Virginia DANIELS Beardsley
Recalls Her Memories Of The Lake Erie Interclub
Written November 22, 1996
My father was James H. Daniels, one of the founder’s of the Interclub. Following are my recollections:
It has long been my understanding that the Erie-Dover Race itself has a long history going back to the times of Queen Victoria. The Annette Cup was sailed on June 30th out of Erie and across the lake to Port Dover, where the Americans paid tribute to the Canadians on Canada/Victoria Day.
On Labor Day weekend 1957, the Daniels family were cruising on Lake Erie, aboard SECRET, a 30 foot Zeelandia steel sloop and spent sometime a the Erie Yacht Club. My parents had become friendly with Merle and Emma Crowell, Ralph and Colclessor and Jack and Donlyn Raimy and some other Erie Yacht Club members. The Erie people were trying to get the Buffalo group interested in participating in the Erie-Dover Race to take place in June of 1958, In the course of discussion, I remember saying to Daddy, after that “why don’t some of the Erie boats sail onto Buffalo”?
Sometime thereafter the Interclub Cruise was born. I remember that my father, Merle Crowell and others used to meet on Saturday’s into the fall of 1957 planning the regatta. There were three principals originally. Merle Crowell represented EYC, my father the BYC and I think Karl Smither was the representative from the BCC. My sister and I both think that it was Daddy who named it the Interclub Cruise. He was big in using cruise in place of regatta. Joe Glaser was the sailing/waterfront reporter for the Courier-Express. He was a friend to all members of the sailing fraternity and especially good friend of my father. The Buffalo contingent talked to Joe about a trophy and he made arrangements to have the newspaper donate the trophy.
Originally, the racing and cruising classes sailed together. However, in one of the early regattas perhaps the first, the Knarr Class from BCC participated and walked away with the hardware which infuriated the cruising members and thereafter there were two trophies. The Courier-Express Trophy remained the cruising class trophy, at least back in the 50’s and early 60’s. Bob Graf related most of that to me last summer.
One year in the early days, there was a bad storm on Lake Erie, I seem to recall that it may have been a hurricane or at least the tail end of one and the Erie-Dover race had to be delayed. This caused all of the other events to be pushed back. A lot of the young crew members were disgruntled and couldn’t understand the delay. Someone from Erie gathered some of the crew members in the second floor of Erie’s “Canoe House” and my father, a great sailing raconteur, told them stories about sailing around the world. He was the Second Mate on the Schooner YANKEE 1936-38. In 1960 the Interclub was expanded to include the celebration of the Centennial of the BYC. Several boats came from Youngstown via the Welland Canal and the winner that year (I think) was Baldwin Smith from the YYC. I will never forget Bob Way of MASKER fame; Bob always did things that amused the other sailors in the fleet. I remember particularly the July 4th when it was very hot and dead calm MASKER came steaming into Abino Bay mast head speakers playing “Adeste Fidelis”.
Other memories include Fred Obersheimer flying a spinnaker with the face of Mickey Mouse aboard the old INERLUDE. He hadn’t told anyone and it was a real surprise. Also on one of the races coming across the lake a flock of Homing Pigeons took rest on the rigging of various boats. They had been released by someone in Cleveland, Ohio.