Kids Learn to Sail!
50th Reunion Photo Album
The West End Racing Club, located at 87 Commercial St., is one of Provincetown's well kept secrets. It is a non-profit sailing club for children ages 8-16 providing lessons and equipment for a seasonal registration fee of $50. The Club is open to town children and visitors alike, a beach counselor is on duty at all times. Regular hours are 9-noon, 1-4pm weekdays in July and August varying with the weather and tides. To help support the Club, the children sell raffle tickets, toward the end of the season, for a variety of donated items.
Begun in 1950 as a loosely organized gang of kids congregating at 'Flyer's beach', it soon became apparent to a number of parents that more boats and a proper Club House were needed. Francis Santos, Larry Richmond, Richard Santos, Frank Rogers, Joe Andrews, Fillmore Miller and Will Hurlburt joined together to solidify a common goal. To give kids in Provincetown an opportunity to learn how to sail and enrich their lives with nautical knowledge and experience. During the winters several of these handy fathers built small boats called 'Weasels' from kits and the fleet began to grow. Calling on the generosity of local artists, paintings, drawings and sculptures were donated and raffles were held raising enough money to buy the waterfront property where the Club is today. As the kids grew, so did the fleet with the addition of five Blue Jays built by Larry Richmond, Dick Santos and Lloyd Atwood.
Regularly scheduled hours were instituted, Richard Santos became the beach counselor and races were held almost daily wind and tide permitting. Kids learned everything from swimming to knot tying with time left over for some major fooling around. Neighborhood regulars included Wendy Everett who would lounge idly on the beach enjoying conversation and sunshine with other locals. Wendy's keen powers of observation and skill at drawing were inspired by all the sailing activity going on daily. She designed and crafted an annual calendar that was sent to all members in the winter reminding everyone of the year's noteworthy events. The accompanying illustrations are photos of a breadbox Wendy handpainted depicting various characters and memories of the early days at the West End Racing Club.
The Club has endured and been nurtured. Through the continued efforts of 'Flyer' Santos, his family and many others, enrollment has never been higher. Thanks to Ann Maguire, teeshirt sales are a huge success. With a legacy that includes multiple generations of families, the West End Racing Club is proud of its heritage and its contribution to this small coastal town. In an effort to reunite many of us who have fond memories of our years growing up at the Club, a celebration was held commemorating the 50th REUNION on Sunday August 13, 2000, designated West End Racing Club Day in a proclamation by the town's Board of Selectmen. Read all about it in the Provincetown Banner or check out a photo collage of the 50th Reunion.
Read an informative article about the West End Racing Club in the Provincetown Banner, July 24, 1997.
Download an interview
with Larry Richmond in the Provincetown Banner on August 12, 1976 which
is archived on the Provincetown
History Project's website
Larry and Dick
Raising the frame
From the beach
Art for Raffle
Remember this poster for the club picnic that Wendy Everett made??? These are the 'kids' who signed up!
Click here for a map and directions.
For general information or to order a WERC teeshirt, contact Susan Avellar
This webpage designed and © copyright by Lauren Richmond and updated on July 30, 2012