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Commodore Mary Bacon inducted at NOSA's annual meeting

by Newport Ocean Sailing Association 21 Jul 2021 06:38 PDT

The Newport Ocean Sailing Association held its annual meeting on July 18, 2021, instilling the 2022 board of directors and welcoming Mary Bacon as Commodore.

It's only the second time in the organizations' esteemed history that a woman has taken the helm and guided the success of its signature sailing event.

Bacon hopes to capitalize on the momentum created by the 2021 Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race when more than 170 competitors stepped up to race while other events were sidelined and sailors were nervous coming out of the pandemic. Her goal is to increase participation, improve each competitor's experience, and reaffirm the ideals that racing N2E is for fun, for camaraderie, and the love of sailing; ideals that the founders built the organization upon in 1947.

The prestigious non-profit will celebrate N2E's historic 75th running in 2023.

"The best part of serving on the NOSA board has been working with an incredible group of knowledgeable racers and the amazing people in the yachting community," said Bacon. "And, of course, simply being part of this legendary race."

Accomplishing the goals and driving entries to near peak levels in time for the anniversary is no easy task. But it's not like Bacon to walk away from a challenge.

"We have had a great number of challenges in the past year, but we need to celebrate that we're on the other side of the pandemic," Bacon said. "The challenge now is to maintain enthusiasm into the celebratory 75th year and race. Sailors need to sign up and get raring to go; to bring friends; challenge other racers to get others out on the water; challenge organizers to stay busy, and challenge our yacht clubs to get fleets ready for 2022."

In her 30-plus years of service to the sailing community, she has repeatedly stepped up and contributed, as evidenced by her 2013 win of the Peggy Slater Memorial Award. Presented by the Southern California Yachting Association, the honor is given to a female who has made outstanding contributions to the enhancement of women's sailing or individual achievement in the sport. Bacon joined the SCYA board in 2003 becoming Commodore in 2006.

NOSA Staff Commodore Jerry Shandera (2001) recommended Bacon for a seat on the board back in 2015. The fellow Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club Staff Commodore felt the board could use a woman's voice and was confident that her experience could make a difference.

"Mary is customer-oriented and totally understands that the N2E is all about the racer," said Shandera. "And, she'll inspire all the NOSA volunteers with her can-do approach."

Bacon and her husband Bob Bacon became members of BCYC in 1989. She became the second female commodore in 1999 and helped the club navigate and close the financing and purchase and of its land and marina. The Club awarded her "Woman of the Year" honors in 1992, 2012, and 2013 in part for her mentorship of other women into leadership positions.

In his last act as Commodore 2020-2021, William Gibbs presented Staff Commodore Paul DeCapua (2005) the Joseph R Baiunco Memorial Trophy for distinguished service to NOSA.

In her first act as Commodore, Bacon officially announced that N2E 74 will race on 4.22.22. She also thanked now Staff Commodore Gibbs for his stellar job and for "setting the gold standard of leadership."

JoAnn Sedgwick of Silver Gate Yacht Club will remain as Vice Commodore - Race while Phil Herzfeld of Dana Point Yacht Club will step up from his role as a board member to Vice Commodore - Administration. Board members serve three-year terms with flag officers serving two-year terms in leadership roles.

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