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90 Years Strong: St. Francis Yacht Club’s Best Moments of 2017
In 2017, the St. Francis Yacht Club celebrated its 90th anniversary in style, with diverse accomplishments on and off the water. Here, we celebrate the best of our year.

In 2017, the St. Francis Yacht Club celebrated its 90th anniversary in style, with diverse accomplishments on and off the water. Here, we celebrate some of the highlights, arranged according to our mission statement.



With the help of coach/organizers Nicole Breault and Pam Healy, over 100 women took to the helm through: a nine-week J/22 Learn to Sail series, a three-day advanced Women’s Match Race Clinigatta, a much-loved Women’s Summer Camp on Tinsley and a J/22 Sailing Clinic during Stag Cruise. 

The Junior Program Rebooted

Our youth sailing program revealed plans to shift focus from FJs to keelboats, catamarans and kiteboards. The Club hosted three high-performance clinics, teaming with US Sailing to welcome top-notch instructors. Jack Sutter and Charlotte Versavel made the Olympic Development Team and our coaches say this is just the beginning.


Of the eleven class winners at the 53rd RBBS, six flew the StFYC burgee: Jeff Pulford’s BustinLoose (ORR-B, Atlantic Perpetual Trophy), Chris and Phil PerkinsGood Timin’ (J/105s, Commodore’s Cup), Michael ShlensBlade 2 (Farr 40s, Richard Rheem Perpetual Trophy), Sy Kleinman’s Schumacher 54, Swiftsure (ORR-A, St. Francis Perpetual Trophy), Scott Sellers1FA (J/70s), David Halliwill’s Peregrine (J/120s), and Tom Siebel’s Orion (Multihulls).


High school sailors Mats Keldsen, Cali Salinas, Chloe Holder and Juliana Testa traveled crosscountry with coach Adam Corpuz-Lahne to represent the Club at the Buzzards Bay C420 Champs (167 boats) and the C420 National Championship (154 boats). Meanwhile, our Opti Youth Team took off and Connor Bennett, Ethan Sargent and Tor Svendsen all went to Optimist Nationals.


StFYC partnered with Call of the Sea and the City of San Francisco Park & Recreation Department to host the fourth annual Day on the Bay, welcoming 126 opportunity youth. TL Diepenbrock served as organizer-in-chief, and, with Laura Gambel and Joni Settlemier, treated young sailors to a warm meal and a fun sail on the 82-foot schooner, Seaward.


The Pac52 class made its inaugural appearance at Rolex Big Boat Series, where five steeds turned heads on the racecourse—especially Karl Kwok’s Team Beau Geste with seven straight bullets. Two weeks later, the class expanded to six boats and raced its first Championships at the Club. We look forward to seeing more of the 52s. 


We Won the Hinman Masters

For the past decade, StFYC has had a strong showing at the NYYC Invitational for the Hinman Masters Trophy. But since our wins in 2011–2013, victory has eluded us…until now. Way to go Shawn Bennett, Nicole Breault, Tom Ducharme, Melissa Feagin, Rolf Kaiser, Steve Marsh, Joe McCoy, Tom Purdy, Russ Silvestri, Christopher Smith, Thomas Iseler and Mario Yovkov!

And the Hinman Trophy

The US Team Racing National Championship for the George R. Hinman Trophy is considered the most prestigious team-race trophy in the country. StFYC’s win represented several years of perseverance during which these sailors built up our team-race program. Cheers to Mateo Vargas, Sammy Steele, Oliver Toole, Kelly Ortel, Kevin Laube and Yuri Namikawa! 

And the Nichols Trophy

Racing Flying Scots on Lake Pontchartrain, Team StFYC made it to the finals again Southern Yacht Club at this three-on-three grandmaster team-race. We won three races, Southern won three, and we secured the winner-take all seventh race with a boat-length to spare. Nice sailing, Jon Andron, Brody Cobb, Frances Cobb, Paul Heineken, Joe McCoy, Chris Raab, Allie Rowe, Russ Silvestri and Sean Svendsen

And the 50th San Francisco Cup

After 18 races in three divisions (Open, Women’s and Juniors), StFYC beat SFYC 12-6. Congratulations to Craig Healy with Pam Healy, Tom Ducharme, Chris Smith and Joe McCoy; Nicole Breault with Molly Carapiet, Jody McCormack and Juliana Testa; and Spencer Paulsen with Parker Klebahn, William Hale and Mats Keldsen

Stan Honey Made History

This decorated sailor added two more arrows to his quiver. He was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and he set a new monohull record for the Transpac aboard Comanche, finishing in 5:01:55:26, beating the existing record by more than 12 hours, and setting a new 24-hour Transpac record: 484.1nm at an average of 20.2 knots. 

