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Meet the 2023 Board of Directors

Get to know the 2023 leadership of Berkeley Yacht Club.

 

BRIAN CLINE — Commodore

When and why did you join Berkeley Yacht Club?

As for many, BYC redefined what a yacht club could be. It took me two years of living on O-dock to discover the special, welcoming, member-led culture that is Berkeley Yacht Club, and I joined in 2011.

What’s your dream boat?

My current boat is and was my dream boat. If I ever go bigger, I have my eye on a range of vessels from a larger Pacific Seacraft to cruising multi-hulls.

What’s your real boat?

A Pacific Seacraft Dana 24.


Are you a racer or a cruiser?

I consider myself a performance-cruiser, continually optimizing the boat to ensure both our VMG and comfort factor are as high as possible, and no higher.

How did you get into boating?

I grew up on power boats in Connecticut and Florida, having learned to waterski by age 5. Though, until I moved to San Francisco in 2006 and a friend took me out on his Islander 30 out of Sausalito in 2009, I could not, for the life of me, understand why anyone would want to be involved with sailboats. Slow, lines and wires everywhere, relatively low cabin volume, leaning over all the time, and incompatible with shallow waters? Seemed like a lot of hassle and discomfort to me. However, when my buddy Steve turned off that Islander’s engine and I felt the press of the sails draw us silently from behind Yellow Bluff and into the full presence of the Golden Gate Bridge, I was hooked. Six months later, I bought a sailboat and moved aboard.


Biggest pet peeve on the water?

Fishing boats that violate Rule 20 by using lights at night so bright as to ruin the night vision of any mariner in their vicinity and obscure their own navigation lights in the process.

Grog of choice at the BYC bar?

Adult Chocolate Milk, AKA White Russians

Your happiest moment(s) at BYC?

So many to choose from! But, from the fit-to-print category, I’d say arriving on the guest dock with Mitch and Quincey aboard Esprit after a 47-day passage originating in Panama. A close second is the day JP replaced the WiFi network.


 

MARY GARFEIN — Vice Commodore

When and why did you join Berkeley Yacht Club?

I met my husband, Glen, a longtime BYC member while racing on the Santa Cruz 50, Dolphin Dance. My BYC membership came as one of the benefits from our marriage.

What’s your dream boat?

I dream of sailing everywhere around the world. My dream boat is any boat in any harbor anywhere!

What’s your real boat?

My current boat is a C&C 27 located on O Dock. My parents bought this boat in 1972, and passed it down to me in 1999 just prior to the birth of our first daughter, Falcon.

How did you get into boating?

My parents took us sailing in the US Virgin Islands in 1971. They bought our family boat the next year. Sundays at church became Sundays racing on the Hudson River. Family vacations became cruising the east coast from the Hudson River north to Nantucket Island.

Biggest pet peeve on the water?

I am happiest on the water, so nothing bothers me. But there are those rude boaters who don't know what they are doing kicking up waves and making our time on the water more dangerous than necessary. Grog of choice at the BYC bar?

A Little Sumpin. Your happiest moment(s) at BYC?

Watching the sunset from the deck, with spinnakers reaching for the finish line.

 

GRAEME LOWE — Rear Commodore

When and why did you join Berkeley Yacht Club?

I joined in 2018 after moving my vessel to the Berkeley Marina from Emeryville. I had been involved with Cal Sailing Club for a while and had just bought my first boat, and I wanted to get more into “local adventure cruising” (destinations more than a simple day sail from the marina but not so far that I had to take time off from work). I wanted to learn first-hand from folks that had sailed around the Farallones, to Drake’s Bay, Half Moon Bay, and other relatively close yet less accessible destinations. What’s your dream boat?

A racer-cruiser that can take me safely and stylishly around the world yet can be single- or comfortably double-handed. Preferably, one that doesn’t leak. What’s your real boat?

Baltic 38DP. She checks most of the boxes, except the one about leaks.


Are you a racer or a cruiser?

