Ocean Springs Yacht Club To Stay The Course - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ocean Springs Yacht Club To Stay The Course

The building may be gone, but the Ocean Springs Yacht Club is still around and looking forward to the future.

This weekend the yacht club hosted the 22nd annual Slip To Ship Regatta.

Members say it was the club's first major event since Hurricane Katrina and an important step forward. 

It was a race, but there were no losers.  

Whether they finished first, second, or dead last, the Ocean Springs Yacht Club was grateful to everyone who sailed in the Slip To Ship Regatta.

Carroll Kovacevich is a long time member.

"Our yacht club is a big family. We're all family. We have friends not only from Ocean Springs and the Mississippi Coast, but from all over Texas and Louisiana. For everybody to show up is like a family gathering. You feel like your family is supporting you in your rebuilding efforts," he said.

Hurricane Katrina may have destroyed the clubhouse but not the spirit of it's members.

Vice Commodore Dennis Furey said "It's broken my heart to look down over to the yacht club and see pilings, debris and then just a vacant lot. When I came down Saturday morning to start these races, to see the parking lot full of boats, cars and tents and everything else. It really gave me the sense that we were coming back and we're ready for the future."

Repeat competitors accustomed to the usual comforts like indoor plumbing found a very different experience this year. 

"It's fine," said Florida's Mike Wilson. "We still have the water and the beach that's the main part of the thing anyway. We still have the sailing and the beach is great."

Members say the Yacht Club will be built back. In the meantime, they'll look to each other for strength

"The yacht club is not the physical plant. It's not the property," said Furey. "It's a group of individuals who love the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Love what we have here."

"I think the love of the water is in our blood," said Kovacevich. "I think when we die and they cut us open they're going to find blood and saltwater."

The Ocean Springs Yacht Club plans to build back at it's previous location, however, members aren't sure about when it will be built or what it will look like.

by Danielle Thomas

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