Chatham Yacht Club

Teaching Love of Sailing on Pleasant Bay Since 1921

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  • CYC Centennial Tidbit- Baybird I

Chatham Yacht Club opened as the Regatta Committee of the Chatham Country Club (the forerunner of Eastward Ho!).  Twenty families ordered Baybirds and the first race was on July 4, 1921. The President of the Country Club donated a cup to be competed for in a five-race series (see photos below). Eight more boats were added over the next two years, and in its 1923 report the Regatta Committee claimed: it is believed that the Chatham Country Club Bay Birds are the largest Class of one design boats for racing purposes, anywhere in existence.

Baybirds were the primary boat at CYC until the early 1940s. They continued as the primary boat for the sailing camps in Pleasant Bay and Little Pleasant Bay for many years. Although the camps have gradually disappeared, a number of people have continued to race them and promote the class, especially the Hammatt family of Camp Quanset, the Melchers of Pleasant Bay camp (and many other associated with PBC such as Naoto Inoue), Jenny Avellar and Namequoit Sailing Association, and Suzanne Leahy (who built several brand new Baybirds). This year the Baybirds are again going to compete for the President’s Cup in the CYC regatta the same trophy that they competed for in 1921. Alan McClennen believes that this will be the first time in history that the same class will compete for the same trophy on the same waters 100 years after the first competition – and racing from the original location of the race committee pier! Bruce Hammatt will be sailing one of the original boats from 1921 which he has painstakingly restored (the Dickson boat – No. 20). Note: Alice Hammatt Melcher won the second President’s Cup sailing a Quanset Camp boat. She was the Melchers’ grandmother and Bruce Hammatt’s Great Aunt. Bruce’s grandfather won the third Cup – also sailing a Quanset Camp boat.

On Friday, August 6th we are going to celebrate the Baybirds and CYC’s Centennial with a Baybird parade and Open House. The Baybirds are going to leave Little Pleasant Bay moorings around 10 am - and sail to CYC so the parade will be in the Bay by around 11:30 (all weather dependent). After lunch, from 1-3 they will be sailing in the vicinity of CYC and are willing to take Chatham Yacht Club members for rides so they can experience this classic boat.

Please come to see the spectacle, take photos, and sail on one of these beautiful boats!


Chatham Yacht Club | P.O. Box 531 | North Chatham, MA 02650

CYC is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization. Your donations are tax deductible!

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