The General Manager provides a birds-eye view of happenings at the St. Francis Yacht Club
Paul Koojoolian, General Manager/COO
On the Water
Rolex Big Boat Series: Another great RBBS in the books! This year, we hosted nearly 90 boats and 900 sailors in 11 classes. The weather was perfect and the breeze kicked up every afternoon, allowing for superlative racing. Congratulations to Race Director Jenn Lancaster and her team—they were flawless and knocked it out of the park. Also, a huge thank you to regatta chair Susan Ruhne, co-chair Denis George, and their cadre of Race Committee volunteers (over 100 strong) who put on a world-class regatta. It is because of their Herculean effort that this regatta continues to be recognized worldwide. After the event, we received numerous kudos and accolades, several from longtime members with very high standards. My favorite comment of the bunch was a simple yet powerful sentiment: “I’m just so proud of our Club, and your entire team.”
All About That Race: September wrapped up with some great eye candy at the Pac 52 Champs. I was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon on Bad Pak during one of their practices, and I have to admit it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Special thanks to member Norm Davant and the crew of Bad Pak for inviting me to an experience I’ll never forget. We’ve got a few more regattas to wrap up the season: Kilroy Realty Pro Am, Fall Dinghy and Jessica Cup. The Cruisers’ Group reaches its pinnacle this coming month with their annual Bluewater Cruise to Monterey or Tamales Bay, led by Doug Thorne, the week of October 4.
On the Island
Cruisin’ Right Along: Going into Labor Day Cruise, we saw the Island was expecting temperatures exceeding 110 degrees, and we doubled down on preparations. We stocked the Island with water stations and misting barn fans to ensure our guests and the staff stayed cool and hydrated. Despite the challenge, the Cruise was a rousing success for the over 400 in attendance. Several members told me, “You guys thought of everything.” Hot on its heels was the Women’s Cruise where over 200 ladies enjoyed a weekend of delicious food, exercise, entertainment and camaraderie. Finally, Cruise season wrapped up with the 60th Anniversary Stag Cruise. Thank you to Tom Gilmore and his committee for planning and executing a wonderful weekend. The event capped off on Saturday with a delicious steak and lobster dinner, entertainment by Spirit of Santana, and fireworks that rivaled any July 4th display. A special shout-out to the Island staff for making sure all 500+ guests were well fed and watered all weekend.
That’s a Wrap: Tinsley Island season came to a close this last weekend, with a new event, “Oktoberfest”, which welcomed 150 guests plus five other clubs who cruised in. Nice job to Island Manager Ross Schiveley and his team for another awesome summer on the Island.
Around the Clubhouse
Fitness Room Facelift: The House Committee completed demos on fitness equipment from a variety of vendors and are nearing a decision on which upgraded equipment to purchase. The gym should be newly outfitted by the end of the calendar year.
Good Neighbors: On Wednesday, September 27, the San Francisco Marina held its annual tenant event outside the Harbormaster’s office. St. Francis Yacht Club’s Hannah Biehl and Jenn Lancaster contributed to the event by pouring wine and handing out fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies to the attendees. Our relationship with the San Francisco Marina has never been better. Special thanks to Harbormaster Scott Grindy for his continued support.
Youth Sailing: Tryouts for high school sailing took place last month and now the season is fully underway, keeping Adam Corpuz-Lahne and Brent Harrill very busy. Last month, StFYC paired with the St. Francis Sailing Foundation to host an Olympic Development Clinic out of the Clubhouse. Thank you to US Sailing for sending such great coaches and to Director Pamela Healy for organizing the entire event; it’s a thrill to be at the epicenter of high-end youth sailing development.
Giving: On October 28-29, the Club will host its annual Call of the Sea Outreach Event, bringing sailing to hundreds of Bay Area children on the vessel Seaward. Thanks to TL Diepenbrock for continuing to make this great event a beloved tradition.
Club Events: October’s Club Events include Fleet Week (October 6–8); Wednesday Live with Bob Veit (Oct 11); the Father Daughter Dinner Dance (Oct 21) and the Women’s Fashion Show (Oct 25).
Ketch All: The Tinsley Island Ketch All is now closed for the winter—congratulations to Cheryl Galli on a great season! In the clubhouse, she is now preparing for a Fleet Week blow-out sale.
Why We Join: September’s Membership Reception was held in the Starting Line Room (as opposed to the traditional Northwest Room) due to the sheer number of proposed new members. We welcomed 15 new members, all of whom shared wonderful stories about their impetus to join. Every month, I am touched to hear these stories—people want to join this club not for the free parking or the beautiful views, but because they have a passion for sailing or powerboating, and they want to be a part of a community that supports that, and offers opportunities to develop it. These membership receptions continue to be one of my favorite rituals at the Club, as they have a way of reminding us all what it’s all about.
Wine & Dining: We’ve selected a new house Cabernet from Rutherford Vineyards, which will roll out this month. Next up, the Wine Committee will be endeavoring to select a new house Chardonnay. Our custom-designed wine label by Lourdes Livingston and Anna Hoit is getting affixed to the wine bottles as I write this, and it’s spectacular. I’m excited for you all to see it and to try the new wine.
Reminder: the Main Dining Room will be closed on Saturday, October 21 for the Father Daughter Dinner Dance, and for lunch on Wednesday, October 25 for the Women’s Fashion Show.