I’m a performance-minded cruiser. How did you get into boating?

I was looking for affordable housing, and I wound up renting an Islander 30 to live on for a while. While sneaking aboard, I discovered the Cal Sailing Club, where I learned to sail. Biggest pet peeve on the water?

People who don’t wave back! Grog of choice at the BYC bar?

Sailor’s Martini (gin on ice) Your happiest moment(s) at BYC?

Watching a magnificent sunset from the bar with a few friends, discussing the best way to organize a circular raft-up. Followed closely by welcoming a vessel and crew that have made a long passage to arrive in Berkeley (Mitch and Quincey with Esprit). Followed closely by seeing off a vessel and crew who are embarking on a long passage fromBYC (Shane with OutRun).

 

EVAN MCDONALD — Treasurer

When and why did you join Berkeley Yacht Club?

I bought a boat, and noted that the yacht club initiation fee was waived for new members with a new boat in Berkeley. It was one of Paul Kamen’s flyers. I thought I’d give it a try. What’s your dream boat?

My dream “small” boat is the boat I have. A Farrier F22. I love it so much. But my dream big boat is a Rapido 40. The Rapido 40 is a big, fast, cruising trimaran. It would be great to sail it to Hawaii.

What’s your real boat?

My real boat is also my dream boat. The Farrier F22 is a super cool, folding trimaran, that great for day sailing and racing, and even has the chops to sail offshore (weather depending…). For me, the smaller the boat that fills my requirements, the better. The F22 is actually 23 feet long, but it sails as fast as a J105. Greyhound is a small, fast, and wet boat, which is very exciting to sail. If you want to try a trimaran, just ask me at the club.


Are you a racer or a cruiser?

I am a racer, and day-sailor, who likes to “cruise” on two-day races. How did you get into boating?

I started sailing on a sunfish as a little kid at summer camp on Fallen Leaf Lake. Then my family got a windsurfer and a laser, and I sailed those through my teenage years. After college, in the mid 80s, I was gifted a “project” boat with three other gentlemen by an early dot-commer who needed to leave town, on the condition that we take over the slip fees in the Berkeley Marina. We sailed the Ranger 24 (A Raymond H. Richards design) for a year, and I got my first taste of Bay sailing. Several years later, in the Boston area where I was living at the time, I did a few years of sailing with Community Sailing on the Charles River, racing Mercuries on Sundays. After that there was a long, 20-year gap in my sailing resume. I finally decided to get back into it in 2015, and took classes at OCSC. With excellent instruction on J 24s and great bay experiences (Our good Commodore was my instructor), I was re-inspired to get back into sailing, when out of the blue, in 2017, I saw my current boat advertised for sale on the internet. Almost new…..a rare chance. I jumped at it, drove to Texas to pick it up, drove it back to Berkeley. The rest is history, still unfolding at O298.

Grog of choice at the BYC bar?

By my reckoning, a Boulevardier can’t be matched, across many dimensions, when it comes to cocktails. It’s a Negroni with Bourbon instead of Gin. Try it. You will like it. We also have an excellent beer selection at BYC. You will typically see me drinking one of those. Or one after another, in no particular order. Your happiest moment at BYC?

Just meeting new, interesting people. It happens all the time.


 

ROBIN CRAWFORD — Secretary

When and why did you join Berkeley Yacht Club?

I married Steve Crawford in 2000 two months before he ascended the ladder to Commodore, thus sealing my fate. Are you a racer or a cruiser? A cruiser with leanings towards the social/business end of BYC.

What are you interested in besides boating? Reading, history, genealogy, antiques, hiking and traveling.

Biggest pet peeve at BYC? Members who don’t make new people feel welcome and members who don’t clean up after themselves.

Grog of choice at the BYC bar? Pilsner or a glass of champagne.

Your happiest moment at BYC?

Bringing our son Toby by Friday night barbeque when he was two days old.


 

IBRAHIM SARGIN — Port Captain

When and why did you join Berkeley Yacht Club?

