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Clayton Robbins

Edward Crabbe

Allen K. Brouwer, Jr.

Joseph J. Summerill, III

Dr. John W. Kiraly

Cynthia Kinstler

Founded in 1871 / Incorporated in 1887

View the Past Commodores

Formally organized on July 1, 1871, the Toms River Yacht Club held its first regular meeting at the Stewart House on Water Street, where Mr. C. S. Haines was elected its first commodore.

A few weeks later, on July 26, 1871, a fleet of working-class catboats lined up for the club’s first regatta. The course took them from Long Point to Forked River and back again. At stake was the Toms River Challenge Cup, a stunning coin-silver trophy designed by Joseph Chattelier, who was a charter member of the club. Tiffany & Co., New York created the trophy for $175, which would go to the winning sailor. Second prize was a silver watch and third prize a dozen silver spoons.

In those early years, Toms River Challenge Cup races were held twice a year. The coveted cup, first awarded in 1871, is now the oldest perpetual racing trophy in the United States. On July 30, 1904, TRYC ruled that the cup must remain on club property. To this day, it’s displayed in the club trophy case for all to admire.

According to records from 1871 to 1887, the sole purpose of the club was to review applications for Challenge Cup races and to schedule regattas. The club’s signal flag was a pointed burgee with a white ground, a three-inch blue border, and TRYC written in red. 

During the next forty years, the club prospered mostly under the vigorous leadership of Commodore John H. Stoutenburgh, who served from 1887 to 1915.

In 1903, an exciting new era began: TRYC bought the Stewart House (then known as the Dover House), for $4,000—putting $1,000 down and securing a three-year note at five percent interest. This would be the new permanent clubhouse.

On July 24, 1903, Mrs. Warren D. Peck and Miss Ann Cowperthwait were the first two females admitted as associate members. Their efforts helped form the Ladies Auxiliary in the early 1920s.

On August 22, 1903, the club authorized the burgee we know today: a blue T on a triangular white field.

In 1914, the Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing Association was formed to promote and encourage one-design racing among the yacht clubs of the Barnegat Bay. TRYC joined the association in 1922 and participates in the June-through-Labor Day races. The club sponsors many perpetual trophies, including: the Horace Doan Trophy for E-Sloops, the Franklin Doan Trophy for Sneakboxes, the Commodore’s Cup for Ensigns, the Robert F. Snyder Cup for Sanderlings, the Terhune Memorial Trophy for Flying Scots, and of course, the prestigious Toms River Challenge Cup for A-Cats.

Club activity slowed down with the advent of World War I in 1917. After the war, Edward Crabbe, one of the foremost yachtsmen in America, served as commodore for nine years (1923 to 1932). He returned as commodore during the World War II years from 1942 to 1944 when his son, Commodore Daniel Mc Ewen Crabbe, enlisted to serve our country.

The depression of the 1930s came as a blow to Toms River. The clubhouse fell into disrepair, membership declined, and financial obligations mounted. TRYC rented temporary club quarters at the Toms River Golf and Tennis Club on Washington Street, and a buyer was found to purchase the Robbins Parkway Clubhouse property. Fortunately, the deal fell through.

When the U.S. entered World War II, TRYC leased its club facilities to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla No. 16, which included many club members.

In 1943, Dr. Allen K. Brouwer and Donald T. Applegate spearheaded a fundraising campaign that yielded $5,000 to pay off debts and repair and upgrade the property. Over the next ten years and beyond, club members and their wives worked at dinners, dances, and parties (a tradition that continues) to ensure the financial perpetuation of the club we have today.

The Brown Jug race—a team race sailed on the Saturday after Labor Day—began in 1958. An equal number of auxiliary sailboats from the Island Heights Yacht Club and Toms River Yacht Club raced on the Barnegat Bay on a boat-for-boat basis. The team with the most points was the winner.

The Toms River Yacht Club sailed in the 1st Barnegat Lightship Race for Cruising Auxiliaries in 1964. The fleet sailed a triangular course offshore using the lightship as its most easterly mark. Dr. George T. Whittle won the initial race.

A relatively new class of racing sloop, the Barnegat 17, captured the interest of many TRYC sailors in the 60s. In 1966, Dr. and Mrs. James C. Fullmer donated the trophy known as the Barnegat Bowl to the Toms River Yacht Club for a team race between Island Heights Yacht Club and Toms River Yacht Club. In the first race, Toms River Yacht Club retained the cup.

In 1967, Clifford W. Campbell won the Mallory Cup, the Men’s North American Championship, bringing national recognition to Toms River Yacht Club.

The year 1968 was significant in our club’s history. Following several years of hard work, sound planning, and much frustration, the construction of a new TRYC facility at its current Money Island location began under the leadership of Dr. Raymond P. Taylor (commodore), and F. Peter Weber (building committee chairman).

The new yacht club was dedicated on October 12, 1968. In 1972, the Money Island Yacht Club merged with TRYC, providing us with additional property as well as many well-known, experienced sailors. Over the years, the club has acquired adjacent properties, such as: the Baecker House; the Rinzler property (grassy lot);a right of way along the club entrance; and most recently, the vacating of Summit Avenue, which expands our facility for current and future use.

Gary Jobson, a sailing instructor at the club in the 60s and 70s, became the tactician for Ted Turner on Courageous, winning the America’s Cup in 1977. Gary went on to become a sailing commentator and author and continues to support local sailing on Barnegat Bay. Bill Campbell, another junior standout, went on to participate in three America’s Cup campaigns of Courageous in 1982-93, America 3 in 1991-92, and Nippon in 1994-95.

