Club History


The Bay-Waveland Yacht Club was founded in 1896. Newspapers of the day describe its first annual regatta and the name of its commodore, a gentleman named T. R. Richardson. The clubhouse, constructed at a cost of $2,500 and described as a double story over the water with "water works and departments for accommodations of ladies as well as gentlemen," was opened in 1897 with “a ball in grand style.”

In 1901 the BWYC became a charter member of the Southern Gulf Coast Yachting Association, but a hurricane destroyed the club's facility in 1915, resulting in decreased activity and no dues collection.

The BWYC was reorganized in 1921 as the Bay-Waveland Yacht and Athletic Club and admitted to the Gulf Yachting Association in 1922. Inactivity set in during the Depression years and continued through World War II and into the late 1940's. The club was reorganized again in 1949 by a group of yachtsmen and civic leaders, with John E. Bell, Jr. serving as commodore, and the clubhouse was built on the present location. The 1949 building was completely destroyed, along with many members’ homes on August 29, 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. The current, greatly improved clubhouse was dedicated on July 1, 2008.

In 1963 BWYC won its first Junior, and also its first Senior Lipton title. Today, club members are active regionally and nationally as both competitors and administrators. Club members are proud to be part of the long tradition of yachting on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a way of life that has survived hurricanes, wars, epidemics, and hard times.

Compiled from various sources by Commodore Walter Chamberlain '87
(Revised 8/2008 mdc) 

BWYC 2005 Pre-Katrina

BWYC 2005 Pre-Katrina

Former Commodores


Former Commodores since reorganization in 1949 

1949 John E. Bell, Jr.*
1950 John E. Bell, Jr.*
1951 Robert L. Camors*
1952 Robert L. Camors*
1953 Henry B. Chapman*
1954 Norman A. Renshaw*
1955 J. Alvin Weinfurter*
1956 Henry B. Chapman*
1957 Norman A. Renshaw*
1958 Donald L. Chamberlain*
1959 Charles J. Lozano*
1960 J. E. Erwin*
1961 Kenneth W. Pepperdene*
1962 Kenneth W. Pepperdene*
1963 Kenneth W. Pepperdene*
1963 Richard I. Hadden*
1964 Richard E. Reeves*
1965 Richard E. Reeves*
1966 Edward M. Heath, Jr.*
1967 Wesley L. McFarland, M.D.
1968 William R. Gordon*
1969 William R. Gordon*
1970 Emile P. Larroux*
1971 William B. Whitfield
1972 William B. Whitfield
1973 Hardin Shattuck*
1973 Ray H. Stieffel, Jr.
1974 Ray H. Stieffel, Jr.
1975 Walter A. Gehrke*
1976 Walter A. Gehrke*
1977 James R. Shadoin*
1978 Maurice F. Eagan*
1979 Lucien M. Gex, Jr.*
1980 Lucien M. Gex, Jr.*
1981 Charles A. Breath, III

Former Gulf Yachting Association Commodores from BWYC

1904 John A. Rawlins*
1909 E. J. Bowers*
1957 J. Alvin Weinfurter*
1967 Henry B. Chapman*
1982 Henry G. Chapman
1992 Basil T. Kennedy
1997 Frank C. Allen, Jr.*
2002 Walter G. Chamberlain*
2009 Judith J. Reeves

Former & Present U. S. Sailing Association Board Members from BWYC

Former Walter G. Chamberlain*

Former & Present Members of BWYC who have been Commodores of other Yacht Clubs

Former Fabian K. Fromherz
Former Thomas W. Shepard, Jr.
Present Ralph W. Pringle
Former Frank C. Allen, Jr.*
Former Eugene H. Walet, III 




1982 Edgar W. Santa Cruz, Jr.
1983 Edgar W. Santa Cruz, Jr.
1984 John E. Bell, III
1985 Frank C. Allen, Jr.*
1986 Basil T. Kennedy
1987 Walter G. Chamberlain*
1988 Peter A. Morrill
1989 Randolph C. Bourgeois
1990 Mark A. Uram
1991 Frederick L. Eagan, Jr.
1992 William B. Whitfield
1993 Anthony Trapani, Jr.*
1994 Van Ness Tanner *
1995 Clement S. Benvenutti
1996 Henry Martinez
1997 Alexander M. Crighton, Jr.*
1998 Roy Terry Markel
1999 John R. Adams
2000 Judith J. Reeves
2001 Michael D. Chapoton
2002 John C. Hadden
2003 Camors C. Roth
2004 Henry C. Magee, III
2005 Michael D. Haas, Jr.
2006 Tucker E. Dawson, Jr.
2007 Bernard J. Wolfe
2008 Judith J. Reeves
2009 Michael J. Carron
2010 Christopher F. Trapani
2011 John R. Santa Cruz
2012 Lucien M. Gex, III
2013 Cary A. Trapani


Former & Presently Serving Elected Mississippi Coast Yachting Association Commodores from BWYC

1951 Henry B. Chapman*
2001 and 2002 Lawrence B. Stieffel
2003 and 2004 Basil T. Kennedy
2010 and 2011 Henry G. Chapman
2012 Walter G. Chamberlain*

This list was prepared by the Regatta Committee for the 50th MCYA Chapman Regatta in 1999 and last updated April 20, 2014. Should anyone have names and information on Commodores of Bay-Waveland Yacht Club prior to 1949, please contact BWYC Historian Woody Santa Cruz at (228) 224-0112 or by email at

Former Commodores from 1896 to reorganization in 1949

1896 T. R. Richardson*
1898 Louis F. Leonhard *
1902 E. J. Bowers*
1903 John A. Rawlins*
1921 Ernest J. Leonhard*
1922 Ernest J. Leonhard*

This list was started in April of 2008. Should anyone have names and information on Commodores of Bay-Waveland Yacht Club prior to 1949, please contact BWYC Historian 2010 Woody Santa Cruz at (228) 224-0112 or by email at