(as available from Club records) By Marilyn Boemer
Grapevine Sailing Club was founded in the Spring 1973 by a group of active Lake Grapevine sailors who wanted to promote sailing and racing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The nucleus of the charter members came from the associate members of the old Cal 21 Fleet, although many of the charter members had never belonged to either the Cal fleet nor the Venture Sailing Club of Dallas, both of which used Grapevine as a home base. Following an organizational meeting at the Holiday Inn in Carrollton in May, letters were placed on boats docked at the marinas and a letter and application for GSC membership was mailed to prospective members. A deadline of June 20, 1973, was set with dues at $5.00 per family for charter membership. After this date, the membership fee was set at $10.00 per family.
A meeting of all of the temporary fleet committeemen was held at Twin Coves Cafe on June 20, 1973, under the leadership of Jeff Hammett, to accept the charter applications, and the Grapevine Sailing Club was chartered. There were six fleet commitments - AI Winzel (Ventures), Roy Van Winkle (Cal 21), Harry Nystrom (Catalina 22), Jell Hammett (San Juan 21), Ken Pritchett (1/4 Ton), and Mike Wiley (Handicap). There were 41 paid memberships, and Grapevine Sailing Club was chartered and officially active. The first scheduled Grapevine Sailing Club meeting was held Friday, July 27, 1973, at 7pm at the Grapevine Civic Center, 314 Main Street in Grapevine and the following officers were elected:
· Commodore Jeff Hammett
· Vice Commodore Carlos Canalize
· Race Captain Glen Roe
· Treasurer Harry Nystrom
· Secretary Gail Still
The membership as of July 27, 1973 was 55, and no more charter memberships were accepted after this date. By December, 1973, there were 90 members listed in the directory. The Club by-laws were drawn up and adopted at the meeting held April 25, 1974.
A sailing, rules and tactics seminar was held, and series races started in the fall of 1973, with 12 races, two on each scheduled race date. The number of racing dates in a series was set as equal 10 the number of fleets competing, and the entry fee was $5.00. There were 20 boats in the Handicap fleet - 11 in the San Juan 21 fleet, 9 in the l/. ton fleet, 6 in the Catalina 22 fleet, 6 in the Cal 21 fleet and 5 in the Venture 24 fIeet - for a total of 57 boats registered.
The club calendar for 1973-4 included two racing series, fall and spring, a long distance "Frostbite" race in February 1974 and an interclub regatta in May 1974. That first Invitational Regatta was held May 10-12, 1974 at Twin Coves Marina. The entry fee was $7.50. The 1974 Spring Series had 69 boats registered. The Handicap fleet was split into 3 divisions and a Dolphin Sr. fleet was added. By the 1974 Fall Series, 91 boats competed and a Sunfish fleet was added.
GSC started its second year in the summer of 1974 by electing:
· Commodore Carlos Canalize
· Vice Commodore Wayne Hunt
· Race Captain Mark Rigg
· Treasurer Joe Freeman
· Secretary Kathy Schocke
(Mark Rigg resigned in September 1974 and was replaced by George Griffin)
The paid membership grew to 138 by February 1975. The calendar for 1974-75 included three racing series. The fall series had a turn out4of 86 boats, with 85 in the spring and 50 in the summer. A Jr. Series for children under 16 was held in the fall of 1974 with 13 entries. The club sponsored a Halloween Party in October, 1974, with a balloon race and beach party, and two interclub regattas in November of 1974 and May of 1975. The club's first Ladies' Sailing Seminar was held in July of 1975 with 71 women entered for part or the entire three weekend event
It was open to the women of GSC over the age of 16, including members, wives, daughters and girlfriends. Weekend sailing instruction was held on July 12 & 13, and July 19 & 20, with a Powder Puff Regatta scheduled on Saturday, July 26 to be sailed in Catalina 22's. The Seminar and Regatta were free.
In the 1975 Fall Series, 105 boats were racing in 10 fleets. Catalina 22 fleet was now the largest with 22 boats. The 1975-76 club year began with the election:
· Commodore Joe Freeman
· Vice Commodore George Griffin
· Race Captain Arnie Stalder
· Treasurer Charlie Pape
· Secretary Kathy Schocke
The 1975·6 calendar included two racing series with 106 entries in the Fall of 1975 and 100 in the Spring of 1976. No Frostbite races were scheduled. January and February were devoted to Winter Seminars covering racing tactics. The club bylaws were amended to include an Assistant Race Captain in the winter of 1976 and Rick Abell was appointed to fill this post. Social events included a Christmas Party and a Commodore's Dinner in August. A short series was held in early summer for juniors and beginners, with 17 entries, and the second Ladies Sailing Seminar and race had 69 entries in July 1976. The club sponsored two interclub regattas in November 1975 and April 1976. A Joint GSC-VSCD distance race was held in February 1976, a night race in June 1976 and a joint GSC-VSCD single-handed race in August of 1976. In addition, in April 1976, the San Juan 21 Regional Championship was held in Grapevine, as well as the Texas State Championship for Chrysler 22's. GSC's first full-fledged and well-executed national class regatta occurred in June 1976, when the Dolphin Sr. National Championship was sponsored by GSC in June, 1976. Another Fall Regatta was held in 1976. The club membership was up to 204 in May 1976.
