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Mount Dora Yacht Club Sailboats

HISTORY OF MDYC AND THE ANNUAL REGATTA

 

In 1913, Henry C. Fuller and a group of fellow boat owners met at his boathouse to discuss and make plans for organizing a yacht club. On May 26 of 1913, land was purchased at our present site. Our first Regatta, featuring power boats, took place shortly after the opening of Our Club. Many regattas were held that year to encourage boating, but the first one was so special that all the business closed so everyone in town could Watch the races


The original club was formed for the "promotion of yachting and education in seamanship." All members were required to be boat owners, a rule which was enforced until the 1940s, when the loss of membership due to the war, and gasoline rationing made the requirement impractical. During World War II, several MDYC members assisted the Coast Guard in patrolling Lake Harris every day. The Club itself was used as a USO during the war, and food was prepared by the members, who bore both the expense and the sacrifice of some of their food ration coupons in order to provide for the servicemen and women who visited the USO. Some 17,000 servicemen and women were entertained at the Mount Dora Yacht Club. At the time Mount Dora’s population was less than 4,000 people. The Club never closed its doors, even though World War II took a heavy toll on the membership. It remains the oldest inland waterways yacht club in Florida. 

Both regattas and cruises were major activities in earlier years, and continue to be so today. In the beginning, however, races were held for power boats and speed racing. Since 1953, Sailboat Regattas have replaced them, and have been held every year since except for one when a storm with lightning prevented the Regatta from taking place. Cruises now are not as long as they were in earlier years when members took their boats to places as far away as North Carolina and Maine. Today cruises are more likely to Silver Springs, to local destinations like Howey-in-the-Hills, and to Palatka.

In 1966, the Mount Dora Yacht Club's original building burned, and a new one took its place at the foot of 4th Avenue on Lake Dora. Our newly remodeled bar and dinning room is a tribute to members that came before us. We are proud of Our Club and the legacy that we have.


During the Regatta, we open OUR CLUB and facility to all sailors and their families. Club members volunteer and actively run the event. You will find a warm welcome from MDYC. We enjoy having guests and the camaraderie that bring our members together in a common goal – a successful regatta


 

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