The Southern California Yachting Association has awarded Seal Beach Yacht Club the Club of the Year and Pandemic Powerhouse Award for 2020. The SCYA is a regional recreational boating organization with over 90 clubs from Santa Barbara down to Mexico and Inland to Nevada and Arizona,
2020 was the 60th year of the Seal Beach Yacht Club, our Diamond Jubilee. Under the direction of Commodore Laura Ellsworth, the Yacht Club adopted a theme of “Every Member Matters” and set out to give members a variety of activities and many opportunities to engage with each other. The club focused on expanding programs for our membership and set winning the COY program as a goal.
Like everyone the pandemic changed what the Yacht Club could do. But, the COY continued to be our focus as many of the activities were Covid-safe since they were outside, on the water, and easier to safe distance. Another major part of the of the COY is charitable and community service which is a hallmark of SBYC.
The Yacht Club leadership were honored to have received this award that recognizes achievement in activities that are important to the membership.
This award was created by SCYA last June to recognize that 2020 was going to be a year of extreme challenges and they wanted to award extraordinary performance. At the time they thought we would probably be out of the pandemic by September. (Ha!) The Seal Beach Yacht Club pivoted, adjusting their sails and powered through as best they could to follow all COVID guidelines and kept our membership engaged.
When the Yacht Club couldn’t meet at the club, they met on Zoom or YouTube. When there were shortages in grocery stores the Seal Beach Club worked with their vendors to secure provisions for the members. Fun trivia and scavenger hunts were created on Zoom. Cruises were popular and we added more Duffy and dinghy cruises in our bay, as well as what became known as YoYo (Your On Your Own) cruises to Catalina and even down to the San Diego area. We added new events like fishing and predicted log racing. When the club wasn’t allowed to dine in the clubhouse (located in Long Beach), the club had a take out program. When the club was allowed back in, the SBYC had dinners on the patio and expanded with additional dining opportunities on their new “courtyard” area.
The club’s sailing race program was strong and the Yacht Club were able to safely complete 23 of 34 planned races. The club did collections every month for local charities. The need was great and club members were proud to have made contributions to charities like: CSU Long Beach Pantry Program, St. Luke’s Shower Power Program, Women Shelter Long Beach and the American Red Cross blood drive program.
The club just kept going. Laura Ellsworth did not lead with what the club could not do because of the virus; instead she lead with what the club could do. And they did it.
If you are interested in joining the Seal Beach Yacht Club, call Membership Chairperson Rowanda Tucker at (562) 221-2627. If you are an experienced mariner or new to boating or just want a social connection, the club looks forward to talking with you.