Southport Yacht Club (SYC) celebrated its centennial on Friday, July 7, when over 100 boats assembled on the Sheepscot River. Cedarbush nun 6 was the meeting place for boats of all make – sail, motor, dinghy, canoe and kayak – to show up to help SYC reach its goal of a 100-boat gathering in honor of the club’s 100th year of operation. In all, 113 boats participated.
SYC is over 300 members strong. For many families, a history with SYC spans generations, said Hollyanna Bates, communications director for the club. According to SYC’s website, SYC’s affiliated Junior Yacht Club Sailing Foundation teaches sailing, seamanship, racing, and water safety for all ages and skill levels; values in the youth programming include respect for others and property, sportsmanship, community volunteerism and working together as a team.
“I started sailing here in 1986 as a kid and my kids learned to sail here too,” Bates said. “One became an instructor.”
Onboard Bates’ motorboat and through the fog outside Cozy’s Harbor, a voice on an intercom was heard: “David Turley is in the house,” followed by cheers and laughter. Turley, former Vice Commodore and regatta racer, and his sibling, have been instructors at SYC. Living in Five Islands, Turley would sail through dense fog, rain and summer storms to teach at SYC.
SYC’s Commodore, Anne Grimes Rand, has been the President and Chief Executive Officer for the USS Constitution Museum in Boston since 2010. Rand, aboard her vessel Razzle, participated in the event and spoke of SYC’s centennial summer full of races, events and time at sea with friends. Rand studied maritime New England at Dartmouth College and received a master’s degree in American civilization from Brown University, according to the museum’s website. “In 1997, she had the privilege of narrating aboard the USS Constitution when the ship returned to sea and sailed under its own power for the first time in 116 years,” it reads.
Over the past 100 years, SYC has seen a few changes. “Women wear shorts now,” laughed Bates. In honor of the centennial, captain and author Mark Colby along with Southport Historical Society will give a talk about David’s Island and the history of SYC.
Lobster bakes, sports, regattas, bingo, movie nights, a dance, a soiree and the 2023 Rock the Boat 5K race round out SYC’s centennial summer of celebration.