A Brief History of The AYC and our founder : Ruth Beals.
Celebrate the colorful history of the desert's Yacht Club and race in this very special regatta.
AYC was the child of Ruth Beals, the first sailboat dealer in Arizona. In the summer of 1958 she set up a fenced-in area on the north side of East Indian School Road at about 22nd Street and sold her wares. She was the dealer for W. D. Schock and was instrumental in selling enough Lido 14’s to create the first bona fide one design class. In the process she recorded the names and critical information of those who expressed interest in a new yacht club, as yet unnamed.
There were three meetings of the group she collected during the fall of 1958. In December 1958, the group selected a name and a burgee and officers were elected. The original burgee was designed by Tom Preuss and looked pretty much like it does today—except that it bore the initials “AYC” in addition to the Saguaro cactus. The “AYC” was later removed because, according to Chapman on Seamanship, the design represented poor flag etiquette. Dr. Richard Short, a dentist with the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, was selected as the first Commodore of the newly formed Arizona Yacht Club.
The watchword of the day was “Handicap racing is better than no racing at all.” Sam Oldham, then local Director of Red Cross activities, brought out the first Thistle (a beautiful molded plywood job which rapidly delaminated in the desert climate) early in the game. Super Satellites (a 14-footer by Frank Butler of Catalina Yachts) were an early favorite with about 20 boats racing at one point. Later, in 1960 or 1961, there was a six-boat Interlake fleet which grew to about 18 boats in time and lasted into the middle 1980’s as a viable fleet. As early as about 1960-61 we had a Schock 22 MORC (from W. D. Schock) which was “raced” in the handicap fleet by Dick Short. Lehman 12’s (another W. D. Schock product) were an early one-design class. In time we developed an active and competitive M-16 Scow fleet in which the Chapman brothers were active.
Except for the periods of drought when there was insufficient water in which to launch or sail, and the periods of flood when access was denied because of washed-out roads, the club has sailed at Lake Pleasant ever since 1963.
The full text can be found on the AYC club site
“The chance for mistakes is about equal to the number of crew squared. ” Ted Turner