OASIS Sailing Club ready to launch its Opening Day celebration

Pictured are the Oasis Sailing Club's two 34-foot Catalina sloops named Oasis V and Oasis VI respectively.
Pictured are the Oasis Sailing Club’s two 34-foot Catalina sloops named Oasis V and Oasis VI respectively.
(Courtesy of the Oasis Sailing Club)

The Oasis Sailing Club will usher in the start of the sailing season on Friday when it holds its 37th annual Opening Day ceremony.

“It’s a longstanding yachting and sailing tradition to have an opening day. It’s usually quite formal, with the officers and everyone dressed in their blue blazers and white slacks,” said Laura DeSoto, who serves as secretary for the club in Newport Harbor.

“We laugh here in California because we sail all year long and, obviously in the Midwest or the Great Lakes or the East Coast, Opening Day has a little bit of a different meaning in that truly when they open the yachting season. But, here, we’re so fortunate in Southern California.”


DeSoto said all the local harbor’s yacht clubs typically host opening ceremonies around April and invite each other’s commodores to attend.

In addition to the ceremony, which includes a welcome speech from the Commodore Stan Espenship, and words from other dignitaries, members of the public will also be able to see an on-water display by the Orange County Harbor Patrol. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. with registration and the ceremony will being promptly at 11 a.m. It will be held at the Balboa Yacht Basin at 829 Harbor Island Drive.

DeSoto said the club will also be organizing tours of the club’s two Catalina sloops — Oasis V and Oasis VI — for interested attendees and prospective club members.

There will also be informational displays, a lunch and an open house. DeSoto said she is aware sailing often feels out of reach for people, but that she was hopeful the open house and ceremony would bring attention to the club, where membership is $65 a month.

“[The Oasis Sailing Club] is this gem that’s probably not as well known. If you own a boat, forget it. But, we’re fortunate that the Friends of the OASIS Senior Center and the city help. It’s really to make sailing accessible, but you don’t have to be a senior to be a part of the club,” DeSoto said. “It’s an amazing resource that people don’t know about.”