In the 70s and 80s, cruising auxiliaries became very popular on the Barnegat Bay, and they raced along the entire Jersey shore. Cliff Campbell won the Rolex Cup in 1985 and 1986, and he was named Champion of the Caribbean Ocean Racing Circuit in 1986, winning the Rolex BVI Regatta, Capa Velasco in Puerto Rico and Antigua Race Week.

In 1989, P/C Bob Duff won the Sabre World Cup. That same year, the Laser Masters Trophy went to P/C Bill Warner. Dr. George Whittle took home the Governor’s Cup and the NJ Yacht Racing Union’s Championship cup.

TRYC members have participated in the Newport Bermuda race and the Merion Bermuda race. Boat owner Dr. George Whittle, P/C Jack Fellows and Howard Wright, along with TRYC crew members P/C Andrew Knox, Dave Crabbe, Bernie Driber, Alice May Weber-Wright and P/C Hank Waite on Ziggurat, earned 3rd in class in 1985.

In 1986, Alicemay and Howard Wright set off on Ziggurat, a Sparkman & Stevens design 40 foot vessel built in 1957, and made club history by flying the Toms River Yacht Club burgee as they circumnavigated the world.

In the early 1900s, P/C John H. Stoutenburgh commissioned a John F. Peto painting, which proudly hung on TRYC’s walls for more than eight decades. After much debate among members, the painting was offered up for auction at Sotheby’s in May 1987, with a minimum bid of $250,000. It sold for this price, and the proceeds became the foundation of the TRYC Memorial Trust Fund. In addition, the estate of P/C Fred Rollmann added $121,500 to this fund in 1992. The fund continues to generate monies for various capital projects.

The late 80s and early 90s saw the waning of the auxiliary fleets and the surge of one-design classes, including the Optimist Pram, E-scow, Flying Scot, and Ensign fleets. In 1999 and 2000, P/C Drew Seibert dominated the PHRF racing circuit.

In 1999, a longtime “member” of the Club, the TRYC mermaid, was restored to her original beauty thanks to the efforts of P/C Bob Savacool and Auxiliary financing. The mermaid joined the club in 1946 when TRYC was in its Robbins Street location. Member Frank Buchanan, known for decorating famous restaurants in New York City, was put in charge of her design. In 1968, she moved to her current location.

TRYC junior sailing debuted in the late 1950s on Silver Bay using Toms River prams. Jack Clayton, commodore in 1954, provided the location and helped build these little boats. The program was later moved to the beach on the Brown property in Cranmoor Manor and then to the club’s current location. The commitment and dedication of our junior-sailing committee over the years has enabled Toms River Yacht Club to continue the tradition of turning out the best sailors and champions in the country.

In 1995, Allan Terhune Jr. and his crew—Ron Vignon and Coury Yetman—captured the Sears Cup for the Triple Handed Youth Championship. In 2001, Clay Johnson brought home the prestigious Smythe Trophy for winning the Single Handed Youth Championship. Through the U.S. Optimist Dinghy Association and explosion of the optimist class, our juniors represent TRYC all over the world with more qualifiers than any other club in the U.S for the National, European, North American, and South American sailing teams.

In recognition of their numerous sailing accomplishments and lifelong contributions to the sport, TRYC members Cliff Campbell , Commodore Edward Crabbe, and Gary Jobson were inducted into the prestigious Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame in 2004, followed by Alicemay Weber-Wright in 2006, John Applegate in 2012, and Terry Kempton and Erik Johnson
in 2016. The list of TRYC champions in national events and U.S. Sailing-sponsored events is equally impressive.

Toms River Yacht Club continues to host the Up Bay regatta for the E-Scow Challenge Cup, which was first awarded in 1958. In 2012, TRYC became a founding member of the National Sailing Hall of Fame located in Annapolis, MD. The club hosted the Flying Scot North American Championships in 2001, 2008, and 2014 and the Ensign Nationals in 1984, 2007, and 2013. In 2010, TRYC hosted the Lightning Class North Americans with sailors coming from across the United States and six foreign countries. In 2011 and 2017, Toms River Yacht Club hosted the prestigious U.S. Sailing Junior National Sailing Championships for the Sears Cup, Bemis Trophy, and Smythe Trophy involving more than 100 sailors.

The year 2000 brought more change to the club with women taking on leadership positions. Patricia (Trish) Murphy became the first female elected to an officer position and continued on to become Commodore in 2003. Three years later Cynthia Kinstler followed suit and became Commodore in 2006.

In 2003 P/C Will Demand and Billy Warner, Jr. engineered the purchase of the 30-boat tech dinghy fleet from MIT by various TRYC members. The techs have become the “house” boats and are in use year round with the popular Turkey Bowl and Santa Bowl. These boats are made available to various high school teams in the area and for regattas sponsored by Ocean County College. Also in 2005, TRYC invited Ocean County College to use our facility for the first collegiate sailing club, which has expanded to other community colleges and local high schools.

The summer of 2013 saw the opening of a sparkling new swimming pool overlooking the river that was guided by the efforts of P/C Drew Seibert and Chris Oksen. This event was particularly welcome after the club was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, requiring extensive renovation of its lower level and marina. That loss was followed by even worse devastation resulting from a sprinkler pipe burst in January 2014, which caused the club to be closed for six months. Under the direction of Commodore Art Bailey and P/C Richard Yetman, the club facilities were restored and improved to make TRYC more beautiful than ever for years to come.

Toms River Yacht Club is proud to be home to many nationally renowned sailors who are noted as “Champions of Toms River Yacht Club”. As our forefathers did 147 years ago, we continue our commitment to “promote friendly competition and interest in activities connected with sailing.”


Toms River Yacht Club   |   1464 Riviera   |   Toms River, NJ 08753   |   732-929-0888   |