The fourth year after GSC began, in July 1976 there was a change of the bylaws to expand the board of officers - adding First, Second and Third Vice Commodores (this was since changed to Vice Commodore, First Rear Commodore and Second Rear Commodore) and stipulated that the Assistant Race Captain was to be from a marina other than that of the Race Captain. The following officers were elected for 1976·77:
· Commodore George Griffin
· Vice Commodore Arnie Stadler
· First Rear Commodore Vanda Powell
· Second Rear Commodore Bill Mentzer
· Treasurer Cam Allen
· Race Captain Rick Abell
· Assistant Race Captain Doug Warren
· Secretary Liz La Fleur
The club sponsored the Chrysler 22 National Championship in September 1976 and 114 boats were entered in the Fall racing series. Another Fall Regatta was held in 1976. There were 166 member families in the 1976-77 directory.
1977 was the year of the First Annual Gold Rush Regatta on September 9-10th at Twin Coves Marina. Months of planning went into this endeavor, with the objective 01 proving that GSC could put on the best open regatta in the State of Texas. Organizational charts were prepared, budgets projected and everything down to the last detail was planned, making the first Gold Rush a model for all those to come.
The fleets included Dolphin Sr.'s (19), Day Sailers (4), Catalina 22's (12), Handicap A (14), Handicap B (11), Handicap C (9), Multihull Handicaps (4), Chrysler 22's (5), Sunfish (16), San Juan 21's (4), Sol Cats (4) and Centerboard Handicaps (3) for a total of 99 boats registered. There were 3 protests. Grapevine Sailing Club made a profit of $478.12.
The 1978 Spring Series was formally changed with two separate series: one for displacement boats and one for centerboards and board boats. The Big Boat series was planned for one race each day, with the small boats racing two races each day on alternate days (both Saturdays and Sundays) with the Big Boat Series. A Junior Fleet Series was offered with the Small Boats. Thus, GSC members could race both series, if they wished.
A drought in 1978 resulted in very low water levels in Lake Grapevine and some members with larger boats/keels left for lake Texoma. GSC racing series were held at Texoma for several years, from Cedar Mills Marina. The Gold Rush Regatta was not held in 1978 because lack of water. The lake levels had recovered sufficiently in 1979 for GSC to hold the 2nd Annual Gold Rush Regatta on September 7-9th at Silver lake Marina. There were three courses with the Chrysler 22 North American Championships on the West Course, 8 boats sailing with spinnaker and 6 non-spinnaker boats. On the Center Course were Handicap fleets A, B & C and Catalina 22’s. The East Course had multihulls, centerboard Handicap boats and Dolphin Sr.’s. Notes from a Committee wrap-up meeting in October 1979 said that Gold Rush was definitely worth the trouble and that a profit of $0.15 was made.
The 3rd Annual Gold Rush Regatta was held September 6-7, 1980 on two courses. Day Sailers, Dolphin Sr’s and Centerboard Handicap boats sailed on one course while A & B Handicap boats, Catalina 22’s, Prindles, Nacra 5.2’s and other Multihull Handicaps on were on the other course. The next week, GSC published a 1st draft of One-Design Regatta Guidelines encouraging Championship Regattas be held on Lake Grapevine.
The Gold Rush Regatta has been held every fall, with the exception of 1978, in spite of fluctuating lake levels. A second annual major regatta, Mayor's Cup, was added to the calendar each spring. Mayor's Cup originated as a small boat regatta. However, small boat participation diminished over time and Mayor’s Cup became an open keel boat and centerboard regatta.
By 1980, the Commodore’s Dinner normally held in August had been dropped and the tradition of an Annual Banquet in January began. It was originally an Awards Banquet, but with a Bylaws revision in 1986, the election of officers was moved from July to October of each year, in order for the Board to serve a calendar year. Rick Abell was Commodore and his term of office was extended for 3 more months to coincide with the change. Since then, the Annual Banquet has included the installation of Officers.
In 1998, the Bylaws were further revised so that annual dues notices would be sent September 1st and would be due on October 1st thus making the operation of sending out notices and collecting dues the responsibility of the retiring First Rear Commodore.
All of the archival material from the 1980’s has not been located so this history is not complete. Some is available, including yearly calendars and lists of Board members and a few newsletters
In the early 1990’s, Grapevine Sailing Club saw the need for a junior program to encourage youth participation. In 1993, GSC member Stan Hinson organized such a program. It was named Grapevine Community Sailing and Education Fund (GCSEF) which is a truly non-profit organization designed for education. Organized separately from Grapevine Sailing Club and was, and is still, administered by its own Board of Directors, the programs and event registration are run through the City of Grapevine Parks and Recreation Department.
GSC has provided considerable support for GCSEF over the years, including the funding necessary to purchase junior training boats, such as Optimist Prams, Sunfish and Lasers. GSC also provides volunteers for the Day Camps for Young Sailors held each summer and supports the some of the coaching for the lessons.
In 2009, the Junior Racing Team was included back into the Grapevine Sailing Club and a Junior racing team member was appointed to the Board of GSC as its Junior Board representative. The Junior Racing Program participates in the Texas Sailing Association’s (TSA) circuit racing program and there is a Junior Race Event hosted at GSC each year called the Silly String Regatta.
Copies of the materials outlining the above, the items from the early GoldRush Regattas, other early club racing materials and the Grapevine Sailing Club monthly newsletter, the Windlines, are available in the Club office beginning with December 1995 to the present time.