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GBCA - The Place to Race since 1947

Stories Behind the Silver

The GBCA membership handbook, published until 1994, was more than just a roster and schedule of events, it also represented an authentic record of our history.  The following information was taken from several of the membership handbooks, the oldest dating back to 1958.  Since our club was formed in 1947 many perpetual trophies have been initiated. Unfortunately down through the years they sometimes become dormant or forgotten. Many members have worked hard to improve the club and pioneer new racing concepts. The efforts of their labor and the trophies that they represent should not go unnoticed.  In hopes the  “Stores Behind The Silver” will be preserved, our most well known trophies (and a few lesser known trophies) are listed below with a short history behind each one.

GBCA Yachtsman of the Year

Under the deed of gift honoring Bud Smith, our chief founder, the late Clyde Gamble, our first elected Commodore and Josh Tillinghast, who is known as the founder of our modern race committee, the 1976 Officers and Board of Governors established the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy. This trophy is awarded annually by the Board of Governors to a member representing GBCA who has excelled in sailing competition at local or national level. The trophy is on display at the GBCA Clubhouse.

Yachtsman of the Year

GBCA Sportsmanship Award (formally Ed Smartt Memorial Sportsmanship Award)

The Ed Smartt Memorial Sportsmanship award was established in 1968 by Mr. Jo Rice Spiller, Jr. and the late Katherine Spiller, in memory of Samuel Edwin Smartt, Jr. Mrs. Spiller’s brother-in-law and a founding member and early driving force in GBCA. It was awarded annually to the GBCA member “who is considered to have made the greatest contribution to good boating practice, seamanship and sportsmanship afloat” The deed of gift expired in 1977 and the trophy was retired. Since 1979, the Board of Governors honors annually a GBCA member who has made an outstanding contribution to GBCA or to the development of the sport of sailing in the area. The trophy is on display at the GBCA Clubhouse.

Sportsmanship CupEd Smartt II

GBCA Crewman of the Year

This perpetual trophy is awarded to a member of GBCA who has been recognized as an outstanding crew member that never has to be told what to do, is always attentive, interacts with others well, is dependable and is always prepared; in general, always in demand and invaluable aboard. The trophy is on display at the GBCA Clubhouse

Crewman of the Year

GBCA Volunteer of the Year: The Lacy Legacy

Established in 2010, this is GBCA’s newest perpetual trophy. The Board of Governors honors annually one of the general membership (one who is not a current board member) who has made an outstanding contribution to GBCA through their volunteer efforts. The trophy honors John and Scott Lacy who have graciously supported the club both on and off the water. The trophy is on display at the GBCA Clubhouse.

Volunteer Lacy Legacy Trophy

Singlehanded Trophies

The non-spinnaker trophy is a large ship’s wheel and the spinnaker class trophy is a large block, both donated by Ed Christie. Since 1974, they are awarded annually to the winners of the Singlehanded race. Both trophies are on display at the GBCA Clubhouse.

Singlehanded Non Spinnaker TrophySinglehanded Spinnaker Trophy


Mixed Doubles Trophy (formally the Martin Bludworth Cup)

Designer Martin Bludworth was asked by the Ft. Worth Boat Club to design a rule that they could use for their handicap racing. It was a good local rule that could be obtained economically. In 1968 GBCA adapted the TIRC for use in their Fall Series and used it until 1980. In 1981, the Martin Bludworth Perpetual Trophy was first awarded to the Mixed Doubles overall winner. The trophy is on display at the GBCA Clubhouse.

Mixed Doubles Trophy

Women’s Series (Formally Ladies’ Series)

The women of GBCA are highly active in sailboat racing. Since 1979 the event was a multi-race series. The the regatta continues today as one of GBCAs most popular weekends of racing. This very unique trophy is on display at the GBCA Clubhouse and nicknamed “The Kissing Seahorses”

Womens Trophy

Old Cannon Trophy: Icicle Series

The Old Cannon Trophy, created by local artist S.J. Stout, was awarded first in 1977 to the Catalina 22 Fleet season winner, has been awarded to the Frostbite (now Icicle) Series winner since 1981. The last time the cannon was fired in 2007 or so, the firing pin broke, and the subsequent noise attracted the attention from local authorities. The trophy is on display at the GBCA Clubhouse.

The Cannon Trophy

BBVA Compass Performance Cup (formally First Interstate Bank Performance Cup)

In 1984 Allied Bank of Seabrook approached GBCA with the idea of sponsoring a regatta on Galveston Bay for the purpose of promoting goodwill among the sailing community. The first regatta, known as the Allied Banks Performance Cup Regatta, was a remarkable success and it was immediately decided to make this an annual event. The regatta, which is an open event, is well known for its excellent racing competition, fun parties, door prizes, and best of all, shirts for crews of all the winning yachts. Because this event’s focus on recognition for the crews, it is a popular one. In 1998, Allied Bank became First Interstate Bank. The perpetual trophy, a beautiful silver loving cup from Tiffany’s, is kept on display at First Interstate Bank of Seabrook. First Interstate was purchased by Wells Fargo in 1996 and (as of 2011) the original trophy remains on display in the bank lobby. The involvement of Compass Bank (and later BBVA Compass Bank) began in the late 1990’s. A second, polycarbonate perpetual trophy is on display at the GBCA Clubhouse.

