2014-2015 Flag Officers
Commodore: Jonathan Knowles: “I’ve been involved with boating for as long as I can remember. I come from a long ancestry of sailors: My Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Captain Winslow Knowles, commanded several ships in the Valparaiso and South American trade in the early 1800’s; my Great‐Great Grandfather, Josiah N. Knowles was a Clipper Ship Captain from Brewster, MA and master of the ships “Wild Wave,” “Kentuckian,” “Charger ” and “Glory of the Seas” from the 1850′s‐1890′s; Great‐Grandfather Henry Josiah Knowles ran whaling and maritime businesses in San Francisco; Grandfather Josiah N. Knowles was a naval commander in the South Pacific during WWII; and my father, Josiah N. Knowles Jr. was avid sailor/racer and Port Captain at the San Francisco Yacht Club. For the past 10 years, I’ve cruised the local waters with my family on our 34’ sailboat, have raced my Etchells weekly, and have crewed on other boats at major regional races and regattas.
Jonathan has served as Fleet Captain, Rear Commodore and Vice Commodore. He is an advocate for Youth Sailing and is a member of the Bellingham Sailing Foundation board.
Vice Commodore: Captain Mick Corcoran Mick has been involved with the club since 1987 and a member since 2000. Mick has been an active sailing racer for many years in various events throughout Puget Sound with his first boat Shillalagh, and his current boat Blackfoot. He has done the Vic-Maui race on Kismet in 1996, Charlemagne in 2000, and GIA in 2004.
He served as Sailing Fleet Captain three times and chaired and assisted with the PITCH committee for a number of years. In 2005, Mick was certified as a race management PRO and has assisted with the Dale Jepsen One Design Regatta, W.O.W. Regatta, Etchells Regatta, and the Jr. Regatta.
Mick has also volunteered in many areas throughout the club including Club Scrub, Tending Bar, The Policy and Planning Committee, