Short History of the BBYRA
For many years prior to the inception of the Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing Association, yacht racing was the popular sport on the Bay. Commodore Herman Muller of the Seaside Park Yacht Club invited members of local yacht clubs to meet with him on February 11, 1914 to discuss the advisability of forming an association to foster and unify yacht racing on Barnegat Bay. Four clubs were represented at this meeting, Bay Head, Island Heights, Ocean Gate and Seaside Park.
After agreement as to the name and purpose of the Association, Commodore J.V.A. Cattus of the Bay Head Yacht Club was unanimously elected Chairman and to serve with him, Commodore E. A. Lloyd, Jr., as Vice Chairman, Commodore Herman Muller, Secretary and Mr. M.R.H. Crowell, Treasurer. The first regular meeting was held March 11, 1914 at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at which time the original Bylaws were adopted and a racing schedule formulated, the first race being held at the Seaside Park Yacht Club on July 4 of that year. At this first meeting, the Association was enlarged by the election of the Mantoloking Yacht Club into its membership.
The first season's championships awarded by this new organization was in 1914. The first annual meeting was held on October 21 of that year and by this time, membership had grown to six Clubs by the addition of the Lavallette Yacht Club and an official Regatta Committee was appointed then known as "The Racing Commission." In 1922, the Toms River Yacht Club was elected to membership. The following Clubs were subsequently elected to Membership: Shore Acres Yacht Club (1941), Beachwood Yacht Club (1946), Metedeconk River Yacht Club (1946), Normandy Beach Yacht Club (1947), Manasquan River Yacht Club (1962), Pine Beach Yacht Club (1979), and Ocean County College Sailing Club (2005).
The BBYRA Delegates approved an extensive revision of the Bylaws in 1994. The organization applied for, and received, Federal and State status as a tax-exempt corporation 501 (c)(3) enabling contributions to the BBYRA to be tax-deductible based on individual limits. The impetus for change during the 90's did not stop at the Bylaws.
Significant changes have been made to the Racing Rules, Sailing Instructions, Course Configuration, scoring and methods of registration. An active web-site was introduced in 2000 which has provided timely communications between the Yacht Racing Association and the Clubs and Sailors.
The BBYRA horizons continue to expand beyond the Saturday Championship series. We currently serve as the umbrella organization uniting Junior Sailing Programs and YRA sponsored instructional clinics and coordinated events. Our seminars providing Race Management and Judges training reinforce our commitment to provide the best venue possible for our sailing members.
The development of the Association has been gradual but sound. Each group of officers contributes their time, energy, and effort to continue the commitment to sailing and racing on Barnegat Bay.