Under the leadership of Com. Harry Austin
in 1912 and Com. Harry Kendall in 1913, DRYA immediately
exceeded the expectations of the organizing clubs:
Detroit Boat Club, Detroit Yacht
Club, and the Country Club of Detroit.
A regatta schedule was accepted
eliminating all conflicts, and the member clubs adopted a
uniform set of racing rules as well as class determinations.
The DRYA was such a success that new
clubs applied for membership as soon as they were organized.
Some of our early additions were:
Yacht Club - 1914, Edison Boat Club - 1914, and Bayview Yacht
Club - 1915. Wyandotte-Delray Yacht Club,
Yacht Club, Corinthian Yacht Club, and The Old Club (Harsen's
For its first 27 years, DRYA was just an
organization of member clubs that functioned to eliminate
conflict in sailing dates and to formulate uniform policies and
practices in the conduct of sailing races and their supervision.
However, with the increase in the
number of member clubs as well as regatta entrants, the job of
record keeping became too cumbersome for most clubs.
In 1939, the member clubs charged
DRYA with responsibility for record keeping at each member
This responsibility was quickly
expanded to include yacht registration with standardized forms
for each regatta listing the yacht, owner, class, rating, sail
number, club affiliation, etc.
Consistent with its
commitment to speak for the member clubs, DRYA was instrumental
in the 1939 establishment of a Coast Guard Divisional Station in
It also successfully opposed an
attempt on the part of promoters to make a landfill along the
shipping channel adjacent to
The Second World War brought few changes.
However, in 1945, DRYA severed its
relationship with Inter-Lake Yachting Association and became an
independent member of the North American Yacht Racing Union (now
the United States Sailing Association).
With this independent status, DRYA
formed its own Appeals Committee, has a Delegate on the Council
of Sailing Associations, and assigns offshore yacht sail
In 1947, Past Com. T. B. Farnsworth
recommended to Com. Joseph A. Summerlee that DRYA establish a
Race Week to be held during the week of July 4th.
This event was held annually from
1947 through 1950 with 16 to 22 starts daily on two courses with
distances from 3 to 15 nautical miles.
The event was very popular but a
crowded regatta schedule forced its cancellation after the 1950
The DRYA Constitution was rewritten in 1956
imposing some minimal requirements for new member clubs.
(DRYA is strongly oriented towards
sail yacht race activity as an important criterion in evaluating
clubs for membership.)
Additionally, the 1950s saw an ever
increasing presence in providing race committee staffing for the
In 1960, the DRYA established an
invitational regatta for small-yacht, one design racing held in
The strong participation in the
invitational regatta showed increased interest in small boat
sailing which helped lead to the establishment of the small boat
DRYA Standard C Course in 1965.
The following year the A-B Course
was modified from a fixed triangular course to six fixed marks
in an attempt to provide weather starts for the handicapped
The A-B Course was further modified
in 1983 with eight fixed marks to provide a trapezoidal course
for the A Course and a triangular course for the B Course.
In 1987, the B Course was separated
from the A Course and moved off Gaukler Pointe to provide an
Olympic course configuration for the smaller handicapped yachts.
In 1992, the A Course was moved to the B Course location off
Gaukler Pointe for handicapped rated yachts with an Olympic
Course, and the B Course was relocated below the Grosse Pointe
Yacht Club to provide windward/leeward starts for One Design
Participation reached a record of
250 – 300 participants in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Participation began a slow decline
until total participation was between 75 – 125 boats.
In 2007, the sailors on the B
Course, Offshore One Design classes, requested merging with the
A Course boats.
The merger was approved by all
participants with the new A-B Course located off the Grosse
Pointe Yacht Club with a windward / leeward course.
The course had proposed legs of 1.5
km or 2 km legs and either 4 or 5 legs.
The new course was well accepted by
all and continues to be in use today.
While all this moving around was going on,
in 1984 to be more precise, the DRYA purchased its first
computer to more quickly and accurately process race results,
coordinate mailings and store the myriad pieces of information
used for handicapping and classifying yachts.
then on Marter Road
in St. Clair Shores
was now fully computerized with Jane Rupp being hired as Office
Manager in 1986.