Joined in July 2018. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. What’s your dream boat?

A proper gaff cutter, like the ones designed by Luke Powell.

What’s your real boat?

Marieholm IF-boat.


Are you a racer or a cruiser?

A sort of rarely sailing cruiser. I avoid racing like the plague, but sometimes do race committee because of the free sandwiches, especially the roast beef with blue cheese and chili sauce they make at Safeway. How did you get into boating?

Was born on an island (Fyn, Denmark), so it seemed like a natural thing to (eventually) get into boating, although I only actually started taking courses after moving to London, and only got a boat after moving to California.

Biggest pet peeve on the water?

Muppets and scofflaws. Grog of choice at the BYC bar?

Pink gin, Guinness or Trumer. Your happiest moment at BYC?

Hanging out with Missekat, the yacht club cat.


 

ROGER MASON — Fleet Captain

When and why did you join Berkeley Yacht Club?

I joined the BYC in 2020 because I met some really nice people who were members.

What’s your dream boat?

My dream is a 62 foot Navy PT boat.

What’s your real boat?

My boat is a Ericson 32-2 sailboat.


Are you a racer or a cruiser?

I like both racing and cruising. How did you get into boating?

I have been boating since I was 4 years old. My family has always had boats.

Biggest pet peeve on the water?

My biggest pet peeve on the water is safety of course. Grog of choice at the BYC bar?

Glass of merlot.

Your happiest moment at BYC?

My happiest time in the club was when I became Fleet Captain.

 

JP CAMILLE — Director

When and why did you join Berkeley Yacht Club?

My wife Sophia and I joined in 2019 while in the third trimester. After getting to know BYC through a full year of Beercan racing in the Chowders and Friday Night races, we decided we like the community enough and wanted it to be part of our lives going forward. What’s your dream boat?

Whatever sailboat I am racing on that day. What’s your real boat?

I have Waterat built International 5o5 dinghy which I do not sail as often or as well as it deserves.


Are you a racer or a cruiser?

Racer! How did you get into boating?

I’d always known I wanted to sail, but growing up in-land I never had a chance. A fortuitous trip to Greece for a wedding progressed into a sailboat charter island-hoping in the Aegean, which provided Sophia and I the ah ha moment. Upon return to Berkeley we both took dinghy classes at Cal Adventures and made great friends we sail with to this day. Biggest pet peeve on the water?

Motoring with an outboard. Grog of choice at the BYC bar?

Bottle of Pinot Noir Your happiest moment at BYC?

The day I replaced the Wi-Fi network.


 

KIMBER OSWALD — Director

When and why did you join Berkeley Yacht Club?

I joined the club during covid but I’d been coming as a guest for years before that. What’s your dream boat?

Pacific Seacraft 40

What’s your real boat?

have two boats: a Pearson 365 Ketch and a 1967 Columbia 22.


Are you a racer or a cruiser?

I’m definitely more of a cruiser but I’ve enjoyed the occasional race.

How did you get into boating?

My buddy bought a boat and I helped him refit it and he taught me to sail about 15 years ago. He ended up giving me that boat and the rest is history.

Biggest pet peeve on the water?

Mega yachts

Grog of choice at the BYC bar?

A pint of Sierra

Your happiest moment at BYC?

Watching the sunset with my friends. There have been so many and it never gets old.


 

PHIL STRAUSE — Director

When and why did you join Berkeley Yacht Club?

The first time I was welcomed into BYC was in 2015 as crew aboard the Ranger 33 Mojo of Paul Weismann. Later that year I joined the team at OCSC Sailing across the marina and did a few races with Dick Maclay on the J/105 Yellowfin. I met my wife Moni Blum who raced with Bob Walton on Sea Star a Cal 39 and have been racing with them ever since. Moni and I were married at BYC in 2018. In October of 2018 I was hired to be the General Manager of Berkeley Yacht Club. I worked in that capacity until mid 2021n when I was asked to be General Manager of the newly formed Inspire Sailing School. At that time I joined BYC as an official club member. In 2022 I joined the BYC Board of Directors as Port Captain, and this year stayed on as Director. BYC has been a huge part of my life since I arrived in the Bay Area 8 years ago and I am so grateful for all the wonderful people who have welcomed me into the community. The sunsets are rad too!

