One Lakewood Yacht Club Friday-bar-night following a long Board of Directors’ meeting, the often discussed subject of “we need to use our boats more” led to a new twist in the discussion: “we need to sail offshore more.” Sail maker John Cameron piped up saying, “the best sails I’ve had were late in the fall in the Gulf after the summer doldrums are over and the winter Northers haven’t started.” Ed Bailey, a competitive racer, said that he agreed and missed the old TORC offshore sailing events. John Broderick, a dedicated cruiser and club officer, also agreed from his offshore sails and said, “why don’t we organize something?” With a few more Bacardi drinks and some wild ideas to think about, the bar talk was over for the night.
Bacardi-flavored bar talk about Gulf of Mexico sailing didn’t die that night as many bar ideas do. Instead, it quickly germinated into plans for “ an all sailors from the Bay area even ” to accommodate as many sailors as possible for late fall offshore sailing. This idea to maximize boat use for the fun of it was shared with Houston Yacht Club, Texas Corinthian Yacht Club and the Galveston Bay Cruising Association, as well as the LYC Board of Directors. After several meetings and lots of discussions (many of which took place at Frank’s Shrimp Hut where Hooters stands today) it was determined that LYC would spearhead the effort and the Harvest Moon Regatta ®was born.
The first year, 1987, the regatta was designed to run for about a week, sailing from the Galveston jetties to Port Isabel for race #1, then back up the coast to Port Aransas ("Port A") as race #2. Then there was Port A to inside the Galveston jetties for race #3 and on to the Seabrook marker two for race #4. Seventeen yachts sailed that first year. In 1988 the regatta changed forever when Hurricane Gilbert blew away the facilities in Port Isabel and the start of Harvest Moon Regatta
®. Year two was delayed for three weeks. Thus began the tradition of sailing to Port Aransas under a magnificent full moon each October.
Thanks to Mother Nature and her Hurricane Gilbert, the Harvest Moon Regatta ®steadily grew from the 17 yachts of 1987 to over 260 yachts in recent years. This was due in large part to the perfect destination, Port Aransas. This ideal Texas port allows yacht owners and sailors to use minimal days from work to join in on what can be a most memorable overnight sail down the Texas coast during traditionally the best offshore sailing time of the year. And we can all do this in relative safety shared by some 200 other yachts.
John Broderick, Past Commodore LYC 1987
Please help us continue this annual Texas tradition by being a part of our 30th Anniversary!