Corinthian’s spring regatta is named for Warren “Vince” Vincent and George Horsfall, two members who were much loved by their fellow members and contributed a lot to the Club. Vince’s father, Ben, was a prominent member of Corinthian and a major factor in Bay racing in the early 1900s, with the MOONLIGHT and the RAINBOW. Many of Ben Vincent’s trophies are on display at the Club.
Vince originally joined San Francisco Yacht Club in the 1950s, for reasons he never explained, but came over to Corinthian in the early 1960s. He introduced me to CYC in 1964 and we raced together on the SPINDRIFT, a Hong Kong “O” design (36 ft. of solid teak, displacing 25,000 lbs in which we took three back to back Farallon races in our division - and won a couple of Buckners). He and I jointly owned a 22 ft. (plus 8 feet of bowsprit) gaff sloop built around 1900, aptly named the PANIC; he crewed for me on my first Knarr; and his last boat was the Lady Helmsman sloop DAMERIGHT he bought from the Birnbaums. We also did a lot of offshore racing and cruising together on various boats in the 1960s and early 1970s and a bunch of deliveries between SF and LA.
Vince was also a link to the past through his father’s friendship – which Vince continued – with many legendry yachting figures of the pre-War era, including Tom Short, Charlie Langlais, Ray Kilborn (Vince’s uncle) and Lester Stone - all former members of CYC. Vince was Commodore in 1983 and 1984 – the last time a Commodore served two years back to back, a practice the Club followed for many years to provide continuity and stability. He died in 1988 and one of the biggest turnouts in CYC history, set sail to scatter his ashes under the Gate.
George Horsfall is best remembered as our perennial Race Committee Chairman in the 1980s, at a time when if you had been trapped into accepting the job, it was yours until you found a replacement (has anything changed?). George was Rear Commodore for a couple of years, but had no aspirations to advance up the ladder, as his primary love was racing and remaining connected with it. He was also a great supporter of the Ladies Sailing Seminar started by Rosalind Colver and Jytte Birnbaum; and he also raced his Ranger 23 BALZAPHIRE with an all-ladies CYC crew. Sadly, George also went to greet his maker in 1988.
So these are the two Corinthians in whose memory and honor, the CYC spring regatta is named. Even if you didn’t know them, pause for a moment and raise your glass. It was because of people like Vince and George, Corinthian remains as strong today as it did 120 years ago.
John Colver. February 2005.