Triton Through the Ages
by Jim Kolstoe (circa 1994)

(edited by Bill Schafer 02/2018)

The November 1975 newsletter announced the Commodore's Ball to wind up the first full year of TYC' s existence, scheduled for November 15, at The Sire on River Road. Dinner was New York steaks. The cost? Well, let's just say things were less expensive then. As reported in December 1975, 26 people attended and enjoyed the awards ceremony, cocktails and dancing. Among the presentations, Norm Larson received a "captain porta-potti" shirt, and eight members received club burgees in recognition of participation in the fledgling race series.

Fall is the season of politics, even in clubs. The October 1980 newsletter announced the slate of nominations for club officers, and proposed amendments to the Bylaws and Constitution necessitated to qualify for tax exempt status, and a raise in annual dues from $15 per year to $20 per year. Of course, nominations for awards are always worth discussing. November 1980 listed ten. nominations for the Golden Screw Award. Among them, Charles Howard for colliding and holing his unsuspecting victim. John Graves for stepping off the dock while demonstrating balloon throwing technique. Verne Bybee for capsizing his boat by sending a 200 lbs. crewmember up the mast to retrieve a halyard.. Gordon Mattatall for having a crewmember remove red gym shorts for use as a protest flag.

October and November 1986 had updates on members Bob and Barbara Berkley setting out on a planned two-year cruise. They were able to head off-shore about 100 miles from Winchester bay for the layline to San Francisco, arriving there in five days. They had a good shake down, including making five knots under triple reefed main, that proved their boat seaworthy. After a three week layover, planned for four days. but who's counting, they headed south to San Diego.

October 1989 reported on a successful Odell Lake trip, with seven boats and twenty-seven people attending. At the Houston Yacht Club's Mallory Cup Competition, Ron Fish was awarded the Stanton J. Peele, Jr. Sportsmanship award, awarded to "honor those who best exemplify these qualities (fairness, generosity and courtesy) of sportsmanship both on and off the water."

The perpetually interesting question of water in the lake was revisited from a different angle at the October 1990 general meeting when Commissioner Jerry Rust spoke to us about the Emerald Canal, a proposed expansion of Eugene's existing storm water drainage system to allow diversion of Willamette River water to Fern Ridge by way of a scenic canal system in the downtown area.

Admitting that the title of this series is a little pretentious for covering the twenty years that is the actual span of Triton Yacht Club's existence, a lot of fun and experience has taken place in those years. As a club, we have developed some wonderful traditions, tried some interesting things (some of which seem worth repeating), and met a lot of good people. In reviewing the old newsletters that form our historical archives, the thing that sticks out is a simple truth; The value of belonging to TYC, as with any organization, is in doing things. If you do not feel like you are getting all that you thought you would, ask yourself, what am I putting into this club to make things happen. If the answer is, not much, the solution is easy. Don't wait for someone
else to entertain you - get active and involved. We have had many activities through the years; some of which continue in one form or another. But that continuance is only because members were willing
to make them happen. Want a cruising activity, or a social or a race? Raise the idea, help plan it, and join in the fun when it happens. It's as simple as that.



Jim is correct in saying that this is not the full history. Some notes from my memory of TYC which begins about 1986. I will continue to add notes as I find them.

There have been many events created over the years. Due to a large fall off in membership around 2008 after the Great Recession, we have lost the will to continue them. I will list them in this article with the plan to get starting date and who was the impetus.


The Jungle Cruise ~ This was a cruise into the “jungle” off of Amazon Creek near where West 11th and Fern Ridge Reservoir meet at the south east end of the lake. Very family oriented with children’s water toys scattered throughout the Jungle entrance and an impromptu swim and lunch in the small cove. (My memory says that Dean Mitchell started this around 1992 or so.)

Women’s Cup Regatta ~ A one day keel boat regatta with women only at the helm. Usually a three-race format with trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

Single Handed Regatta ~ A one day keel boat regatta for Single Handers. Usually a three-race format with trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

Jack and Jill Regatta ~ A one day Weekend regatta for couple’s pairs of men and women. (one each of course) Rules were that each person had to skipper at least one race. Usually a three-race format with trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.


-          We had a member during the 1990’s by the name of Earl Larson. Earl was in his late 80’s or early 90’s then. He devoted much of his time to racing community of both TYC and EYC. His main contribution was to help us create and maintain a healthy PHRF community of racing boats on the lake. He attended all our PHRF and TYC meetings and was a strong proponent of our racing community. Although we now use PHRF-NW as our governing body for the fleet, we should all keep Earl in our thoughts, as he was the driving force behind the original Fleet.

-          Emerald Cup scoring was interesting in the early years. It had a rather mushy award history, where the winner was decided by committee to be not only the score, but some rather subjective criteria that include “Corinthian Spirit”. One year when I was commodore (about 1999), we had over 20 Santana 20’s competing. By far the largest fleet and the winner had straight bullets over two days and 7 races. The cup went to the winner of the smallest fleet with the fewest boats. Needless to say, the winner of the S-20’s was not a happy camper. By happenstance, a similar thing had happened to me the year prior. After that, I developed the formula we now use, which takes into account the number of boats raced and divides that into the final total score. The winner of the Emerald Cup is now the data driven result of that formula adopted by the board after the complaint filed by the winner of that year’s regatta.

-          For years in the 1990’s, our meeting place of choice was a small Chinese Restaurant over near the Eugene Train Depot. They had an upstairs group dining area that we would fill to capacity every last Friday of every month. Unfortunately, the owner closed the business when we stopped using her shop.

-          Richardson Park Marina has been our Center of Operations as long as I can remember (1987) and I’m sure well prior to that date.

-         The Joint Race Committee, or JRC was created by necessity in about 1999 though the efforts of Mary VanCurra, the past Commodore during my reign as Commodore and the board of EYC. It had two goals: 1. To provide fair compensation to EYC for the shared use of their equipment for weekly races, and 2. To insure a schedule and oversight to the weekly Thursday club races.