What is the Del Mar Yacht Club?
Del Mar Yacht Club History: The Del Mar Yacht Club (DMYC) was formed in 1993, during a time that the
future Commodores (also known as the "commode doors" ) were frequently found clustered at Jake's
Del Mar. Three deep across the entire length of the bar (consisting of Commodores and friends - and an
occasional interloper - with a spillover to many surrounding tables) - was not an uncommon sight.
We are just abuncha lunch buckets that gathered at Jake's throughout the years and imbibed in good
times and a beverage, lunch, or dinner. Mostly beverages. And some of us even know how to sail.
Check out TS Restaraunts. (If your excursions lead you to California or Hawaii).
The purpose of the Del Mar Yacht Club? To have fun with friends!
The DMYC may have a boat or two floating or sailing throughout the Seven Seas. We are not sure -
because we don't keep track of everyone...nor do we want to. We don't have a marina, nor a flotilla of
ya-chits. Not yet! But we do have three pirate hideaways located in secret coves. The Northern fleet is in
Washington State. The Central Fleet (DMYC Fleet Headquarters) is in Del Mar / Solana Beach. The
Southern Fleet is in Cabo San Lucas.
Here is how it happened (The Short Version):
Commodore Jim (callsign "Surfer" - due to his surfing excursions on the West Coast, East Coast, Gulf
Coast, and Hawaii - before he knew he would become a Commodore) purchased a condo on a hillside
overlooking the Del Mar Racetrack in July, 1979. The community association is known as "Saratoga
West." Ninety units located on three streets...aptly named Arcaro, Longden, and Shoemaker (named in
recognition of three of the great Hall of Fame jockeys).
Commodore Jim occasioned to meet new friends at Jake's in the late 80's...
And then, a cluster / gaggle of us deck-scrubbing, bilge-pumping, and barnacle-clad guys and gals (an
assortment of sailors, skippers, salesmen, surfers, captains, school teachers, school principals,
fishermen, fire fighters, business suits, property managers, entrepreneurs, investors, Marines, Navy, Air
Force, and airline pilots) as unique as this formed the Del Mar Yacht Club at Jake's in June of '93.
Here is The "Paul Harvey Rest of the Story" (The Long Version):
The view of the track and beach from a select few of the units at Saratoga West is unsurpassed. Jim was
a lucky buck view winner when he bought his condo. He did not know the first thing about horse racing.
Lately, his bets prove him to be correct in that regard. But, he is able to watch each race from almost any
room (and both patios) with his bare hands - without the aid of binoculars, telescopes, microscopes,
magnifying glasses, sunglasses, bifocals, spectacles, contact lenses, or reading glasses.
Watching the races happening live and in color...from start to finish, without obstruction of view. The view
was and is still spectacular (many years before HRTV.com , tvg.com or xpressbet.com) arrived on the
So, in 1980, Jim quietly spreads the word that he has a great view of the track...within ten minutes
distance at a slow trot from the upper patio to the closest wagering window at Del Mar. If you rotate your
eyeballs a mere 10 to 30 degrees to the right, ya got a great white-water view of a good stretch of the Del
Mar beach...from the Powerhouse to the San Dieguito Rivermouth. You do not even have to move your
head (except to consume Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers, and Cervezas).
Do ya suppose that some future pirates might want to assemble at Surfer's place on the morning of
Opening Day to consume some omelets, crab, lobster, and shrimp...and then amble to the track to our
"reserved" seats in the Clubhouse section?
He was correct! These "pre-post time parties" soon evolved into an annual tradition. Problem was...the
pirates were not able, because of the facilities available at the time, to reserve seats for 100 to 200
pirates to all sit together in the Clubhouse section. The pirates were grouped in clusters of 10 or
so...spread throughout the Clubhouse section...some in sun, some in shade. Close enough to yell at
each other, but we could not touch unless we met between races at the wagering windows (not that we
wanted to touch, or anything...we just were not clustered in a group). That is how we did it from 1981 to
That all changed over a two year period in 1992 - 1993. The grandstands at the track were completely
demolished and rebuilt in two phases. Commodore Jim says that he knows that to be a fact...'cause he
saw and listened to jackhammers, wrecking balls, pile drivers, and dump trucks 24 hours per day for
much of the time. And he has photographs and videotapes to prove it.
In mid 1993...on a whim...and being in the right place at the right time (one of the few times in his life),
future Commode Door Jim telephones the Group Sales Office at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
Amazingly, the Director of Group Sales ( the gorgeous Jacquelyn King...who is assisted by the lovely
Cathy Arneel) answers and says...hey...we gotta brand new SkyRoom here...and it is available on
Opening Day. Do you think you might want it?