Performance Cup aka Bank Regatta TrophyBank Cup - Wells Fargo

Texas Navy Cup

Since 1971, awarded annually to the overall winner of the PHRF Texas Offshore Racing Circuit by the Texas Navy. Donated by the State of Texas.  The trophy currently resides at the GBCA Clubhouse and is awarded at the end of Texas Race Week.

Race to the Border: Galveston to South Padre

Began in 2003, the Race to the Border is held in odd numbered years. The perpetual trophy for this race is the Marion Hayes trophy

Veracruz-Regata de Amigos

This race was started by Charles M. Smythe and Daniel V. Carrington and called the Tampico Race 1961-64. In 1968, the race was modified from Galveston to Veracruz and run on even numbered years. A partnership was formed with GBCA, the Club De Yates of Veracruz, the National Tourist Council of Mexico and with the cooperation of the Corpus Christi Yacht Club. 17 boats participated in the first race. The Veracruz Regatta quickly evolved into a grand affair with combined efforts from the Mexican and United States governments. In earlier years, Enrique Huber, offered the hospitality of his home, family, and country. Howard Williams, David Hatcher, and Frank Tuma worked diligently on the U.S. end to make the race a success. In later years, the race was run in partnership with Lakewood Yacht Club through the efforts of past Commodore Kevin Box and Carl Dreshel of LYC.  Numerous trophies are given for the race. The most significant trophy being the Charles M. Smythe Trophy for first overall. Past trophies associated with the Veracruz regatta also included the Dan Carrington trophy, Migual Alam Trophy, the Secretary of the Navy Trophy, Department of Tourism trophy, the Cia. General Acceptaciones Trophy and the Texas International Trophy. In 2008, GBCA member Roger Stone lost his life in this race. His herorism is recognized with the Roger Stone Memorial trophy which is modeled after the oblisk in Veracruz harbor that honors the local fisherman lost at sea. In 2010, the regatta was run in coordination with the Regata Bicentenario. Seven of the world’s great tall ships filled the harbor alongside the Veracruz racers and provided a unique backdrop to a week of bicentenial festivities.

1970 Mug and Logo


The Platzer-Lechenger trophy is the oldest GBCA trophy, dating back to 1934. It began as the Lechenger Trophy at Houston Yacht Club. “Scatter” Platzer won it enough times to keep it permanently. In 1951 he put it back into competition for GBCA’s Moonlight Race which was a long distance bay race at the time. It was retired again in 1989. This very old trophy pre-dates the club and is on display at the GBCA Clubhouse.

Platzer Lechenger

R.G."Bud" Smith Trophy

R.G."Bud" Smith was one of the founding fathers of GBCA and the first Commodore. Since 1952, the trophy was originally given to the club champion. The club champion was determined by having all the class season winners compete in a one-design round robin type series. The Club Champion then represented the club at the Mallorys. After Hurricane Carla, most of the one-design boats were destroyed and the trophy was discontinued for six years. When a trophy was needed to present to the Junior Skipper winner, the Bud Smith trophy was revived. The trophy is on display at the GBCA Clubhouse.

Bud Smith Trophy

Carl Benz Memorial Trophy

The Carl Benz Memorial Trophy was initiated in honor of the late Carl Benz. Both Carl and his wife were avid workers in GBCA, and it is only fitting that he be remembered. The Carl Benz Memorial Trophy, previously awarded to CCA and then to the overall IOR winner, was presented to the overall Summer Series Winner 1981 through 1987. There are two Carl Benz Trophies in the GBCA trophy case.

Carl Benz ICarl Benz II

Rebel Challenge Cup

The Rebel Challenge Cup was initiated in 1976 by J. Howard Williams and run until at least 1993. It was his firm conviction that a long distance race could be sailed in the bay without going offshore, and thus designed a race course a full 80 miles long.

Charge! Cup

The Charge! Cup, started in 1982, is awarded to the winner of the 40 mile event around the bay and run until at least 1993. The trophy was donated by the Bill Scott family. For years, it was in a forgotten closet at the Seabrook Shipyard Clubhouse and saved just before its demolition in 2008. It was returned to the Bill Scott family in 2010.

PHRF Bay Season Overall Winner

1980 was the first year for the PHRF Fleet and it became the largest fleet in the club. The trophy was donated by Holly and Lloyd Ludlam recognizing the overall winner. The deed of gift has expired and the trophy was retired in 1984.

GBCA Trophy Case

The GBCA Trophy case was donated by George Kehoe in 1987

Other trophies lost in time:

Top “Ten” Trophy

From 1979 to 1985 this trophy was awarded by the Tarten Ten Fleet to the best performing Tartan Ten on the Bay

MORC Championship Cup

MORC Station #48 was formed in 1975 in effort to provide handicap racing on a national level for boats 30 feet and under. The three race championship series held each year to determine a club representative for the International Regatta included many GBCA members. The trophy has not been awarded since 1979.

