HYRA- Who We Are & What We Do

HYRA - Who We Are and What We Do 


In December 1924 Herb Dowsett had lunch at New York Yacht Club with Donald Cowles and Clifford Mallory where formation of a North American Yacht Racing Union was proposed.  It came to be in 1925.  The ‘Hawaiian Islands Districts’ are listed as an original member.  It wasn’t until about 1965 that the Hawaii Yacht Racing Association was formed. See More...


Today, across the United States there are 11 Regions (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L) that make up US Sailing.  HYRA makes up area H and represents up to about 16 clubs and/or associations. Having our own area enables HYRA to enter national championships without having to travel to the mainland to qualify, this at great savings to our members. It means we have a seat at the Race Officer, Judge and Appeals committees.

The object of the HYSA is to promote offshore yacht racing and class racing in measurement and one-design classes.

What We Do

   Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup One

   Sir Thomas Lipton One Design Challenge Cup

   Kalakaua Cup

   The Doc Wilson

   Ken Morrison


  Hawaii State Keelboat Championship

  Hawaii State Single Handed Championship

 HYRA Season’s Points

 All Islands Championship

HYRA PHRF Ratings can be calculated at www.yra.org

Current Season Points format: 

4 regattas chosen by HYC

4 regattas chosen by WYC

1 regatta chosen by KYC

1 regatta chosen by LYC

Should HYRA Club Member Involvement Be Increased?

Currently, Club Regatta Chairs or Rear Commodores are not required to attend any HYRA meetings, except Fall and Spring General meetings

Would like Regatta Chairs and/or Rear Commodores to attend 6 pre-designated meetings

Want everyone on the same page regarding racing

Want to brainstorm with active Club involvement how to achieve better turnout

Should We Have More Fun Races?

Obviously, we want fun. These would be more in line with Thursdays at KYC and Fridays in town

A vote of “yes” does not guarantee we will have fun races

A vote of “yes” does guarantee HYRA will meet with the Clubs to discuss logistics and coordination of fun races!

We want HYRA Board and Clubs to refocus on creative and innovative ways to make sailing fun again (aka get people on the water)!

HYRA History

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:

1968 1940

Hanalei Bay YC

Hawaii YC Honolulu YC

Kaneohe YC Kaneohe YC

Kauai YC Kauai YC

Lahaina YC

La Mariana SC Mokapu YC

Outrigger Canoe Club

Pacific YC

Pearl Harbor YC Pearl Harbor YC