THE HISTORY OF THE BREMERTON YACHT CLUB

Table of Contents

History of "Heavy Weather": Selected Snapshots 1935 - 1970



1935:

The annual Heavy Weather Cruise was held on Washington's birthday as usual. The rendezvous this year was the Tracyton dock. There were only 12 Queen City boats over as visitors. There was much discussion at the next meeting as to the reasons that attendance had been falling off at this cruise. No direct action of any sort was taken.

1936:

On Washington’s birthday, the club sponsored a Heavy Weather Cruise that was the real McCoy. This race was held in the area from Fletcher Bay to Suquamish and return. It snowed so hard that everything was frozen up. Plenty rough, too. One vessel lost her dinghy which was lashed topsides.

1940:

Commodore Werner had included the annual Heavy Weather Cruise in his calendar of club events for 1940. We see that Past Commodore Tucker in his new boat the "Nisimaha" walked off with first place in this race followed by Jack Kuphal in his "Aimee K" and George Carter in the "Lady Ruth".

1941:

There was the annual Heavy Weather Cruise this year also. Of course, this was the last year until after the war that this event was scheduled, but Captain Pritchard in the "Comet" walked off with top honors.

1942:

However, things rolled along pretty much in the same order as always. A party was the big event in the clubhouse on February 21st --even if there couldn't be a Heavy Weather Race.

1945:

The annual Heavy Weather Cruise was renewed in 1945 for the first time in several years. Of course, gasoline was still rationed, but a short race from the B.Y.C. to Brownsville and return was scheduled. Thirteen boats entered and finished this race with great enthusiasm. Fleet Captain Mosher walked off with this one followed by Vice Commodore Kuhlman and Captain Klieves. This event marked the renewal of boating events by the B.Y.C. and although it could - not be an interclub event as of yore, due to wartime restrictions, the spirit was certainly in the right place.

1946:

On Washington's birthday the B.Y.C. played hosts to every yacht club on the Sound on a Heavy Weather Cruise and Dance, etc. The boys worked day and night on the clubhouse -- painting the porch -- sealing the porch in -- float repair -- cleaning the yard, and so forth in anticipation of this event. Their efforts were not in vain. About 40 visiting yachts and 250 visitors came to see the "big doins". These boats were strung out at the end of the floats and old "Phinney Bay" bulged a little, but everybody had a wonderful time at the buffet dinner on Friday night, the Past Commodore’s Ball on Saturday night after the Heavy Weather Cruise and the free breakfast served by the men and ladies to all who came on Sunday morning. The winner of the race was Dr. E. Guyer of the Queen City Club -- he was promptly made an honorary member for the year.

1947:

In February there were 10 clubs, (2 Canadian and 8 Puget Sound) invited to the Heavy Weather Race. Commodore Kahn presented the trophy to Captain Knowles of Seattle Yacht Club as the winner, among 83 entries.

1953:

The Heavy Weather Race was won by Mose Vining of Seattle Yacht Club with an error of .837 in a field of 88 entries.

50 YEARS AGO Sun, February 23, 2003 February 23, 1953 • The 48-foot Benign today was hailed as the 1953 champion of the Bremerton Yacht Club's heavy weather cruise. The Benign, piloted by Maurice N. Vining of the Seattle Yacht Club, toured the 30-mile course Saturday with a trim 0.837 percentage of error to finish in front of a record field of 88 boats.

1954:

This year the Heavy Weather Race was won by Bert Marsden of Queen City Yacht Club with his "Merrily III", error .5237. This was the race which fooled most of the wise old heads of racing. All week we had had winds of 25 to 30 knots from the south. The morning of the race the same condition existed and the radio report was for a continuation of the same. In fact, all the way to the starting station at Winslow the seas were heavy and windy as predicted. However, about an hour before starting time for the slower boats, the wind died to a whisper and the sea flattened out. The result being that the boys who either didn't know how to compute windage or were too lazy to do so, turned in the best logs.

1955:

The Heavy Weather Race was won by the Commodore of the Rainier Yacht Club, Charlie Maris on the "Carolyn", with a record of .4923.

1956:

This year he had the thrill of presenting the trophy for winning the Heavy Weather Race to a member of our club, Captain Fred Steinkraus. After an absence of 7 years the trophy came home. There were 107 entries and the "Merry Me II" led with an error of .6781.

1959:

Vic Frank of Queen City Yacht Club won the Heavy Weather Race in a new cruiser, the "Viboco" with an almost unbelievable record of .170.

1960:

The Heavy Weather Race was won by K. D. Wilson of Queen City. However, he also belonged to the Poulsbo Club and for some reason chose to fly the Poulsbo Burgee that day, so Poulsbo claims the honors on a record of .689. This race lived up to its title as the wind and sea were rough enough to cause 22 boats to cancel out at Point Monroe.

1961:

The Heavy Weather Race was won by Dr. J. C. Powers of Seattle Yacht Club on the "Nautilus" with an error of 1.0480.

1962:

The Heavy Weather Race was won by Bob Fickiesen of our club, on the "Tongan". Error, an enviable .63.

1966:

The Heavy Weather Race results showed three of the first ten places taken by Bremerton boats.

1967 or 68:

In December, the subject of charging for the Heavy Weather breakfast was discussed and it was finally passed that a charge of $1.00 per plate would be put into effect.

1969:

It was reported that the I.P.B.A. had invited the Bremerton Club to put the Heavy Weather Race under their sponsorship which would require an entrance fee of $2.00 per boat, half to go to the I.P.B.A. A matter of points toward the Jerry Bryant Trophy was involved. It was decided to keep the Heavy Weather Race a Bremerton Yacht Club affair with no entrance fee. As of this writing the points earned will be considered in the Jerry Bryant Trophy Award.

1970:

Lew Belden was the new Commodore. The Heavy Weather Race was a huge success with 150 plus boats entered.