Glen Ellen gets a yacht club
Yes, you read that right: Glen Ellen now has its own yacht club. The Jack London Yacht Club in Glen Ellen is taking applications for charter members now through the end of the year. In the spirit of Jack London, an ardent sailor himself, the new club’s signature event will be a boat race, the Jack to Jack, occurring every April on Sonoma Creek, when historically, the water level is at its highest. The race will start from the Jack London Lodge and end at Jack London Village, a 0.7-mile course. The boats are replicas of Jack London’s SNARK. The SNARK was the sailboat on which Jack London set sail from Oakland in 1907 with the intent of sailing around the world.
Boats will be auctioned off in January, at the club’s annual member Dinner Auction. Being 18-inch replicas, the boats are much more affordable that your standard 55-foot schooner, with bids for the replicas starting at $1,000. Members can purchase their own boats, or join with friends or sponsors to purchase a boat. The boats are crafted out of singed redwood trees removed after the Sonoma wildfires. Each boat is named after a Jack London novel, short story or poem.
After the Jack to Jack race, the boats with their decorated sails will be displayed throughout the year at local wineries and restaurants. Each January, the boats will be collected to be auctioned off again. The decorated sails are framed and gifted to the previous year’s owners.
The Jack London Yacht Club Official Clubhouse is at the Jack London Lodge Saloon, 13740 Arnold Dr., in Glen Ellen.
Member benefits include a personalized membership card that gets you perks at local wineries and businesses, including Two Amigos Winery, Jack London Lodge, Benziger Family Winery, Valley of the Moon Winery, Lost Toy Cellars, and Umbria Glen Ellen. The JLYC membership allows access to other yacht clubs through PICYA (pending). Membership dues are collected yearly in the month of January. Membership is $100 now, through Dec. 1, 2018. After Dec. 1, the fee is $125.
A corporate membership of $500 entitles you to have three rotating members. Three branded JLYC totes will be included in your membership package.
The Jack London Yacht Club is a nonprofit, spearheaded by Glen Ellen residents Ana Dominguez and Jim Burch. Its bigger mission is supporting other Glen Ellen nonprofits and public entities, and building community through fundraising efforts and engagement in the Valley of the Moon. Profits from the JLYC go back to the community in the form of grants. Local nonprofits and public entities may obtain grant forms on the JLYC website. Grant applications will be available after April 2019.
The club had its kick off event in July, with 60 attendees, and celebrated with a fall BBQ on Oct. 21.
If you’re interested in joining the crew, visit jacklondonyachtclub.org. No dinner jackets required.