5th Annual Disabled Veterans Sail To Thank Them For Their Service

By Raven West

Channel Islands Yacht Club hosted the fifth annual Disabled Veterans Sail Day on a beautiful summer Sunday.

What began as a service project for newly elected Anancapa Yacht Club Commodore Bill Brayton in 2012, has grown into the largest one-day sailing event for disabled veterans in the tri-county area.

“I was never in the armed forces, so this was a way to acknowledge the people who have served for our country and sacrificed so much,” said Brayton who is now the President of the Channel Islands Yacht Club. “Our first year we had around 40 veterans and 17 boats, This year we’ll be hosting over 350 veterans and guests who will be setting sail with over 50 sail, power and electric boat owners from yacht clubs and marinas across Ventura County.”

Melanie Otis and Tosemary Lippert Check In Volunteers

Channel Islands Yacht Club Board of Directors Dave Wardlow, Bill and Lana Lynch, Secretary Cindy Arostoguy and Treasurer Renee Harryman were some of the volunteers who arrived the day before to set up the tents, tables and chairs.

Veterans started arriving bright and early Sunday morning. They were greeted by Melanie Otis and Rosemary Lippert who assigned the veterans their respective Captains and Skippers while First Mate Mary Ann Moore and Erica Barbaric served a light breakfast. 


Cheero II Skipper Dick McNish with passengers US Army Phillip Gallegos, ’59-’61 and Wil Olivas ’80-’83

At 1000 sharp, (10 o’clock AM) the boats took for the high seas.  Hakauna Matata set sail with Skipper Dewayne Weaver at the helm. Skipper Dick McNish took Army veterans Phillip Gallegos and Wil Olivas on a tour of Oxnard Harbor on his 56′ Yawl Cheerio II sailboat.

Will traveled all way from San Bernardino to meet up with his friend Phillip from Redlands. The two have been participating in the Sail Day for the past three years.

Captain Bruce Alker and Co-Captain David Anderson took US Navy Submarine Ely Dela Cruz, Vietnam Vet James Good and US Army Dessert Storm veteran Stacy out toward Anacapa Island and along the Ventura County coastline on a their sailboat Vanmoose

Upon returning from the two-hour trip, all participants enjoyed a chicken, tri-tip and garlic bread BBQ served by members of the Camarillo-Somis-Pleasant Valley Lions Clubs and the Oxnard Moose. BBQ corn on the cob was provided by members of the Oxnard Sunrise Rotary. Veterans were also given free admission to the Channel Islands Maritime Museum and a commemorative T-Shirt.

For the disabled veterans, this was a day to enjoy memories with their fellow veterans, share stories about their families and enjoy a few hours of peace along the beautiful California Coast.

Central Coast Electric Boats Sponsor and guests

To volunteer, donate or participate in next year’s event, contact:

Bill Brayton
Channel Islands Yacht Club
4100 Harbor Boulevard, Channel Islands Harbor, CA 93035
(805) 985-CIYC (2492) or visit: http://www.ciyc.com

Channel Islands Yacht Club members Erika Barbakie and Maryann Moore serve breakfast

Photo Credits: Raven West

Raven West

Raven West

Named in the TOP 50 Authors by Authorsdb.com

Raven West is a free-lance writer and published author who has lived in Ventura County for more than twenty years. She has an extensive knowledge of local wineries from Thousand Oaks to Ojai and will be covering special events which take place at the tasting rooms throughout the year.

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