What’s your dream boat?

This is a tough question, as boats are tools for which to enjoy a particular sailing experience, of which I enjoy many! As of this moment...For long term cruising, Southerly 48. For racing, J/99. For Carribean chartering, Lagoon 55.

What’s your real boat?

Moni and I both love and enjoy Wolpertinger our 1976 Santa Cruz 27, hull #36. We picked it up shortly before the unfortunate events beginning in early 2020 which led us to spend the majority of time with her shorthanded sailing, for which it is well suited!


Are you a racer or a cruiser?

Ultimately I consider myself more of a cruiser, but racing gets me out on the water with more regularity. So while I have done some cruising, most of my time is spent on the race course. Also, I'm confident Moni would consider herself a racer, and as they say "Happy Wife, Happy Life", which contributed to our selling Harmonic a 1965 Islander 32 in favor of Wolpi.

How did you get into boating?

My father's dreams of sailing off into the sunset on his Twister 28, were dashed when I came around and to make up for it we have been boating as a family ever since. We explored the extensive system of lakes and Chesapeake Bay tributaries in Virginia throughout my youth. I have early memories of "skiing" on a boogie board being towed behind an Old Towne canoe equipped with a 2hp outboard. We graduated to a 19' Glastron run-about in my teens. I did not spend any time aboard a sailboat until a trip to the Virgin Islands near the end of high school, but after day 3 of that trip, I knew I was hooked. While I still enjoy powerboating I have been a sailor ever since.

Biggest pet peeve on the water?

Inconsiderate and unsafe operations.

Grog of choice at the BYC bar?

Whatever is on tap! "Give me oysters and beer for dinner every day of the year, and I'll feel fine!" - JB

Your happiest moment at BYC?

Walking out the bar sliding door, with my bride to be at my side, our closest friends and family out on the lawn, on a beautifully warm and sunny day in May, overlooking our favorite sailing grounds, to be married.

 

AMANDA WITHERELL — Director

When and why did you join Berkeley Yacht Club?

My husband Brian and I joined in 2018 after we returned from 10 years of cruising the Pacific. We landed in Berkeley Marina and saw signs hanging up all over the place promoting the club. We weren’t sure if we were “yacht club types” but thought we’d try it for a year. The welcoming community and camaraderie at the clubhouse confirmed that we are, in fact, yacht club types. Well, at least Berkeley Yacht Club types. What’s your dream boat? The boat that never needs any maintenance.

What’s your real boat?

A 1974 Morgan Out Island 41 sloop named Clara Katherine.


Are you a racer or a cruiser? Cruiser.

How did you get into boating? Right after I graduated college, I was dating this guy whose summer job was sailing a Hinckley Sou’wester for an elderly wealthy woman in Northeast Harbor, Maine. I went out on the boat exactly one time with them, and at exactly one point during that sail, Chase asked me to take the helm so he could do something with the sails. At that moment, while I was standing behind the wheel of this classic wooden luxury yacht, a local powerboat motored by and the captain saw me “sailing”. It’s a small town on a small island, so when he ran into me later that year, he asked if I wanted a summer job as his deckhand on the Indigo, a 38ft motorboat owned by College of the Atlantic. He had no idea I knew nothing about boating, but I ended up learning all my seamanship and navigation driving that boat, and he later taught me how to sail, too.

Biggest pet peeve on the water? Anchoring too close.

Grog of choice at the BYC bar? Hendrick’s and tonic.

Your happiest moment at BYC?

When Brian and I got married at the club, with our boat on the dock, surrounded by friends and family and a bunch of rando BYC members who were hanging out at the clubhouse that day.


 


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