TSA Timeline

The TSA Timeline captures the history and highlights of Area F sailing, the TSA Youth Circuit, and the people who have been a part of it.

Send your notes, photos, and memories to Marie Wise.  The Timeline is a work in progress!


The Texas Yachting Association (TYA), now known as the Texas Sailing Association, is formed in 1953.

In From Buffalo Bayou to Galveston Bay, author Dora Akkerman writes: "Claude Cullinane of HYC, Bud Smith of the Galveston Bay Cruising Association (GBCA), and Martin Bludworth of Seabrook Sailing Club met at Cullinane's house and wrote the first charter for TYC.  Cullinane became the first commodore, Bludworth the vice commodore, and Smith the secretary-treasurer.  Early member clubs of TYA were Corpus Christi Yacht Club, Fort Worth Boat Club, Galveston Bay Cruising Association, Houston Yacht Club, Seabrook Sailing Club, Shreveport (Louisiana) Yacht Club, and Texas Corinthian Yacht Club."  (Akkerman p. 108)

Akkerman, Dora F. (1998). From Buffalo Bayou to Galveston Bay: The centennial history of the Houston Yacht Club, 1897 to 1997. (https://www.amazon.com/Buffalo-Bayou-Galveston-Bay-centennial/dp/B0006FBPHG)


GBCA Youth Team Wins Sears Cup

In 1967, a team from GBCA, after winning the TYA Championship in Fort Worth, was narrowly beat by the team from Southern Yacht Club for the Sears Cup.  The same team---John Kolius, Jay Williams, and Danny Williams---competed again in 1968 and won.

"In a storybook series of races on San Francisco Bay, our guys won the Sears Cup!  How could that be?  Did we sail that well on Galveston Bay or was it just a fluke?

Two years later, Danny Williams, representing HYC, led a Galveston Bay crew that included Clark Thompson through the same series of regattas to the finals in Yankee country.  Kelly was there to watch the series.  Teams of youngsters from northeastern clubs with their paid coaches in uniforms couldn't believe another Galveston Bay team could do it to them again.  But Danny and crew won the Sears Cup of 1970.  As icing on the cake, two years later, HYC put another team led by Clark Thompson in the the winner's circle. "  (Williams p. 88)

Williams, J. Howard. (2005). Love at First Sight: A Lifetime of Sailing on Galveston Bay (https://www.amazon.com/Love-First-Sight-Lifetime-Galveston/dp/0595348297/)

(photo Akkerman p. 126-127)

See TSA Youth Circuit Awards and Champions for Sears, Bemis, and Smyth winners.


They Tacked to Titles

Holmes, Ann. (1971, May 2) They Tacked to Titles. Houston Chronicle Texas Magazine.

Full publication:  https://scholarship.rice.edu/handle/1911/37775


HYC's Scott Elting, Carter Perrin, Sam Pyne, David Thomas win the Sears Cup

"Four Houston Yacht Club sailors, on an unfamiliar boat and facing some of the best competition around won the USYRU/Rolex Junior Sailing Championships, the Sears Cup, in Newport Beach, Calif."

Petty, John Ira. (1990, Sept. 2) Houston sailors beat odds for Sears Cup. Houston Post. 

Full article: https://scholarship.rice.edu/handle/1911/37510


The TSA Youth Circuit Begins

"In 1991, TYA member clubs organized the Texas Youth Circuit for junior sailors.  The circuit included regattas at 13 different clubs.  Children completing seven events were eligible for overall awards."

(Akkerman p. 169)

- From Buffalo Bayou to Galveston Bay, by Dora Akkerman 



Back row left to right: Mattia D'Errico, Bruce Mahoney, Max Scott, Alex Crowell, Katie Kratzig

Front row: Lacy D'Errico, Ali Sharp, Doug Sharp, Jake Scott, Charlie Smythe


James Freedman and Alex Crowell on the Laser 2

Alex Crowell with the Texas State Champion trophy


The TSA 2000 booklet is published with past winners of TSA Ladder events back to 1950.

TSA 2000


A new trophy is presented for the David B. Green PRO of the Year Award.  

The 2003 recipient is Bob Gough, and the trophy is designed by John Focke with assistance from Jim Tichenor, both previous recipients.  The new trophy incorporates teak, waves, and stone in symbolic reference to both the sport of sailing and the State of Texas.

TSA Regatta of the Year History


LYC's Dane Byerly, Howdy Hughes, Collin Scoville, and Carson Shields win the Sears Cup

The Texas team won 6 of 11 races in Wianno, Ma.


An oral history with John and Cathrine Focke  captures some of the history of Texas Youth Race Week.  

John Focke, an architect and also PRO for the event for many years, created the distinctive artwork that was used for TYRW and the Daily First shirts.

Texas Youth Race Week began in 1991 as the Galveston Bay Tri-Club Regatta, but it traces its origins back to the first invitational Ragnot Regatta of 1961. TYRW was designated a US SAILING Junior Olympic event in 1997, and the 2017 Texas Youth Race Week marked 20 years as a US SAILING Junior Olympic event.

The 2021 Texas Youth Race Week will be the 30th anniversary of the regatta.

Texas Youth Race Week oral history interview with Catherine and John Focke at Rice University's Woodson Research Center


The TSA Friendship Award perpetual trophy is recreated in bronze to replace the original ceramic bowl.  

A plaque on the bottom of the award reads:

“In October 2008, the original TSA Friendship trophy was in the Urbina Residence at the time Hurricane Ike hit Galveston Island.  While the trophy survived being submerged under 4’ of water during that storm, it did not fare as well at an event at TCYC in 2012.  The original ceramic bowl was badly damaged and replaced in 2015 by this handsome (and durable) bronze replica that was lovingly made by a TSA parent - Mo Killian.  The history of this trophy is a tribute to the strong sportsmanship and lasting friendships of TSA youth sailors.”

The TSA Friendship Award is presented annually to a sailor on the TSA Youth Circuit, nominated by their peers, who exhibits the spirit of sportsmanship and is respected by his or her competitors and adults not just for sailing ability but also for character.

TSA Awards and Champions


The first TSA Race of Champions is held at Corinthian Sailing Club.  

The multi-generational event pairs youth circuit winners with Texas legend sailors on Flying Scots.

Find video and results at  2017 Bob Gough Race of Champions

YouTube: 2017 ROC Legends Stories

2018 - 2019

TSA C420 sailors form Team GCoast for the summer USA C420 circuit.

Find More . . .

Business & Pleasure on Houston's Waterways, 1897-1927

A digital history project at Rice University's Woodson Research Center with material from the Houston Yacht Club Archives