Bill Peterson



There were still a few members involved in racing, but they eventually lost their racing judge when he retired. Bruce Nicole, Charlie Erickson, Peterson and other AIYC members, who were also members of the WYC, tried to pump the club up. But the AIYC members weren’t buying it. Budgeting issues became serious, and they would not let members provide up-front money for their annual Race Week. Peterson and others felt they were being squeezed out.

… About that same time, Peterson went to out to Newport Station in Newport, Rhode Island and watched yacht racing there. What he soon learned was that club was owned and operated by the New York Yacht Club.

“Charlie & I were talking about that when all of a sudden we had an ‘ah-ha” moment,’”


“We don’t have a club house facility like the one at the Wayzata Yacht Club,” Peterson said, “but we do have a great place to meet and socialize; and it’s called the Bayfield Inn. The establishment was bought a number of years ago by David and Kim West, who remodeled the place and let us use their facility, because they had a passion for sailing themselves.”

… The welcoming environment gives everybody a chance to gather in one place after a race, share stories, and award trophies. It’s no different than the WYC on Thursday evenings with the number of people, camaraderie and excitement about racing. “And it gets pretty loud in there”


“I think one of the big achievements the Wayzata Yacht Club has done is the Sailing School,” Peterson said. “We do the same thing here in Bayfield by providing ongoing support for North Coast Community Sailing (NCCS), an all-volunteer organization that is similar to the Wayzata Community Sailing Center.”

The AIS for years has donated a portion of profits from its Race Week events to the NCCS to teach adults and youths how to sail. In addition, the AIS also contributes to the Wayzata program. “I think this is by far the big thing that both groups can be doing to support sailing into the future,” he continued.

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