A Century of Service, 1921-2021 Centennial Celebration Southern California Yachting Association

Mission Bay Yacht Club and burgee

This yacht club history is reproduced from the SCYA 2017 Race Calendar & Yacht Club Directory

It all started in 1900. Tom was six when his publisher father, F.T.Scripps, moved his family to the north end of Mission Bay to be near the excellent duck hunting in the marshes. In the early 20s Tom and Austin Brown raced their Flappers against anything that appeared on the water, but they were frustrated by losing to larger boats. Tom talked this over with Alonzo de Jessop who suggested they establish a club and organize handicap racing.

It was a humble beginning on Crown Point, but it was Tom, Leo Carroll, the first handicappcr, and a few others whose ideas for handicap and one-design racing, grew into the highly refined programs and facilities we all enjoy today. Their foresight and enthusiasm have helped to produce world and national championship sailors in many classes.

The idea grew and MBYC was organized April 22, 1927. Tom Scripps was elected to serve as the first Commodore. The fifty-three charter members secured a lease and they built and furnished a clubhouse on Crown Point directly cast of our present Tower Building.

Among the problems facing the newly formed club were the lack of funds, a lee shore and a silting bay. In 1933 the clubhouse became a center for social functions while the sailing activities shifted to Asher Pier on the Mission Beach side of the bay. In 1934 J.M. Asher deeded his pier to the club.

The early boats had to be flat bottomed to maneuver in the shallow water. The Flapper, a 12 foot catboat, was the first class to race. A variety of boats, including some from San Diego Yacht Club, formed a handicap fleet and raced when the tide permitted. By 1931 the Skimmer was the hot boar in this area. A short time later the Flattie (now the Geary 18) became popular.

Shortly after World War 11, dredging began and the yacht club obtained a lease for three acres of land and three acres of water on the newly formed El Carmel Point. Under the leadership of Commodore Bob Gales, Asher Pier was wrecked and its timbers were used for the foundation for a new clubhouse. Members pitched in to help construct and furnish the new facilities and on June 20,1948 the new clubhouse was dedicated.

With the deep water and new facilities, the sailing program expanded rapidly. Lightning and Sabot fleets became popular. Dredging continued. In 1953 the North Shores Yacht Club merged with Mission Bay Yacht Club and the North Shores structure was added to the MBYC club house. About ten years later the entire structure was remodeled and is now called the Bodrero Building.

1961 was a memorable year. The hard working Club leadership was aide to double the size of land and water areas in a new lease. Each Opening Day we relive some of our early history as the commodore sails “Scantiest the dub’s first Flapper class boar, given to the dub by our first commodore, Tom Scripps. That day’s trophies were made of wood from Asher Pier until all the wood was finally used up.