It is not known just when the first attempts were made to organize the several boating clubs of old Hawaii in an "association" to promote their common interests. It is known that in 1890 the Hawaiian Yachting and Rowing Association was founded as the outcome of match racing in the late 1880s between two locally famous schooners backed by rival factions which included well known names such as Hatch, W.G. Irwin, W.M. Gifford, Judge Sanford B. Dole and Lorrin G. Thurston. The Association continued with decreasing activity until the last of those mentioned had passed away. Presumably, if it was in fact an "association" of clubs, its members might well have included during its existence the Royal Hawaiian Yacht Club, Healani Boat Club, Myrtle Boat Club and possibly the Outrigger Canoe Club.
In December of 1924, shortly after the formation of the original Pearl Harbor Yacht Club, Herb Dowsett had lunch at the New York Yacht Club with Donald H. Cowles and Clifford D. Mallory, who were discussing the proposed formation of a "North American Yacht Racing Union." Mallory, who was to become NAYRU's first president and from its inception in 1925 through 1935, urged Herb to seriously consider the formation of a YRA in Hawaii as an original member of NAYRU when it took shape. It is believed this is the reason that, to this day, the NAYRU Constitution, in its listing of the original Member Associations then existing there is included among other "...and Hawaiian Islands Districts." Presumably, those "districts" were left open for original membership names until actual associations could be formed within those districts. Unfortunately, Herb was not successful in organizing a local YRA on his return. Probably the time was not yet ripe.
Shortly after the formation of Waikiki Yacht Club early in 1944, a loosely-knit organization called Hawaii Yachting Association was formed to coordinate the activities and scheduling of the several clubs. The time just wasn't right and inter-club relationships had no need for an association, so it petered out in about five years with little accomplished.
In the spring of 1957, during a telephone conversation at New York, Fearon Moore happened to mention to Bob Bavier that he would be returning to the Islands to retire, in mid-summer. It seems that Bob had visited the Islands shortly before and, as the then- secretary of NAYRU, had been tremendously impressed with the growing activity in yacht racing of all kinds out here. He urged Fearon to investigate the possibilities after he became acquainted with the local setup. The subject came up subsequently in rules correspondence with Bob and Herb Ware - both members of NAYRU Rules Committee.
During 1958 and 1959, Fearon made several approaches to officers of the local clubs - but, again, the time was not right. There still was no real need for a local YRA.
By 1965, however, the boating boom had really taken hold in Hawaii - particularly in the ocean-racing groups. At an Operations Committee meeting of KYC in April, Glenn Clark urged all skippers to join NAYRU as individual members; and sketched his ideas of the advantages of having a YRA of the Hawaiian Islands - stressing the opportunity for local skippers to participate, if qualified, in NAYRU Championships for men, women, juniors, single-handed, etc. - with all the local advantages of coordination of local inter-club events which were by then becoming quite common place.
Art Bivens, then KYC's Vice Commodore responsible for sailing activities, became very enthusiastic over the YRA idea and immediately started the spade work for its formation. The following year, as Commodore, his continued efforts in this direction bore fruit, as attested in the minutes of the Organization Meetings which follow in K-3 of this Section of the Handbook.
The increased interest in the yacht racing in Hawaii is perhaps illustrated by two NAYRU YEAR BOOKS available to us, showing the following organizations in Hawaii as Member Yacht Clubs of NAYRU directly supporting its purposes:
Hanalei Bay YC
Hawaii YC Honolulu YC
Kaneohe YC Kaneohe YC
Kauai YC Kauai YC
La Mariana SC Mokapu YC
Outrigger Canoe Club
Pearl Harbor YC Pearl Harbor YC