The Coast News Group
Boats in the Opening Day parade are judged on flag display, crew attire and salute. Opening Day has been held at Oceanside Yacht Club for 53 years. Photo by Promise Yee
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Oceanside Yacht Club readies for Opening Day

OCEANSIDE — On April 3, a boat parade and call from the yacht club commodore that the harbor is free from ice will mark Opening Day and officially begin the boating season.

Oceanside Yacht Club has held a judged boat parade on Opening Day since the club started 53 years ago. Boats are scored on the proper display of signal flags. Boat crews get points for wearing expected attire of a blue blazer and white slacks, and giving a salute as they pass judges.

Boaters sometimes add a bit of whimsy and humor, such as spelling out a fun message with signal flags, which represent alphabet letters.

Following the parade yacht club officers are recognized, and parade winners are announced.

Opening Day traditions originated on the East Coast, and are practiced by most yacht clubs. Neighboring clubs select different weekends to hold their ceremonies. Boaters try to attend regional Opening Days to show their support.

Locally there are 11 yacht clubs that participate. Navy Yacht Club San Diego was the first club to celebrate Opening Day on March 6, Oceanside Yacht Club is second, and Coronado Yacht Club is set to finish up celebrations on May 22.

Oceanside Yacht Club’s Opening Day takes place at the yacht club April 3 and begins at noon. The public is welcome to attend.

April is also the start of spring sabot sailing classes for adults and juniors, ages 8 to 16. Classes begin April 16.

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