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article imageOp-Ed: Yachting season celebrates its 100 Anniversary in San Francisco Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Apr 18, 2017 in Lifestyle
San Francisco - This Sunday, April 23rd, to mark the occasion of the 100th Opening Day on the Bay, the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association will celebrate in grand style.
The PICYA is comprised of 105 yacht clubs from Sacramento to the Monterey Bay. And, with a parade of over 100 boats decorated to this year’s theme, entitled 'Cruising the Century', boats will showcase historic moments of all kinds: Nautical, Technology, Science, Historic Figures and more. Some consider this event auspicious because of such rich history.
100 Years Ago in the Sausalito News, an article appeared touting the ‘Spectacular Cruise Plan of Yachtsmen.' And, 'The entire Fleet of Bay Area craft to form squadron for the big pageant for Opening Day on the Bay.’ Members of a number of yacht clubs had been overhauling their rigs, trimming their boats, and readying them for the Spring and Summer seasons of racing and cruising. Boats from the Corinthian and San Francisco Yacht Clubs had ‘wintered’ their boats in the protective enclosed lagoon, stretching from (what was then) San Rafael Avenue in Belvedere to Main Street in Tiburon. The official opening of the Bay commenced when the drawbridge at that junction of Main Street and Beach Street was literally raised—opening the Bay!
This vintage photo is from the first Opening Day of The Bay celebration in 1917.
This vintage photo is from the first Opening Day of The Bay celebration in 1917.
Courtesy of PICYA and its affiliates (2017)
Winston Bumpus, Vice Commodore of the PICYA, is very pleased to be the Centennial Opening Day Committee Coordinator which hosts this unique tradition for the San Francisco Bay Area. "There will be hundreds of boats from throughout the Bay Area on the water, which will participate in the Blessing of the Fleet in Raccoon Straits, which will be followed by a mock battle in Sausalito Bay with the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain Tall Ships, and then followed by the Parade of Decorated Boats."
Grand Marshal for the 100th Opening Day on the Bay will be, Lieutenant Colonel John Morrow. He is the 54th Commander and District Engineer of the San Francisco District (United States Army Corps of Engineers). His presence signifies the dignity and tradition the PICYA and other yachting clubs and boating associations hold dear. Organizers and coordinators of the event anticipate this coming Sunday will be a spectacular day to participate in the parade.
An example of a decorated boat at the celebration. Participants in this year s boat parade are encou...
An example of a decorated boat at the celebration. Participants in this year's boat parade are encouraged to decorate their boats. But organizers note, the rules in decor are no balloons.
Patti Mangan
Vice Commodore Bumpus noted that as the parade starts, "The new San Francisco Fire Boat, Saint Francis, will begin the parade with special interest boats, the MV Potomac and the Schooner Freda B following. The Lead Boat 000 will follow leading the Classic Yachts,” he said.
The parade route is along the City Front, past the PICYA Committee boat, the Hornblower ‘California’ and will end at Pier 39. And, as Bumpus exclaimed, for those eager to participate on the water, "exercise caution in the vicinity of the San Francisco Harbor entrance, Gas House Cove, Aquatic Park and the Pier 39 area... Commercial Vessels have the right-of-way. But for those landlubbers, there should be plenty of viewing of the parade from anywhere along the City Front from Crissy Field to Pier 39."
PICYA event archivist Patti Mangan agreed as she told this reporter, "the boat parade can be viewed from Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 and all waterfront locations."
As a special dimension to this historic event, the U.S. Post Office, as posted on the USPS web site, will join in two commemorative stamp canceling ceremonies for the 100th Opening Day on the Bay. One ceremony will begin at 8:10 a.m. that morning in Jack London Square across the Bay in Oakland, with Daughters of the American Revolution and the Native Daughters of the American West joining in on the ceremonies.
The event will be this coming Sunday  April 23  2017 in San Francisco Bay.
The event will be this coming Sunday, April 23, 2017 in San Francisco Bay.
Courtesy of PICYA and its affiliates (2017)
Oakland Postmaster, Daryl Trujillo, will then be aboard Lady Washington with Commodore of the International Fellowship of Rotarians San Francisco Fleet Karen Lile who has challenged the Hawaiian Chieftain to a cannon duel on the Bay. And similarly, San Francisco Postmaster Abraham Cooper will come on board the California Hornblower after the 8:30 a.m. Canceling Ceremony at Pier 3. Special commemorative cancellations (postage) will be available on board the ship.
Those on the California Hornblower will enjoy a sit-down luncheon while watching the parade. Organizers believe the centennial celebration should be quite an historic event. They hope many people will attend, as it is open to non-members.
For more information visit the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association web site.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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