When George and Barbie Paddick moved to Northwood 6 years ago from New York they needed to get into the seafaring life. Barbie chartered a sail boat for George’s birthday even though he had never been sailing before.
“I was thinking, oh boy, I don’t know about this,” George recalls from the breezy deck of the Sail Club’s home base on Flagler Drive. “But as soon as we were out on the water it was so beautiful I just thought, yeah I really love this. We were cruising along the ports and shore area and the charter Captain said ‘Well if you really like this there is the Palm Beach Sail Club right there.’ So literally the very next day I went to the club and asked about taking lessons. I took the course, fell in love with the club and the people here and bought a sail boat. It’s a really wonderful club and has become a big part of our lives.”
The Palm Beach Sail Club is the only true sail club in the county as opposed to the many Yacht Clubs that exist. It is dedicated to pure sailing small and large boats for all ages.
I met with the Head Commodore Joe Tringali, Vice Commodore George Paddick and former Commodore Lou Daniello at the club to get some history and hear some stories about this special little place.
“Well we’ve been in existence since 1966 but didn’t have an actual club until 1997,” says Joe as we chow down on Greek salads, wine and burgers at the Clubs outdoor café. “So next year will be our 50th Anniversary and we’re gearing up for some grand events. For many decades we just met at various restaurants or hotels but then in 1997 we were lucky enough to buy this property. It was an old estate from the 1920s with a big lawn straight out to the water. We like the charm of the house and grounds but have done some renovations over the years such as extending this big covered deck, taking down a covered garage from the parking lot and adding in a beachfront area with clean white sand and palm trees that used to just store boats.”
Commodore Joe knows his boats, he wrote the definitive book “Yachting Customs and Courtesies” in 2006 that is the go-to source for all things yachting and sailing.
The club has about 160 members now, they would like to add another 100 or so members, but have been addressing growing pains as that happens.
“Now we have a bar, a dining room and small kitchen. We would have to add a larger kitchen and restaurant as our membership grows,” Daniello adds.” And there’s talk of putting a second story on this long covered deck to house a glassed in restaurant. We also have a small boat house that could house a place to eat and a bar.”
The Palm Beach Sail Club Charts a Steady Course to Allow Experience the Joy of Sailing and Learning the Essential Elements of Boat Handling, and Seamanship.
George and Barbie took me out sailing recently – Barbie is an old friend from our 1990s South Beach days with a glamorous past as she was a dancer and showgirl who performed in Miami, Las Vegas, Paris and Japan. Now she works at the fabulous Tiffany store on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. We toured the Bay on their boat Salty Star, anchored at Peanut Island for some sandbar swimming and saw manatees, the main port and even Steve Jobs sleek enormous yacht that is all controlled with iPads. They pointed out some of the boats that Sail Club members live on full time, using the Sail Club as their main point of land entry and parking lot.
“What I really love here is that it’s a real club, people come to hang out and have birthday parties, watch sporting events on TV and just relax at the bar or on the beach,” says George who was voted in as Vice Commodore earlier this year in a formal dress ceremony that included firing an actual cannon.
The Club has a summer Sailing Class for kids aged 7 to 18 open to the public run by the perky and knowledgeable Diana where they learn the basics as well as advanced racing skills. The club owns 15 boats used for teaching. There are beautiful colored flags from clubs all over the world inside along with books and photos and all sorts of info on sailing.
As they gear up for the big 50th Anniversary next year, an event that will include galas, barbecues and races, the club members are proud of the past and excited for the future. It’s a real jewel of a place that sees clear sailing into the future.
From seafaring to seafood, the 2015 Maestro del Mar Chefs Challenge Series is now shaping up to be a unique lineup of chefs and locations.
The Challenge’s will kickoff on June 24th in the host city of West Palm Beach at Wine Scene. Chef Fritz Cassel of Hullabaloo makes his return and will be joined by executive chef Robert Mauro from the new Whole Foods Market in West Palm, as well as Chef Roberto Villegas from Table 427 Northwood and Joe Ferro from Table 26 Palm Beach.
This years’ line up of top culinary talents will be cooking up some stellar cuisine. The passes for the chefs challenge series come with entrance to the event, a commemorative catalog with all the chefs and locations. Guests will be able to meet and watch each chef battle for glory as they sample delicious recipes from each restaurant, enjoy refreshing beverages including wine, beer, and cocktails from various top shelf sponsors. It’s a great chance to mingle with friends new and old while exploring the art installations in the restaurant, front gallery and outdoor garden. A DJ will be playing great dance music throughout what promises to be a beautiful evening. Get tickets early as there is only a limited amount for each event scheduled and this challenge looks like it will sell out quickly. Go here for more info: www.feastofthesea.com