Q&A with Joanne O’Dea, 2017 Yachting Cup Co-Chair

With two months to go until the 2017 Yachting Cup, we caught up with one of the event chairs, Joanne O'Dea. Joanne has a long history of volunteering her time on SDYC committees and has chaired numerous SDYC events. Most recently, Joanne was awarded the SCYA 2016 Alonso de Jessop Memorial Award for her exceptional services to the yachting community.

  1. What is your sailing background?
    I was always fascinated by boats and sailing as a kid on Long Island, but did not learn to sail until I was at UCSD. I learned at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, took all the sailing lessons offered there. I met folks at Mission Bay YC and San Diego YC and started racing on Snipes and in the Schock 35 fleet.I was hooked by the competition. Over the years, I have raced in the Etchells and J/105 fleets, and my husband John and I race our Laser 28, “Quick Meteor” actively.
  2. How long have you been involved with San Diego Yacht Club?
    I got involved by sailing in the Schock 35 fleet, on Cliff Thompson’s “Super Gnat” around 1990. I got involved with Race Committee for the America’s Cup in 1992 (and again in 1995), and Cliff encouraged me at that time to join SDYC. I am so happy that he suggested I join; he was my primary sponsor. I have been so happy here.
  3. What other SDYC events do you chair? And what other SDYC groups and/or committees are you involved with?
    I have been the Regatta Coordinator and Regatta Chair of the International Masters Regatta and the Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup for the past 5 years, as well as chairing J/Fest for 5 years, chairing the SDYC Club Champs for the last two years.I have also chaired Opening Day. I was the editor of the Mainsheet for three years. I also serve on several committees, including House, Club Events, Race, and Women’s Events currently. This year, I am honored to have been appointed Fleet Captain, Sail.
  4. What is your favorite part of chairing events?
    Getting feedback from the participants, hearing about their appreciation of my efforts, and that they had a great time at the event.
  5. Is there anything different about this year’s Yachting Cup?
    The parties will be all-inclusive; everyone is invited to Friday and Saturday after race festivities and, of course, to the awards presentation on Sunday. We are encouraging “Untie the Dock lines”, get out on the race course and enjoy the events!
  6. What should Yachting Cup participants expect at this year’s race?
    Participants should expect the hospitality of SDYC and the reputation of world class sailing competition, and a few surprises. Racing will take place on three different venues, so there is something for everyone, from smaller sport boats all the way up to the sleds. The Organizing Authority would like to encourage the Newport to Ensenada racers to plan on stopping in San Diego to race this year’s Yachting Cup, as they return back up the coast.