Celebrating and Rewarding Race Committee Volunteers

A racing season that started in uncertainty, with cancellations and COVID restrictions, turned out to be a great success for St. Francis Yacht Club, and something well worth celebrating. On Friday, November 19, nearly 100 Race Committee volunteers, club officers and guests gathered to look back on a great “return to racing” and recognize the many individuals who made it happen.

Lawson Willard, Chair of the StFYC Executive Race Committee, opened the event with some impressive numbers for the 2021 season:

  • 26 Regattas
  • 78 days of racing
  • 658 races
  • 195 Race Committee volunteers
  • 1,162 volunteer/days
  • around 7,000 hours of volunteer time



Few yacht clubs can boast such an achievement in the best of times, let alone in a year disrupted by an ongoing pandemic. Willard also thanked the St. Francis Yacht Club flag officers, directors and senior staff who worked to make regattas possible within the COVID restrictions and safety measures.

Race Director Grace Carrick and Sr. Sailing Director Adam Corpus-Lahne recognized the many attendees whose service to the Race Committee is measured in decades, culminating in a standing ovation for Tony Chargin and Alan Laflin, who have each volunteered for Race Committee for over 40 years. They also awarded the Race Committee volunteers with the most service in 2021: Sophia O’Hara as the top rookie for the season, and Jay Dean as the “MVP” with the most overall days of service.

Corpuz-Lahne then officiated at a ceremony to welcome the new volunteers to the ranks of “RC Veterans”. Nearly 50 people participated for the first time in 2021, and they were presented with badges naming them “not a Newbie” and blessed with a spray of Bay water by Poseidon himself, who bears a startling resemblance to Commodore Bill Dana in a silly hat.

Thom Maslow, Vice Chair of the Executive Race Committee recognized and thanked the club members who contributed vital expertise as Principal Race Officers and Race Judges, and then led a boisterous round of anecdotes and “true confessions” drawn from this busy season.

Race Committee leaders are already busy planning the 2022 season, and are organizing a series of Race Committee Training days for January 22, January 29 and February 5.