Definitely…A touch of class!
by Mark Gardner
The Lake Champlain Yacht Club (LCYC) celebrated its 111th season this past Saturday, May 30 with a dedication of a new clubhouse, designed by a team of club members lead by architects Fritz Horton, Doug Viehmann and Ann Vivian. The new clubhouse replaces the old building built in the 1960s.
“Many members had very fond memories of the old building,” says Peter Collins, commodore of the club. “But in fact it was a prefabricated home, purchased at a bargain when the club was struggling to reactivate after a 20-year period of dormancy that began when World War II broke out.”
LCYC was organized in 1887 to “promote and encourage yachting, canoeing, boating, sailing and all recreation on Lake Champlain without financial gain”. The first club house was located at the current site of the Community Boathouse on the Burlington waterfront. The Boathouse, designed by LCYC member Marcel Beaudin, has a look similar to the original LCYC building. Two clubhouses burned down, and a third was damaged by ice in the late
1930’s and abandoned. Following that, the club had no permanent facilities until the 1960s, when it was reactivated on its present site on the West Side of Shelburne Bay. The new clubhouse has a warm inviting charm offering members a comfortable and relaxed, yet uniquely formal setting. The center room rises up to a ceiling featuring wood beams and skylights. The entranceway features a curved, wood paneled ceiling. Over the entrance is a glass window, etched with the club burgee and name. As the sun sets the etchings casts a subtle shadow on the east wall adding to the uniqueness of the building.
The south and east sides of the clubhouse have several large doors that rise up into the walls opening the building onto an awning covered porch. A fireplace gives the club a touch of warmth on cold evenings in the spring and fall. Setback from the water, the club offers a magnificent view of Shelburne Bay with the Green Mountains in the background. For this celebration, The Ladies Cup was displayed in the center of the room, filled to the brim with champagne. This cup was inaugurated in September 1888. The ladies of Burlington donated $500 for the sterling silver cup. “Shall be a perpetual challenge cup to be known as The Ladies Cup to be sailed for each year by the yachts belonging to the members of the Club at their annual regatta, over courses that shall be about 10 miles”. LCYC is governed by a volunteer board and membership is open to anyone with an interest in boating who is willing to volunteer time and labor to help maintain the club’s facilities and programs. It operates a summer sailing school for children 8-17 open to members and non-members. The club hosts several sailboat-racing events for participants from all over the northeast.
Peter Collins, LCYC Commodore
Collins added, “Every summer, hundreds of sailors are able to enjoy racing and cruising because of the facilities available to LCYC. Many are members but at least as many are racing crew, youngsters in sailing school, guests or visiting racers from throughout the northeast.”
“Our programs have changed over the years,” Collins noted. For example, we recently started a one-design sailboat-racing program that attracts young people who have gone through junior sailing. It also attracts busy young families who want to get into sailing and racing. The new clubhouse will meet the needs of these programs and provide better facilities for our diverse membership.
More information about the Lake Champlain Yacht Club is available by writing PO Box 411 Shelburne, VT 05482.