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. The club was admitted to the Gulf Yachting Association (GYA) in 1922.  Inactivity set in during the Depression years and continued through World War II and into the late 1940's.

In 1949 the club was reorganized by a group of yachtsmen and civic leaders, with John E. Bell, Jr. serving as commodore. 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, 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. The club has produced national champions in a variety of classes, as well as three winners of the U.S. Men's National Championship, in addition to numerous collegiate All-American sailors.

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.

NOTE: Compiled from various sources by Commodore Walter Chamberlain '87
Revised 8/2008 by Commodore Michael D. Chapoton ‘01
Revised 4/2011 by Commodore Edgar W. Santa Cruz Jr. ’82 & ‘83

  • 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
      2014 Claude H. Dannehann Jr.
      2015 Richard S. "Boo" Heausler
      2016 Rowe S. Crowder III, M.D.
      2017 Dina Hitt Rosetti

      Former & Current 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*

      Should anyone have names and information related to 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

#1 Yacht Club Drive. Bay Saint Louis, MS 39520 (228) 467-4592
30° 19' 30" N - 89° 19' 32" W
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