Jim immediately digs into the bottom of his black velvet bag of tricks (located three levels deep within his
olive green U.S. Marine Corps issued footlocker) ,,, stares at a few stale Tootsie Rolls (circa 1966) ,
some One Cent Pink Bazooka Bubble Gums from 1956 (which was included in a special wrapped
omic), and a buncha moldy and worhles papers from college ...and crumbs from Who Knows
Where...dusts off a "How To" book by Zig Ziglar... peers inside footlocker again...
Jackie says..."you are penciled in, bubba!"
Jim said he has never been penciled before, but it sounds to him that it could work. (Question here...Jim
asks rhetorically: If he is only penciled in, does that mean he can get erased?
Answer: Hasn't happened yet).
The Result? Absolutely. Positively! Eleven of us said "Get the Starting Gates out of the way, we are
already running!" The Del Mar Yacht Club was formed, flagged, and launched that night. Flank Speed.
Here are the names of the original Commode Doors of the Del Mar Yacht Club.
( in no particular order of age, weight, or talent).
1. Bud White: Retired banking executive (and he was not a shyster like the Goldman Gang). Current
occupation unknown. Presumed to be residing in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Click this too.
2. Chet Thompson: United Sates Coast Guard (USCG) licensed Captain and a bill fishing tournament
champ off the shores of Mexico and Hawaii. His wife Susan did a lot of sailing stuff. She worked with
Dennis Conner of America's Cup fame during the Cup races in San Diego. Chet created Hot Chillys - a
favorite with ski dudes throughout the world. Chet is the owner of Del Mar Embroidery, dba Casa del Mar.
3. Simon Cottrail: From Liverpool, England. Current occupation unknown, but undoubtedly in sales.
Assisted Chet Thompson with Hot Chilly's. Smooth talker - natch. Bill fishing champ teamed with Chet
Thompson. Presumed to be residing in San Diego, California.
4. Matt Cottrail: From Liverpool, England. Last known to be a Locksmith. Once sailed the briny main
from California to Hawaii solo in his sloop. Presumed to be residing in San Diego.
5. Wiley Wisdom: Current occupation unknown, but presumed to be in sales (Bubba - he and Simon are
neck to neck as world-class salesmen). Smooth talker, and fastest salesman in the West, and can talk
the clothes right off your back. Check your dresses and shorts girls. You won't feel a thing - now did you!
He is probably residing Deep in the Heart of Texas - somewhere near the Yellow Rose.
6. Don Irby: Previous Saratoga West homeowner. Current occupation unknown. Last known to have
business interests in Brazil, and is presumed to be residing there much of the year.
7. Charles "Chuck" Coune: Insurance Executive wizard - Currently based in Orange County, California
working for a Third Party Administrator. Forty years experience working for 4 major national and
international Insurance companies. Involved with all P&C "Lines" as well as surety. Resides in
Encinitas California with his lovely wife Nadine.
8. Whitney Todd: Real Estate wizard (together with his wife Elizabeth) at Todd Coastal Properties in
Rancho Santa Fe. A putt away (via their sliding glass door patio entrance) from Morgan Run. Elizabeth
was a golf pro / instructor at Torrey Pines. And she does not whack Escalade windows with a 9-iron.
9. Jim Armstrong: Call sign "Surfer." Fighter pilot. Favorite surf spot of all time - Malibu. Greg Liddle
short board surfboard - circa 1968. Before that, the Dewey Weber Performer. 9'6'' long board. Later, the
Bing Bonzer. Unbelievable first point break rides. Long rides - to the pier. Overhead waves. Carve 'em.
Also Con. And Jacobs. Participated in the Malibu Rock Dance on a number of occasions Uh, wipeout.
Not an Annette and Frankie Beach Blanket Bingo Party. Swim to shore. Retrieve surfboard. Dance over
the rocks - urchins and all. Paddle out. Before the surf leash was invented.
Knobby knees. Latico (one mile hike) and Secos were also favorites.
And Hobiie. Surfed the 14' and 16' cats on Waikiki waves in the 70's before they were outlawed.
One working the rudder and sails, the other hanging ten from either bow. In the line-up, First to catch.
U.S, MARINE Corps...Beginining in 1968. And proud to have worn the uniform and flight-suit. Had the
pleasure of flying with the finest pilots and RIO's in the Marine Corps from 1971 - 1982. PLC
Kicked out in 1969. Busted knee. The Doc operated with hacksaws and chainsaws. Surfer rejoined.
Surfer jetted the F-4 Phantom. F-4J driver with VMFA-212 at MCAS Kaneohe Bay.
F-4N pilot with VMFA-112 (NAS Dallas) Also an Instructor Pilot. TA-4J (VT-7, NAS Meridian).
And had big-time fun doing it all.
TOPGUN graduate. NAS Miramar July, 1980 - (F-4N).
