The San Juan Island Yacht Club welcomed 80 degree weather, 24 boats and nearly 200 people to its two-day party, the Cinco de Mayo Opening Day Boat Parade.
Chaired by Fleet Captain Hank Snider and coordinated for the fifth year in a row by Burke Critchfield, the annual start to boating season marks the kickoff of the yacht club’s 50th year — measured from the first Sunday in May, 1964, when seven boat owners headed from Jensen’s Marina to Sucia, deciding at Sucia to form the club. The club now has 202 members.
The boat-savvy judges panel consisted of Elisa Schoultz of Jensen’s Boatworks, Tammy Hayes of the Port of Friday Harbor, and Cask & Schooner restaurateurs Marshall Davis, owner of the classic 80-foot coastal schooner “Spike Africa”.
Seventeen of the 24 boats were awarded prizes donated by supportive boating businesses. Best Boat was Kit Pingree’s “Teal,” a 74-foot cruising boat originally built as an open-ocean Alaska fish patrol boat. Best Traditional Boat was “Rebozo,” a 48-foot Offshore owned by Bill and Rebbie Bates. Best Theme Boat was Mike Close’s “At Ease,” a 36-foot Universal Trawler — renamed “Sinko de Boato” for the day and outfitted it with a live goat.
The yacht club is now expecting continued good weather for its July 4 Vice Commodore’s Cruise, led by Bish Wheeler to Ganges Harbor, and for the annual Shaw Island Classic, in which sailboaters choose which way to go around Shaw Island.