fbpx Brief History of the CCA San Francisco Station | Cruising Club of America Skip to main content

Period 1945 - 1959:

In 1945, CCA Commodore, Ernest Ratsey, and his immediate predecessor, Hobart Ford, invited Charles A. Langlais and Jim Michael to meet with them at the New York Yacht Club. (Charles had just been elected to membership in the CCA in 1945.) Commodores Ratsey and Ford desired to expand the membership of the Cruising Club of America by making it truly national in character, rather than confined largely to the Eastern seaboard, and the two commodores proposed that outstanding blue-water sailors on the West Coast be brought into the CCA.

In 1946, Lester F. Stone and Jim Michael were elected to CCA membership, and the San Francisco Post was formed with Charles Langlais as Post Captain. In 1957, William F. Holcomb became the first member of the San Francisco Post to receive the Blue Water Medal and was awarded the John Parkinson Memorial Transoceanic Passage Trophy that same year. In 1958, with the addition of four new members, the membership of the Post passed the 24-member level and the CCA Board of Governors approved its status as the San Francisco (SAF) Station.

Period 1960 – 1979:

In 1969, the San Francisco Station hosted the CCA Spring Meeting, and it was the first regular meeting of the Club held outside of New York. In 1970, Jim Michael of the San Francisco Station became the first CCA Commodore from the West Coast and in 1971; Hal Roth of the San Francisco Station was awarded the Blue Water Medal.

During the period 1960 – 1979, Tom Stapleton was awarded two John Parkinson Memorial Transoceanic Passage Trophies for his transoceanic crossings in 1973 and 1979, and Bob and Kristi Hanelt received the CCA Circumnavigation Award for their 1972-1974 East-to-West Circumnavigation via the Cape of Good Hope and the Panama Canal in Skylark.

Period 1980 – 1999:

In 1982, the CCA-SAF Cruiser of the Year Trophy was awarded for the first time to Tom Stapleton. In 1987, the San Francisco Station hosted its second National Spring Meeting. In 1989, Roy and Tee Jennings of the San Francisco Station were awarded the Blue Water Medal. In 1991 and again in 1993, the San Francisco Station put on a well-attended Safety at Sea Seminars. In 1994, the San Francisco Station hosted its third National Spring Meeting. In 1999, the San Francisco Station hosted the National Winter Cruise to New Zealand.

During the period 1980-1999, nine CCA-SAF members were awarded the John Parkinson Memorial Transoceanic Passage Trophy for their transoceanic crossings including: Don Dalziel (1981, 1985, 1987, 1989); Fritz Warren (1988, 1989, 1991, 1997); Roy Jennings (1982, 1989, 1992, 1995); Bob Van Blaricom (1990, 1996); Pete Sutter (1991); Jerry Knecht (1994); Roger Swanson (1994); Stan Honey (1996); and Hal Roth (1997).

Period 2000 – 2009:

In 2000, Roger Swanson was awarded the Blue Water Medal. John Sanford became the first Editor of the Cruising Club News from the West Coast. In 2001, Bob Van Blaricom was awarded the Charles H. Vilas Literary Prize. Stan Honey and Peter Hogg set a record of 4 days, 17 hours, and 28 minutes for an Atlantic crossing on October 10, 2001, in Steve Fossett's catamaran PlayStation. In 2003, Bob Van Blaricom was appointed Chairman of the National Awards Committee. In 2004, John Sanford was awarded the Charles H. Vilas Literary Prize.

In 2006, the San Francisco Station celebrated its 60th Anniversary and hosted its fourth National Spring Meeting. Stan Honey sailed as navigator on the winning yacht, ABNAmro l, on the Volvo Ocean Race around the world. The website of the San Francisco Station was established. In 2007, William S. Foss was appointed Chairman of the National Environment of the Sea Committee. Roger Swanson and Gaynelle Templin were given a Commodore's Award for their successful East-West transit of the Northwest Passage on Cloud Nine. In 2008, Bob Van Blaricom was awarded the Royal Cruising Trophy for his voyage on Misty to Alaska and his article about the trip in the Cruising Club News.

In 2009, the San Francisco Station had 84 active members, nine of whom had circum-navigated including: Bill Chapman, Bob Hanelt, Stan Honey, Beau Hudson, Roy Jennings, Jim Jessie, Jerry Knecht, Roger Swanson (3) and Fritz Warren (2) and we had two active Blue Water Medal winners: Roy Jennings and Roger Swanson.

During the period 2000-2009, eight CCA-SAF members were awarded the John Parkinson Memorial Transoceanic Passage Trophy for their transoceanic crossings including: Monty Cochran (2000), Robby Robinson (2000), Bill Chapman (2002, 2003, 2004); Doug Duane (2002); Christine Sutter (2003, 2005); Roger Swanson (2000, 2003); Bill Foss (2007) and Jerry Eaton (2008).

Period 2010 – 2016:

In 2010, Bob Van Blaricom was awarded the prestigious Richard S. Nye Award for “Meritorious Service to the Cruising Club America during his 46 years of membership,” which was richly deserved, and, at the December 2014 CCA-SAF Station Annual Awards dinner, the CCA and the SAF station recognized Bob for his 50 years of Membership.

In 2015, John Sanford was also awarded the prestigious Richard S. Nye Award for “Meritorious Service to the Cruising Club America during his 34 years of membership.”

