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The San Francisco Yacht Club


Belvedere Tiburon, Cali.

Founded 1869

CLUB HISTORY sanfrancisco

Founded in 1869, The San Francisco Yacht Club is the oldest club on the Pacific Coast. The original anchorage and clubhouse were located in San Francisco near Mission Rock, but inadequate water depth and increasing industrial growth in the area resulted in a move to Sausalito. Waterfront property was purchased and a new clubhouse erected, but it was subsequently destroyed by fire in 1897. The rebuilt building is still standing and now houses a restaurant currently called Trident. Increasing ferry traffic and congestion contributed to a decision to move again in 1926. One group, headed by Commodore Clifford Smith, felt that Belvedere Cove would be an ideal location. Another group felt that the Club should move back to San Francisco and lease land from the City on the Marina. After considerable discussion the Belvedere site was finally selected. Those who opposed the move resigned and formed the St. Francis Yacht Club. A small clubhouse on the Belvedere site was completed in 1934 and is still part of the present building. Planning for the present 190-berth harbor was begun in 1933 and completed in 1957 when funds were available. The San Francisco Yacht Club, with its tranquil setting in Belvedere Cove and its superb harbor, is widely recognized as the premier yachting facility on the West Coast. It operates a year-round facility including the harbor, a dry sail area, a full service restaurant and bar. The Club's exterior and interior were completely remodeled in 2007. The Club has a very active junior sailing program and all members, whether they own boats or not, are committed to the Corinthian traditions of yachting.


Shawn Bennett grew up in Long Beach, Cali., where he was fortunate to get sail against some of the countries best sailors of the time, with sailing opportunities ranging from I-14 worlds, Congressional Cups, distance races on the 70-foot Sleds, IOR 50-footers, college sailing for USC to Cal 20s. Shawn enjoyed truly diverse sailing experiences. After graduating from USC, Shawn moved to San Francisco and took up Melges 24 and Vongaurd 15 sailing on the bay where he honed his heavy-wind skills. Later getting into the thriving J/105 fleet in San Francisco where he regularly competed in 30-plus boat fleets. Lately Shawn has rediscovered match racing and has competed in multiple events including the ISAF Nations Cup and winning the 2012 U.S. National Championship. Tactician Melissa Purdy, was the 2003 US Rolex Sailor of the Year, Yngling World Champion, America's Cup sailor, and an Olympic campaign veteran. Crew members Tom Purdy and Jon Perkins are both multiple-time International Knarr champions.

SKIPPER - Shawn Bennett 

TACTICAN - Melissa Purdy-Feagin

CREW - Jon Perkins 

CREW - Tom Purdy