Peter Wagner Cleaned Up

Sailing his J/111, Skeleton Key, this talented yachtsman won the 2017 J/111 Worlds, which the Club hosted in August. He was also 1st in the J/111 Class at Key West Race Week, StFYC Summer Sportboat Regatta, Annapolis NOODs, StFYC J/Fest and Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta.


The Maine Event

Maine is, geographically, as far from San Francisco as one can go and remain within the United States. Yet, this year’s Commodore’s Cruise felt close to home thanks to the camaraderie of the members in attendance. Half sailed aboard the 119-year-old Victory Chimes, the oldest operational schooner in North America, and half chartered bareboats. All came home with glowing memories. 

Wine Not?

This year, the Club hosted four sold-out winemaker dinners,  two highly acclaimed wine-education events and one incredible Vintners’ Night with 70 wineries in attendance. We also introduced a new house red wine. Cheers! 

Yacht Rock

Our talented Associate Members brought down the house during 12 unique acts of the Wednesday Live entertainment series. The High Seas and Sons of the Sea both welcomed new musical directors and performed fantastic concerts. That, plus the top-notch entertainment at Club events and on Tinsley Island makes you realize why our Club is sometimes called “Bohemian Club Light.” 

StFYC Won the Commodore’s Annual Golf Tournament Against SFYC 


Manouch Showed Transpac Tenacity

Despite limping along with a broken port rudder in the Transpac, Manouch Moshayedi’s Bakewell White 100 Rio100 claimed Barn Door honors as the first-to-finish monohull without powered assistance. This is the second Barn Door in a row for Rio. Moshayedi also launched the Pac52, Rio, which finished 3rd at Rolex Big Boat Series and 1st at the 2017 Yachting Cup.

Caleb Paine and Daniela Moroz Were Crowned

In January, US Sailing announced that the Rolex Yachtswoman and Yachtsman of the Year Awards would go to members of StFYC. Daniela Moroz received the honor for being the 2016 IKA Formula Kite World Champion. In 2017, she has been the top woman finisher at the Hydrofoil Pro Tour stops in Mexico, SF and Mauritius, and the top woman finisher at the World Cup Regatta. Caleb Paine was named Yachtsman of the Year after winning a Bronze medal in the Finn class of the 2016 Olympics, making him the first American to medal in Olympic sailing since 2008.

The two join an impressive list of StFYC members who have earned the same title: Johnny Heineken (2012), Stan Honey (2010), Sally Honey (1973 and 1974) Paige Railey (2006), John Kostecki (2002 and 1988) and Paul Cayard (1998).

We Sold out Every J/22 Series 

Lights Down, Paddles Up

In some organizations, a power outage at the biggest fundraiser of the year spells disaster. But when the power went out during the St. Francis Sailing Foundation’s Auction, the show went on. Emcees Jonny Moseley and Jim Cascino rose to the occasion with the help of bullhorns, cell-phone flashlights and hundreds of candles. The event raised $250,000. 

Safety First

The Cruise Committee launched a Seamanship Series, providing members with complimentary seminars and articles about safety at sea. 


Opening Day on the Bay Turned 100

The Club Turned 90

On April 21, 2017, the Club time-traveled back to 1927, the year of its founding, for an unforgettable birthday party. The main floor was part speakeasy, part historical gallery, and the costumes, food, drinks and décor were all perfectly reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties. Happy birthday, StFYC! 

Stag Cruise Turned 60

It’s hard to imagine what the first Stag Cruise on Tinsley Island must have looked like, pre-swimming pool, pre-lanai, pre-(occasional) WiFi. But if the liveliness of this year’s Stag Cruise, "The Big One", was any indication of its permanence, you can bet we’ll be seeing Stag Cruises for another 60 years to come. 


Siebel launched Svea

Before there were gigantic, foiling catamarans in the America’s Cup, there were J-Class yachts. The 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda celebrated that heritage by incorporating a J-Class regatta. Among the Js on the line was Tom Siebel’s Svea, the newest J in the fleet and the large J-Class boat ever built. She’s 143 long with a 176-foot carbon fiber mast, and we can’t wait to follow her journey. 

Merlin Returned

In 1977, Bill Lee entered his newly designed 68-foot Merlin into the Transpac. She beat Windward Passage’s 1971 record by over 22 hours and the record held for 20 years. In 2017, Bill and Lu Lee entered her again. Her elapsed time of 8:02:34:09 did not set records, but it did beat her 1977 time of 8:11:01:45, a testament to the design improvements Lee continues to make.  

We Got Back into 6-Metres

The St. Francis has a strong history of 6-Metre sailing, dating to our founding. This year, 6-Metre activity was reinvigorated with the creation of the St. Francis International Yacht Racing Foundation, which supported members racing in 6-Metres around the world. Now, the StFYC 6-Metre Fleet is: Sting, Scoundrel, Scallywag (took 1st in class at the World Cup with Craig Healy), Arunga (owned by Robert Cadranell), and Lucie (owned by Matt Brooks).
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