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A RICH AND VARIED TRADITION

The Early Days

In 1930 a group of sailors from Cedar Point in Shady Side and from the shores of the West River formed OODYC (Our Own Damn Yacht Club). Spearheaded by the first and five time commodore William (Billy) Heintz, the club's first regatta was held on Labor Day weekend of that year. Labor Day weekend still anchors the club's active racing and cruising schedule.

In 1933 the club's name became West River Sailing Club, and for several years activities were centered around Cedar Point, known to many as Wagner's Point. In time the focus shifted to Galesville as the club's growth dictated a need for more space and facilities. Prominent one design classes in the '30s were the Dick Hartge designed and built Albatross, Sea Witch and Chesapeake 20. The Chesapeake 20s remain an active club fleet to the present day.

Prewar years saw WRSC keep its easygoing pace with an annual meeting under a tree or on somebody's porch. The emphasis was on racing every Sunday on the West River or at a regatta elsewhere. Host clubs were Rock Hall, Miles River, Annapolis, Indian Landing, Tred Avon, Urbanna and PRSA's President Cup Regatta on the Potomac.

World War II and Later

World War II kept racing and activities to a minimum. War bonds were often given as trophies. After the war, interest and participation in the club grew rapidly. In 1953, under the leadership of Commodore Walter Windsor, WRSC leased clubhouse space at Zang's Pier (located where Pirates Cove is today). A Junior Fleet and Cruising Division were formed and the first newsletter was published in 1955.

Modern Times

In 1960 land was purchased and our present clubhouse, designed by WRSC member David Shaw, was erected. It was dedicated in a gala ceremony in July 1963. That same year the club distributed its first Membership Roster.

With support from the community and friends, the West River Sailing Club has continued to prosper. Programs like our youth ctivities, our one-design program, our big boat racing activities, and our cruising fleet, along with high profile regattas like the Star North American Championships make WRSC a highly visible part of the Chsapeake sailing scene.

Continued modernizations of the facilities and an active volunteer spirit gives club members a tremendous value. The mix of junior and senior, big boat and small, racing and cruising gives every member a home and a chance to grow at West River Sailing Club.

WRSC Memorials Committee

Members are encouraged to contribute to a fund to honor and remember our deceased sailing friends. This non tax deductible fund is used to purchase club improvements of a permanent nature that are beyond the normal scope of other club functions. A brass name plate with the person's name, date and birth is attached to a memorial plaque along with other names. The committee does ensure that any special wish of the donor is followed.

The joys of sailing companions who have passed away are always with us thanks to this treasured function of our club.

Please send your memorial contribution to Joan Bell
West River Sailing Club, 4800 Riverside Drive, Galesville, Maryland , 20765.

Your gift will be acknowledged and you will be kept informed.

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