Turkey day sailing

ABYC Turkey Day sailing.

With a theme for the year of “Every member matters” Seal Beach Yacht Club’s incoming Commodore Laura Ellsworth says she has big plans for the club located in Alamitos Bay Marina next to West Marine.

Ellsworth is known by her fellow members as one of the most dedicated volunteers in the club. Recently, in her “all about membership” mode she walked around the club gathering feedback on how the club could serve their members better. Her goal was to increase members coming to the club on Friday nights.

sbyc commodore

Seal Beach YC Commodore Laura Ellsworth

Based on member responses, she learned folks wanted a simple healthy affordable meal that would be available at flexible times. The Friday night $10 salad bar was created as a result and members are flocking to it.

As Vice Commodore, Ellsworth established a visitor brunch program, where potential members could visit for brunch and learn more about the club. The next brunch is planned for Sunday Nov. 17 — the cost is about $20 a person, to join them, call the club to let them know.

Next month the club will start offering bar food like sliders and pork wings. Although it sounds like something only available when pigs fly, in reality it is a pork product with a stick-like bone in the center — making it a finger food. Recently, the club hosted a food and beverage fair where a variety of vendors provides samples to those attending. Members were able to weigh in on their favorites. The wings made the cut — as did three new drinks that will be added to the menu.

Next Saturday they are hosting an “Artsy-Fartsy” chili cook off where members will display their art including: needlework, photography and even yard art from recycled tires. A panel of judges will rate the chili prepared, so the evening will offer something for everyone.

In 2017, Ellsworth was awarded “Cypress College Americana Citizen of the Year for Seal Beach” for her work with the Seal Beach Centennial. Her efforts were focused on the pier clock brick program. Ellsworth sat at a card table at pier with brick sample and sold 1,800 bricks to passersby, raising enough money to pay for the clock tower. Her devotion to the clock continues, as she climbs a ladder and personally decorates it for major holidays.

sbyc commodore and son

Commodore Laura Ellsworth with son William.

The Ellsworth family originally joined Seal Beach Yacht Club thanks to their son, who was in the Junior Sailing Program. All youth can participate in the club’s youth sailing but children of members receive a discounted rate. That was the only incentive they needed to join.

With plans to increase the club’s outreach programs to Veterans and students at Long Beach State, Seal Beach YC can look forward to a good year ahead with Laura Ellsworth at the helm.

Turkey Day

Regatta Chair Ken Reiff is busy getting Alamitos Bay Yacht Club ready to host its annual Turkey Day Regatta, Nov. 23-24, the weekend before Thanksgiving. Winners will take home a turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey Day sabot

Turkey Day sabot sailing.

Turkey Day regatta incorporates the I420 Pacific Coast Championship, the 29er Pacific Coast Championship, as well as the second event in SCYYRA Hamlin Series for 29ers and SCYYRA Ullman/Frost Series for Laser Standard and Laser Radial. The regatta fee includes ABYC’s legendary Traditional Turkey Day dinner Saturday night.

8 Bells

"Todd" Thomas McNeal Wheatley, 62 years old, passed away suddenly on Oct. 14. Todd aka “Seagull” was born in Annapolis, Maryland, where he began his lifelong passion for sailing. He and his wife Nancy married in 1988 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The newlyweds boldly moved across the country to Seal Beach where Wheatley opened Bahia Marine Hardware, a sailboat rigging business, which they have operated together for more than 31 years. Wheatley's life revolved around the ocean both for work and for pleasure.

Wheatley was an avid sailor who competed in and won a multitude of regattas and world championships.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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