Prior to this,
results were processed at Modern Business Services on
Preliminary results were available
at 10:00 pm on the day of the regatta with final results
available on Wednesday.
With our own computer, results were
available between 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
As laptops became available, results
have been made more readily available and starting in 2012, we
are attempting to have them made available as soon after the
regatta is finished with the results published on the DRYA
Website and Face book.
The DRYA Website was established in
1995 providing a constant flow of information to the membership.
A merger between the Offshore Racing Club
of Detroit and DRYA was approved in 1991 bringing the
handicapping function and racing functions into one
organization; and (re)named the Detroit Regional Yacht-racing
More importantly, this merger
brought the voice of the sailors (Offshore) together with the
voice of the Clubs (DRYA) in one unified organization so that
all interested parties are communicating and working together
for the best sailing and racing anywhere in the country.
This streamlining appears to be
popular with both the clubs and the sailors.
As a result of this merger, DRYA was
Incorporated as a Non Profit Corporation under the laws of the
Sate of Michigan on January 30, 1992 and we received tax exempt
501 (c) (3) status from the Internal Revenue Service on November
In 2007, the
was torn down for a new building.
The office was relocated to a more
functional office at
St. Clair Shores,
In January, 1958, the Executive Committee
established the "DRYA Hall of Fame”.
This award is given to a member in
recognition of his/her participation and cooperation in the
growth and well being of the Detroit Regional Yacht-racing
Association and by his display of Corinthianism, honest rivalry,
courteous relations and graceful acceptance of results.
Through the 2011 season, a total of
69 individuals have been inducted to the DRYA Hall of Fame.
Peter, 2003, proposed a winter seminar series to help introduce
sailing to people newly interested as well as existing sailors.
Com. Timothy Rumptz picked up the
torch and developed this highly successful program.
Sessions are held at various member
clubs and appropriate off-site locations.
Under the direction of the Rear
Commodore and Dr. Steve Liroff, the program has become a great
success with attendance at 150 - 200 people per session.
In the 100 year history of the DRYA, it has
conducted over 40,000 separate starts and finishes for its
In addition it has a most enviable
reputation for expertly conducting area, national, and
With its 27 member clubs, the DRYA
is a respected voice in sailing affairs on a local and national
During its existence, DRYA has been served
by 101 different Commodores who were members of 19 different
That broad base of club and sailor
representation in the management of DRYA has provided the
stability and communication needed to continue to meet the needs
of both our member clubs and sailors, now and in the future.
The preceding “History of the DRYA”
was constructed from notes given to the late Commodore Herb
Mainwaring by Com. Edwin Theisen and has been reprinted with
minor freshening for obvious changes in dates, etc.
Known simply as “Herb” to the least
and greatest of his friends, Commodore Mainwaring devoted
thousands of hours to the betterment of the sport of competitive
He was Commodore of Crescent Sail
Yacht Club in 1962 and the DRYA in 1984, and was elected to the
DRYA Hall of Fame in 1994.
of the 20th century saw a yachting hotbed on the
Two popular type craft, the twenty-one foot sloop and the
catboat, dominated the scene, outnumbering all other classes
designers, builders, and sail makers worked with yacht owners for
the fastest yacht on the course.
This made for keen competition as well as highly skilled
skippering and boat handling.
The competition spread to the clubs, who
wrote their own racing rules and regulations for class
The three main clubs at that time
were the Detroit Boat Club, the Detroit Yacht Club, and the
Country Club of Detroit (later the Grosse Pointe Club also known
as the "Little Club").
Many conflicts developed between the
clubs as they fought for the most favorable race dates and wrote
rules and regulations that had some favorability for their club
Leading yachtsmen of the period began
discussions about an organization of the clubs that would
standardize the rules and regulations for all yacht racing in
this area as well as establishing a racing calendar without
conflicting dates for races.
Commodore Harry Austin of the
Detroit Boat Club and Commodore Harry Kendall of the Detroit
Yacht Club were determined to make such an organization a
Their efforts led to the birth of
the Detroit River Yachting Association in 1912.
Membership was to be composed of
"active and recognized Corinthian American and Canadian Boating
and Yachting Organizations which are located
and maintain suitable premises on the water that connect Lake