Crewed with a top-notch RIO (Radar Intercept Officer - aka NFO) - Jim Bob Segars - call sign "Jim Bob" -
a record setting solo nacho-eating champion.
Jim Bob's record is displayed at a Marine Corps hangout Mexican Cafe (Chretin's - in Yuma, Arizona.
Across town from MCAS Yuma). "Are you a "pepper flicker?" Great food and service when I visited...every
time! - sez Commodore Jim. But...from reading Internet reviews...some were not so happy. Joe Chretin
would drive to the Officer's Club at MCAS Yuma in a station wagon (remember those?), jam as many
Marines as he could into his vehicle, and then deliver us to his restaraunt...where we promptly consumed
copious amounts of fabulous tacos, nachos, and pitchers of Marge Garitas and Beer. Joe did not
deliver us back to the base....he let us find our own way. Smart. And we all managed to get ourselves
back...most of the time in the wee hours. The knuckleheads that complain about Chretin's can shuttle
their large butts back to Omaha...with Warren Buffet...where they belong. Perhaps a choice of
McDonald's offerings will suit them better...with ten shovel loads of fries per large butt. You Pop-Fizzxle.
Surfer also enjoyed Red Flag. Twice. And Blue Force Commander. Twice. Surfer has been a Saratoga
West homeowner in Solana Beach since July 1979. Surfer sez "Hang Ten", "Shaka, Bro", and
"Book 'em, Danno." And check out some Hawaii fun stuff. Best Mai Tai in the world...at the Moana
Beach Bar at the Moana Surfrider...Waikiki. If your desire is for a fruity umbrella beverage, this is the
place. Sum more Hawaii great stuff...check the IZ. Surfer piloted the Big Bubba's with Delta Air Lines
'round the world...Hong Kong, Moscow, Istanbul, Mumbai (Bombay India), and all over Europe and the
USA. And some Canada. And some Mexico. And some Caribbean. But mostly Hawaii.
LAX 25 R to HNL 8L. Set your hair on fire.
5 hours 20 minutes. From 1977 to 2005. No crashes, no accidents. But, many gnarly moments.
10. Steve Harris: Business owner - California Printing, Solana Beach California. He does not print
counterfeit currency. But if you can accept print and graphics, he will do it.
11. Rick Deputy: Retired Insurance sales expert - Travelers. Presumed to be a vagabond in a motor
home, exploring the country with his wife Kerry and their vagabond dog. Residence address unknown.
Best bet: Rick Deputy - General Delivery, USA.
Del Mar Yacht Club
Some Beach and Surf Cam Links:
Some flying fun:
How many times (bless her heart) does Kaci say "Oh, my God"?
1. A bazillion;
2. I stopped counting after sixty seconds;
3. Please pass the mashed potatos, and click on an NFL game.
Some Travel Links:
This space intentionally left blank.
Future rants possible.
Latest News Flash. From the Desk of Commode Door Jim. July, 2014.
The Game of Human Tipping Dominoes, as played in live action and in living color by the DMYC.
Tuesday Night. Opening Day Eve. Del Mar. 1997. After the traditional party at En Fuego's.
A group of us Pirates were gaggled in a row at the Del Mar Bully's High Bar. Single file.
Sitting on those tall bar stools. Many people were standing behind us...consuming adult beverages.
Unknown to us, a Gaggle-X was about to start.
A Pirate started it. His initials are Mike Hargis.
He was sitting to my right at the approach end of the High Bar (as viewed from the street entrance). The night was
winding down. He was clearly in no condition to drive. None of us were. I asked him in my most quiet boisterous tone
to give me his car keys. It sounded something like this...Give me your keys knucklehead or s...head. I forget which.
He plopped them down on the bar. Then, he decided otherwise.
In so doing, as he grabbed for the keys, he collided into me.
In turn, I collided and tipped over my bar stool into Commodore Chuck Coune and his bar stool, who in turn collided
with Commodore Wiley Wisdom, who then collided with Commodore Rick Deputy. In a matter of seconds, our
completely innocent and quiet single file order of Commodores (and many innocent bystanders) were spewed all over
the floor...splattered amidst beverages, ice cubes, cocktail glasses, napkins, cash, bar stools, and beer bottles.
We could not form a sober string of words amongst all of us. Many people were flopping about on the floor.
Like a herd of fish. Somehow, we managed to get off of the floor and promptly clean up the debris.
That is how we played Dominoes...Del Mar Yacht Club style...1997.
That is my story...and I am sticking to it.
Oh, and P.S. All of us took taxicabs back to our homes that night. We can be crazy, but we are not stupid.
And another P.S. We all attended Opening Day the next day. All of us with some very fuzzy molecules.
Stifle yourself, Edith