Marco Island Yacht Club installs new officers


On Saturday, the Marco Island Yacht Club held its annual gala event, the Change of Watch and Commodore’s Ball.

New officers of the bridge, a nautical term for center of operations, were installed at the formal change of watch ceremony, which was held outdoors in the courtyard and included a colors ceremony, transfer of command ceremony and concluded with the singing of “God Bless America.”

The 2019 Marco Island Yacht Club bridge officers were installed at the traditional change of watch ceremony on Jan. 19. From left, front: Vice Commodore Ray Rosenberg, Commodore Jeff Comeaux and Rear Commodore Geoff Walker; second: Sail Fleet Captain Dwyn von Bereghy, Port Captain Jill Kiley and Safety & Training Officer Trevor Haworth; back: Chaplain Alan Sandlin, Power Fleet Captain Pete Frazier and Secretary Chuck Downton.

During Saturday’s event, outgoing Commodore Bob Winterhalter handed over command to the new Commodore, Jeff Comeaux. This transfer was signified by a change ceremony that lowered the past commodore’s burgee (triangular flag) and replaced it with the new commodore’s burgee. 

The Marco Island Yacht Club Commodore has overall responsibility for the cruising fleets, sailing regattas, boating programs and events and matters relating to the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs. In accepting his command, Commodore Comeaux agreed to uphold the MIYC mission to “Provide an extraordinary Member experience of boating, social events and dining in a warm and beautiful club setting where friendships flourish.”

Outgoing Commodore Bob Winterhalter, right, administers the oath to incoming Commodore Jeff Comeaux as part of the change of watch ceremony at the Marco Island Yacht Club. Past Commodores and members of the 2019 Bridge participated in the event.

Boating has been a big part of Commodore Comeaux’s life for the last four decades. When he lived in Chicago, he was a USCG certified Captain and was a competitive sailboat racer on Lake Michigan, competing in 26 Mac Races, the renowned 333-mile race from Chicago to Mackinac Island, Michigan. His Beneteau First 42, “Outrageous,” and subsequent Beneteau, "Mojo,” were frequently in the winner’s circle. Since moving to Marco Island, he has switched to power boating, focusing more heavily on his love of fishing and started a very popular Fishing Club within MIYC.

Marco Island Yacht Club members attending the Commodore’s Ball enjoyed a gourmet meal prepared by Executive Chef Bob Aylwin and later danced to the music of the Classics II.  Pictured clockwise from the left, Dick and Grace Pantano, Kathy and David Caruso, Sandy Wallen, Margot Roberts, Bill Wallen and Angela and Jon Holt.

Following the installation of the new officers, the festivities moved inside for dinner and dancing at the Commodore’s Ball, held in the beautiful Harbour Dining Room, overlooking the yacht basin, Marco River, and the Jolley Bridge. Past Commodore Bob Winterhalter greeted the quests, thanked everyone for their support over the past year of his command and wished the new Commodore good luck in the year ahead. 

After enjoying dinner prepared by Executive Chef Bob Aylwin, the club members and their guests danced to the music of the Classics II.