On July 13-14, Stockton Sailing Club will host their Founding Fathers Regatta. When we were at the club earlier this month for the Delta Ditch Run, we saw the poster for the event. It got us wondering about the history of the club.
It turns out that the story is remarkably similar to that of the founding of Sausalito Yacht Club, 90-odd miles to the west. Staff commodore Budge Humphreys told us that, back in 1933, sixteen 16-year-old boys founded the club as the Ionic Sailing Club. The teenage founders included three sets of brothers: the Stephens brothers, the Colberg brothers, and Fred and Jim Van Dyke. Colberg Marine built ships and barges and had Navy contracts. Jim Van Dyke took Bird Boats out of San Francisco YC and restored them. The young Stephens brothers built their own Snipes. (Two generations of Stephens brothers ran the eponymous boatbuilding business that turned out everything from classic motor yachts, to sailing yachts, to wooden minesweepers for WWII.)
The boys would go to San Francisco Bay to sail and be asked, “Where the hell is Ionic?” Hence the name change to Stockton Sailing Club.