August Notes from Commodore

Growing up around the water, whether it be the ocean or a lake, is special. My favorite childhood memories revolve around sailing at our local club, especially the regattas. And, it’s not just competing that I enjoyed but the sailing community and sailing lifestyle. I liked being on the water with my parents and brother, then putting together sailing teams, which always included him. We just had plain fun in and around the water, meeting people who shared the same passion for sailing, eventually expanding our horizons and relationships by traveling together to regattas.


I’m learning it’s not just me whose best childhood memories were significantly shaped by the sailing lifestyle. In getting to know many of our new member families, a strong pattern has emerged – typically one parent grew up sailing, wanting their kids to grow up in the same environment, creating similar memories, opportunities and personal development. Three families come to mind, all of whom have joined Atlanta Yacht Club (AYC) within the past three years and have been very active members.

In talking to all three families, there is a recurrent theme – these families want to “play” together. They want to sail together, spend free time together and be in the company of other families who desire the same. In addition, one of the dads revealed an underlying motive. He wanted his kids to be in an environment where they would regularly interact with adults – building both their confidence and communication skills. This benefit had not occurred to me, although I personally gained from it growing up. As a teenager, I sailed with, learned from and competed against many adults, each of whom I am very thankful for.


Teenagers from two of these new-member families are taking advantage of all that AYC has to offer – participating in Junior Week, sailing in club events with their parents or other adult sailors and traveling to regattas. Their passion and persistence has paid off, with Ava Kuznicki and Ji-Soo Bolles winning the 2017 Junior Y-Flyer Nationals! Congratulations to these two, and also to Lucy and Ellie Spearman who placed second.

Sailing is in the Spearmans’ blood – their great-grandfather was one of the founders of AYC. Their mom is not an active sailor, but growing up as a part of AYC, she knew she wanted her kids to be part of the sailing community. Just another endorsement for the fact that sailing clubs are special places and sailing is a unique sport.

I believe Shep and Ian Murray, co-founders and CEOs of Vineyard Vines have nailed the message that all sailing clubs should embrace – “Living the Good Life.” Sailing is so much more than just competing on the water. It’s a fantastic and welcoming community, one I am so thankful that my parents introduced me to…and that I now enjoy with my wife and daughter.


Now… be intentional, go sailing, have fun and share the “secret” of the good life with a friend!


Make 2017 a memorable sailing season!


Bryce Dryden


South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association, 678-977-9777