Thomas W. Ray Memorial

The Thomas W. Ray Trophy was established in 1981 by the family and friends of the late Tom Ray, and ardent and active supporter of GBCA. The trophy is deededto recognize the ‘Spirit” of Tom Ray, exemplified in such traits as competitiveness, seamanship and sense of fair play.

Galveston to St. Petersberg "Tampa Bay" Trophies

Originally nicknamed "To The End of the World" race, this long distance Singlehanded and Doublehanded event took place in 1974, 1977, 1979, 1983 and possibly in 1981. Trophies were donated by Charles Morgan and Dan Lawerence

Broadwater Beach Hotel Trophy: Galveston to Biloxi Race

Held in odd years, the perpetual trophy for this race is the Broadwater Beach Hotel Trophy.  The hotel itself fell into disrepair in the mid 1990s and was finally destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Galveston to Biloxi race is scheduled to be revived by Lakewood Yacht Club in 2011.

Additional trophies: The TORC Races

Established in 1963, the purpose of the TORC circuit is the promotion on the Texas Gulf Coast of the sailing of seaworthy yachts suitable for extended offshore cruising and racing, the development in amateur sailors of true seamanship and respect for the science of navigation and meteorology. The TORC has evolved in recent times with the Heald Bank/Buccanner Regatta hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club, Freeport Triangle hosted by Houston Yacht Club and capped off with the Texas Race Week hosted by GBCA.  Since 1971, the winner of this offshore series received the Texas Navy Cup.  In 1969 the TORC Circuit scoring was comprised of the Lipton Cup, Moreland Cup, Freeport Triangle, Galveston to Corpus Christi (or Galveston to Corpus in even numbered years), Chevron Field Triangle and Sabine Triangle races. In later years the TORC included various combinations of the Constellation Cup, Heald Bank-Buccaneer Field Triangle, the Galveston Gold Cup, the Bridge Harbor Race and the Yaga Regatta.

Sir Thomas Lipton Cup

The perpetual trophy for this race is the Lipton Tea Company Trophy in 1962

Lipton Cup

Carroll Blanchard Trophy

Donated by late Commodore Carroll Blanchard in 1965. Awarded to the overall winner of the largest fleet in the Freeport Triangle Race.

Constellation Cup

Donated by Louise and Josh Tilinghast and originally awarded in the 23rd Annual Corpus Christi to Seabrook race 1963.  In later years the Constellation Regatta was its own event and part of the TORC.

Galveston Daily News Trophy

Donated by the Galveston Daily News in 1982 and awarded to the overall winner of the Sabine Triangle

Galveston Daily News Trophy

“Old Winch” trophy

The perpetual trophy for the Heald-Bank Buccaneer Triangle race is David Whitaker’s “Old Winch” trophy donated in 1973. Since approximately 1976, the Heald-Bank is hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club

Chevron Cup

Donated by the Corpus Christi Yacht Club in 1963. This 100 mile race was run across Corpus Christi Bay, through Aransas Pass, around the northernmost platform in Chevron Field and back until approximately 1977.

Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce Trophy

e Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce Trophy, established in 1931, was first won by GBCA is 1948.  The race from Galveston to Corpus (odd years) and Corpus to Galveston (even years) took place from 1951 to 1980. The T. Noah Smith Trophy (1963) and The Constellation Cup (1963) were also part of this historic race. In later years, this distance race was scored as part of the TORC.

Moreland Cup

The Banks G Moreland Trophy was deeded to Galveston Yacht Club in 1963 by Mrs. Banks G. Moreland with the stated purpose that it be awarded for an offshore race to be held off Galveston. The Moreland Cup was usually given on the same weekend of racing as the Lipton Cup. The cup was later donated to GBCA in the 1990’s and awarded as part of the TORC. The trophy is on display at the GBCA Clubhouse.

Moreland Trophy

Galveston Gold Cup: O.F. Becker Memorial Trophy

Donated by Tom Richards and family in 1984 in memory of a great father-in-law, O.F. Becker. Scored as part of the TORC in the mid 1980’s

Other trophies GBCA has been involved with:

Mount Gay Trophy (formally The Corpus Christi Yacht Club Challenge Bowl)

Donated by the Mount Gay Rum Company in 1981 to the Interclub Offshore Team Races.  This trophy is awarded to the yacht club that wins a series of team races. Each competing club is represented by a team of three yachts selected by it.

Other trophies in the case, still researching:

GBCA Season Championship, Class B, 1957

1957 Season Champion Class B

Galveston Bay Interclub Championship

Galveston Bay Interclub Championship 

Stout Fella Association Race Results 1948; Galveston to Freeport Sailing Instructions 1950

Stout Fella Association 1948Galveston to Freeport 1950

"Stories Behind the Silver" is believed to be first written by longtime GBCA Historian Pokie Stamper in 1978.  Updated by Chris Kelley in 2011

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