In 2012, Bill Foss received the CCA Special Recognition Award for being one of four CCA members who were principals in founding “Sailors for the Sea,” an organization committed to the worldwide protection of the oceans.

2015, Matt Brooks and Pam Rorke Levy were awarded the CCA Special Recognition Award for restoring the famous 1929 Olin Stephens-designed yacht Dorade and campaigning her in the major ocean races she had sailed in her early career, including Transpac, Bermuda, Transatlantic and Fastnet.

In February 2013, the SAF Station hosted the CCA Winter Cruise to Thailand and, in July 2013, Matt Brooks sailed his 1929-built, Sparkman & Stephens yawl, Dorade, to first place in the 2013 Transpacific Yacht Race to Honolulu. Dorade last won this race 75 years earlier in 1936!

In 2014, U.S. Sailing awarded Stan Honey the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy, which is awarded annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the sport of sailing in this country in any associated activity.

During the period 2010-2017, six CCA-SAF members were awarded the John Parkinson Memorial Transoceanic Passage Trophy for their transoceanic crossings including: Bill Chapman, his 5th John Parkinson Memorial Transoceanic Passage Trophy (2010), Bob Cadranell (2015), Bill Edinger (2015), Sylvia Seaberg (2016), Jason Deal (2016) and Michael Moradzadeh (2016).

In 2016, the SAF Station welcomed Jeanne Socrates, Blue Water Medal Winner (2013) into the CCA and into the SAF Station and, also in 2016, SAF member, Michael Johnson was awarded the Blue Water Medal for his many ocean cruising feats, including a two-year Northwest Passage aboard his yacht Gitana during 2013 and 2014. Thus, the SAF Station gained two Blue Water Medal winners in just one year!

Period 2017 – 2020:

In 2017, the CCA-SAF Station Cruisers of the Year Award was presented to Sylvia Seaberg and Tom Condy for their voyage to French Polynesia from Mexico on Cinnabar. In 2018, the CCA-SAF Station Cruisers of the Year Award was presented to Bill and Sandy Edinger for their third South Pacific voyage aboard Defiance. In 2019, the CCA-SAF Station Cruisers of the Year Award was presented to Stan and Sally Honey for their two-year cruise from San Francisco to Newport, RI, via the Panama Canal and the Caribbean, aboard their Cal-40 Illusion.

In 2018, Jim Quanci and John Swain were awarded the John Parkinson Memorial Transoceanic Passage Trophy for their transoceanic crossings.

In the 2019 Transpacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu, Michael Moradzadeh’s Oaxaca, a Santa Cruz 50, finished 6th in corrected time and was first in his class of 11 Santa Cruz 50’s and 52’s. Oaxaca’s navigator was our own Liz Baylis who won the Navigator’s Award for the Class.

In 2019, Jeanne Socrates completed a second non-stop, single-handed, unassisted circumnavigation, from and to Victoria, BC, becoming at the time the oldest person in the world to accomplish this feat. To honor Jeanne for her second solo circumnavigation, as Jeanne had already won the Blue Water Medal in 2013 for her first non-stop, single-handed, unassisted circumnavigation, the CCA presented to her the CCA Special Recognition Award.

In 2020, Banu Oney and her husband, Peter Saggers, made an epic voyage from San Diego to New Zealand covering the 6,900-mile voyage in under six months with Peter quite ill from cancer and with most ports and countries (i.e., Tonga) closed to them due to Covid-19. Banu and Peter, aboard their yacht, Denize II, a Beneteau 46, were able to call into only two ports in French Polynesia and just one port in Fiji before sailing to Christchurch, NZ, where Peter underwent chemotherapy that, amazingly and gratefully, resolved his cancer. For her prowess as skipper during this stressful voyage, Banu was named the CCA-SAF Cruiser of the Year for 2020.

In 2020, Marc Gounard was awarded two John Parkinson Memorial Transoceanic Passage Trophies for his transoceanic crossings, along with his wife Doreen, from Sausalito to French Polynesia in December 2017, and their return to Sausalito in September 2020, in their yacht Imani. Also in 2020, John “Robby” Robinson was awarded the first “Robert Van Blaricom Award,” which will be presented from time to time by the SAF Rear Commodore to the SAF member who, without portfolio, has voluntarily been of significant assistance in the running of the SAF Station.

Period 2021 – Forward:

In 2021, Randall Reeves was awarded the Blue Water Medal, for his “first-of-its-kind circumnavigation.” Randall is the first person to complete a Figure-8 circumnavigation of the globe — an almost 40,000-mile voyage, which he completed in just less than 13 months. Randall received the Blue Water Medal for “sailing his 45-foot aluminum cutter, Moli, alone around Antarctica and then through the Northwest Passage in a single season — departing and arriving from San Francisco.” Randall is the eighth Blue Water Medal winner from the SAF Station going back to 1957.

Also in 2021, U.S. Sailing awarded Chuck Hawley the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy, which is awarded annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the sport of sailing in this country in any associated activity. Chuck was the second member of the CC-SAF Station to win this prestigious award following Stan Honey in 2014.

SAF Station members did some ocean racing in 2021. Michael Moradzadeh, with Liz Baylis as navigator, took Oaxaca on another Transpac yacht race, finishing third in her division and 20th overall. Jim Quanci took Green Buffalo, his Cal-40, on her sixth single-handed Transpac, finishing 6th out of 11 boats entered, and Robb Walker sailed his Cal-40, Nozomi, to a third-place finish also in the singled-handed Transpac Race.