In the early 1950s, a group of yachtsmen wishing to race their boats were required to have yacht club membership but due to prevailing discrimination at that time, they were barred from yacht club membership. As a result, these yachtsmen created Del Rey Yacht Club as a premier yacht club open to all wishing to join them, regardless of race, religion or national origin. Since its founding in 1952, Del Rey Yacht Club accomplished its goal and today the Club’s members include the whole spectrum of the human family. This helped make our Club the warm and wonderful place it became at the time and is today. We have a diverse and inclusive group of members, along with a beautiful facility which enjoys wonderful views out onto the largest man-made marina in the United States.

The warmth and welcoming spirit of Del Rey Yacht Club comes from the closeness of our members and our employees. The club has many ways of providing for the varied interests of our members. These include our activities on land and at sea. While for most of 2020, and most likely going into 2021, we continue to deal with a historic pandemic. We have and will continue to manage to protect our members and employees while providing whatever services and activities we are able to offer with modifications that can be safely carried out. This includes requiring social distancing and mandatory mask wearing except while eating or drinking and while our members are aboard their own boats with their own household members. We were able this year to configure our Aft Deck patio for outdoor dining with appropriate limitations to comply with Los Angeles County Health Department protocols and provide meals that have been well received by our members. We have modified our racing program to allow single-handed and double-handed racing with members of the same household. Our Junior Sailing Program ran successfully this summer and continues on with much that has been modified for safety. We have resumed availability of our Duffy electric boat with new safety protocols for qualified members. The Club’s swimming pool and pickleball court also have been reopened with new rules for members. Our beautiful Cat Harbor facility is available to our members with appropriate restrictions and safety protocols currently in place. Our Clubhouse remains closed to members and guests until we are allowed to reopen and we feel it is safe to do so.

In the time before the pandemic and when it ends, there is much that our Club has to offer its members, guests and members of reciprocal yacht clubs. In addition, we reach out to the community with scholarships for our Junior Sailing Program. This program has been the path for multiple generations of children to become sailors, enjoying both competitive and recreational boating while at the same time having a wonderful summer experience and making many friends.

We have scheduled races as if 2021 will be a normal year with the understanding that all or part of the racing season may have to be postponed, modified or cancelled. We also are scheduling our cruising season to our fantastic Cat Harbor facility and other nearby harbors and reciprocal yacht clubs, with the same understanding that all plans are provisional. We hope 2021 will at some time allow for the reopening of our Clubhouse, including our restaurant with its beautiful views of the marina. While our Club has long been known for our food and hospitality, it is becoming even better and will be more so when we are in full swing with our indoor dining and the return of social gatherings with events centered around our cuisine enhanced by the music, dancing and other events coordinated by our Food & Beverage and Hospitality Committees. Those events are just an example of what our member-run organization with the various skills and enthusiasm of our members can accomplish.

While we have progressed using digital communications (Zoom Video) to inform and maintain contact with members during the pandemic, there is no true substitute for meeting in person. We are looking forward to the future. Among our plans include creating a program to provide members without boats with a path to learn how to sail and race, have Club-owned boats to use, and perhaps lead them on to becoming boat owners and taking advantage of our wonderful slips and docks. We want to both preserve the things we cherish about our club and grow in the future to make the appeal of the club even broader.

Bernard Glasser
Commodore 2021