The race history at Dana Point Yacht Club has its roots back to the establishment of the club in 1952 and includes the names of such individuals as Hobie Alter.
The first Seal Beach to Dana Point Race took place in 1969. A full schedule of racing programs began in 1973, including the first Dana Point Series, followed soon by the San Clemente Island Race. By 1978, the always successful Dana Point Series and other regular regattas had been balanced by an equally successful schedule of small boat races and the Dana Belles Regatta was unchallenged as the largest all-ladies race in Southern California. The inagural year for the Dorcas Britt Perpetual Trophy was 1979 and was won by "Grins".
In 1981 an agreement was made with Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club to co-sponsor another offshore race around Catalina Island. This race was established as the "Historic Mariners Race" and the inaugural year winner was Victoria, E.D. Callender, LAYC. Some years later, the race name was changed and is now known as the "Around Catalina" Race. In 1999 a new elapsed time record of 8 hours, 58 minutes, 39 seconds was set for the 75 mile race by Roy E. Disney's boat, Pyewacket. The 25th Anniversary Race in 2005 was won by Whiplash, DPYC and all prior year's winners were recognized at the trophy presentations. 2006 proved to be a fantastic wind year for the "Around Catalina" race. Three boats, Taxi Dancer, Ragtime and White Knight, broke the 1999 record with Taxi Dancer being the First to Finish. Taxi shaved over 1 1/2 hours off the record, setting the new elapsed time record at 7 hours, 26 minutes, 53 seconds. (See prior winners list)
Over the course of the years other regattas and series have been added to the race calendar including, the Doheny Series, Thirsty Thursdays, Midwinters Tune-Up, Endless Summer, J-24, Commodore's Challenge and the Year End Regatta. DPYC also hosts the SCYA Midwinters Regatta.
In 1997 a decision was made to re-draft the Deed of Gift for the Dorcas Britt Perpetual Trophy and to exclude the offshore races in its scoring. This decision was based upon a desire to have the trophy more accurately represent its original intentions to recognize the "best DPYC area" racer. At the same time a new Deed of Gift for the Steve Dutton Memorial Offshore Championship was decided upon and 1998 became the first year for the new Offshore Championship Trophy. The inaugural year winner of the Steve Dutton Memorial Offshore Championship Trophy was Jack Taylor on his Catalina 38, Hassle. In 1998 an agreement with the former Capo Bay Yacht Club was reached in which DPYC was deeded the Howard Trueba Memorial Trophy, the perpetual trophy for the Harbor Championship Regatta. Dana Point Yacht Club hosted those Championships for the first time that year.
With the club's move to its new home in 1998 and the desire of the members to demonstrate their community concern a brand new event was planned for 1999, The Richard Henry Dana Charity Regatta®. This event is an annual regatta and was established to provide support to a chosen charity providing human or educational services in South Orange County.
In 2001 after many successful racing years with his Catalina 38, Hassle, Jack Taylor decided it was time to fulfill his long term plan of owning and racing a bigger boat. Specifically, a Santa Cruz 50 which he bought that year and would name Horizon. In 2004, after a few years of doing all the local offshore races including Newport to Ensenada, Santa Barbara to King Harbor, and Around Catalina, Horizon embarked on what would ultimately become a stellar offshore racing record with their first major offshore race, the Manzanillo Race. The following year, 2005, brought on another major Mexico race with their first Puerto Vallarta Race. 2006 would prove to be the breakout year for Jack Taylor’s Horizon with both the Cabo Race and in July of that year, a 2nd Place win in both Division & Overall in the grueling Vic-Maui Race.
After a few years of discussion at the club regarding one of our long standing offshore races, the San Clemente Island Race, it was decided in January of 2006 to replace that race in the Offshore Championship with the existent Long Beach to Dana Point Race. Both the San Clemente Island Race and the Long Beach to Dana Point Race were held on Labor Day Weekend each year. DPYC would join with the existent co-sponsors, Dana West Yacht Club and Shoreline Yacht Club of Long Beach in sponsoring this race, thus creating a three club sponsorship for the race. The winner of the 2006 Steve Dutton Memorial Offshore Championship was Mike Hatcher with his Andrews 42, Roller.
In 2007 Horizon would continue their offshore racing performances with a 2nd Place win in its first Transpac Race and a 1st Place win in Southwestern Yacht Club’s Little Ensenada race. 2008 saw Horizon backing up their 2007 Little Ensenada performance with another 1st Place trophy.
2008 also saw the Club sponsoring a team to the J24 World Championships in Sardinia, Italy. The team was headed up by skipper, Sonny Gibson along with crew members Andy Witham, Jeremy Quinton, Brent Barnett and Dustin Durrant.
A rising star emerged from our club in 2009. Brian Bolton, a DPYC Junior sailor, was invited to the US Sailing Youth Championships in the 29er Class which were held in June at Indian Harbor YC. Following a medal winning performance there, Brian, teaming up with two different skippers, went on to race and trophy in the 29er U.S. Nationals, North American Championships and World Championships which were held at Riva del Garda, Italy. Additionally, racing in the various regattas of the Pacific Coast Championship Series from San Francisco to San Diego, Brian won in its inaugural year, the Maxam Family Perpetual Trophy for Championship Crew in 2009, and the top "Under 18" Crew in the PCC.
DPYC racers fared well in the 2009 Transpac with Jack Taylor's Horizon winning both Division 5 and the SC50 Class. Tim Fuller and Erik Shampain aboard Tim's 1D35, Relentless, won Division 6 competing double-handed. Viggo Torbensen skippering a chartered SC52 finished 4th in the class and Patrick Hearne skippered his yacht Far Niente to a 3rd Place trophy in the Aloha Class.
2010 was a truly epic year for Jack Taylor and his Horizon. Early in the year came a 1st Place in the Puerto Vallarta race and was followed by a 2nd Place trophy at MEXORC. In July came the biggest win yet of Horizon’s offshore racing record with a “Clean Sweep” in the Pacific Cup Race …. 1st to Finish, 1st in Class, 1st Overall. Horizon’s Pac Cup crew was Jack Taylor, Jon Shampain, Tom O’Keefe, Robert Plant, and DPYC members Erik Shampain, John Berry, Jason Adamson and Peter Kornhaber. Jon Shampain also won the prestigious Navigator’s Trophy. Oh! and Horizon set a Pacific crossing record for a SC50 in the race with an elapsed time of 8 days, 11 hours, 46 minutes, 39 seconds.
Horizon’s dominance in offshore racing continued in 2011 with a 1st Place win in both Division & Overall in the Cabo Race, 1st Place in the Islands Race, and another 1st Place win in Transpac. 2013 brought Jack a 2nd Place trophy in the Cabo Race and perhaps one of the biggest offshore racing feats ever. With another 1st Place trophy in the 2013 Transpac, came a “first ever” three-peat in Transpac history. Peter Grant is the only other sailor to win three Transpac races . . . but his personal three-peat employed two different boats (1957 aboard NALU, 1959 and 1961 aboard NALU II ) thus making DPYC Staff Commodore, Jack Taylor and Horizon the only three-peat by a skipper on the same boat.
With all of these major offshore racing accomplishments, Horizon has also been the winner of the Steve Dutton Memorial Offshore Championship Trophy, the Club’s offshore champ, in 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2012.
2014 brings the introduction of the new Dana Point Harbor Non-Spin Championships to complement our long standing Dana Point Harbor Championship Regatta.