Dallas Johnson

RACING TO CHART A COURSE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Legacy …

It all started one day when Dallas was standing at the end of WYC’s Dock C with Larry Aubuchon and David Onan, then Commodore and Vice Commodore, respectively. “We talked about an article in Sailing World magazine, which focused on one-design fleet racing and how neat it was,” Dallas said. “Then we talked about the number of Capri 25’s racing in the handicap fleet and thought we could probably turn that into a new one-design fleet. We agreed to give it a try and made a deal.”

“Those two guys said they would take care of the process and the politics of making a new fleet work at our yacht club, and I would do all the grunt work. Somehow that sounded like a great idea at the time, especially tapping into something our members were excited about and wanted. This was my first really big project, after joining the club, and I became captain of the fleet. What a great memory.”

Culture …

“If there’s one thing about the Wayzata Yacht Club that really stands out over the years, it’s the fact that we provide lake access to people, like very few other yacht clubs do. We make sailing and outdoor sports on Lake Minnetonka available to people who hadn’t considered it. We do it for youth sailing. Women sailing. Competitive racing. People who want to become cruisers and people who don’t appreciate how great a resource Lake Minnetonka really is.”

Vision …

One of the first things that happened after Dallas became Commodore was a letter he received from the City of Wayzata, saying they were upset with the club about something or other. “The letter was probably the 100th shot across our bow from the city, which is fairly common for any yacht club,” Dallas continued.

“We could have stomped our foot on the ground and said for the hundredth time that we have legal rights as grandfathered-in property, and we’re going to talk with our attorney. Instead, this time we decided to engage the city, because that was more in keeping with what we wanted the club to be, namely less insular and more community minded.”

“We want to be a valuable asset and resource to the community, so we started working with the city instead of telling them to stuff it. It was a long and challenging process. It continues to be that way and in all honestly it will probably stay that way. At the same time, I believe we are seeing significant improvement. Hopefully, 30, 40, or 50 years from now, we will look back and say, this is how Wayzata Yacht Club became one of the most cherished parts of this city, this community, and this lake.”

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