Speaker Series

CYC Speaker Series ...For a Good Yarn..

Sailors, like fishermen, can tell stories, and when they aren't on the water, they are talking or listening to stories about being on the water. One could say "sailors are a curious bunch."

The CYC Speaker Series baits that curiosity. We have listened to thrilling adventures, nerdy gear-based discussions, lively debates, and together we have dreamed and schemed while hearing about places we can barely find on a map.

Some of the speakers we have enjoyed are:

  • Life on the Water, Film Portraits of local watery souls
  • Julian Guthrie, Norm Bajurin on The Billionaire and the Mechanic
  • Nick Hayes, author of Saving Sailing
  • Richard Spindler, founder of Latitude 38
  • Bruce Schwab & Rich Wilson, twice single-handed non-stop race around the world
  • Dawn Riley, first woman to actively sail in America's Cup (1992), author of Taking the Helm
  • Erden Eruc, 2014 Guinness World Record for rowing circumnavigation
  • Gary Jobson, CEO of US Sailing, AC TV commentator
  • Hank Easom, beloved SF Bay sailor
  • Jimmy Cornell, authority on long distance sailing,
  • Mark Reynolds, Olympic champion sailor
  • Mark Rudiger, legendary navigator in TransPac and round the world races
  • Pat Henry, single-handed woman sailor
  • Paul Cayard, professional sailor in numerous world championship events
  • Philippe Kahn, one-design sailor and entrepreneur
  • Ron Holland, nautical designer
  • James Martin, Islands of the Bay photographer
  • John Connolly, head instructor at Modern Sailing School
  • Nigel Calder, author of well-respected Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual
  • Thom Whidden, America's Cup participant

Our venue is one of the most desirable on the San Francisco Bay. Our 100-year-old ballroom with grand stone fireplace has an excellent screen/sound system.  The adjoining sun porch and bar open to a deck with incomparable views of the San Francisco skyline, Angel Island and the San Francisco Bay.

The CYC Speaker Series is free and open to the public. For any type of inquiry about the Speakers Series, contact speakers@cyc.org.

These events will be held approximately once per month, and are open to reciprical members of other yacht clubs. They last from about 6pm to 9pm.  Please RSVP.


Speaker Series

John Laurence Busch, Author

STEAM COFFIN: Captain Moses Rogers and The Steamship Savannah Break the Barrier

Wednesday, September 16

John Laurence Busch, historian and author, sets the historical context to describe why the idea of a "steamship" crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 1819 was met with a mixture of skepticism and fear. 

In 1807 Robert Fulton built an experimental “steamboat” to transport passengers between NYC and Albany, NY. Although the success of the Clermont (also called Fulton's Folly) proved that the steamboat was a viable mode of transport, the public remained unconvinced, even fearful, of this "new technology." But a sloop captain named Moses Rogers saw the Clermont and caught the fever—steamboat fever.

Eventually steamboats on rivers and lakes became a normal part of American life.  But taking a steamboat across the ocean was a different proposition altogether.  Experienced mariners didn’t think it could be done. Steamboats, they declared, were too flimsy and unwieldy to withstand the dangers of the deep.

Rogers believed otherwise.  Combining his knowledge of the old mode of transport (sail) with the new mode of transport (steam), he designed a vessel that could face the perils of the sea.  This craft would be not a “steamboat” but a “steamship,” the first of its kind.  She was named Savannah, and author Busch calls her the first example of globalized high technology in history. Busch will describe the travails and victories Rogers faced as he persisted in following his dream.


2015-09-16 (All day)



Sign Up for a Speaker Series event

So we can contact you if something comes up. We'll also add you to the speaker series mailing list.
We want to be sure we have it right.

Sign Up for Speaker Series Notices

Coming Speakers

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015