If you’re interested in becoming a part of Loch Lomond Yacht club, you can apply here. And judging from their calendar of events, the crew at LLYC definitely keep you sailing and socializing!

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Inland Cruising Rally
The next official event on the Delta Doo Dah itinerary will be a BBQ and activities at Delta Bay Marina in Isleton on Saturday, August 14.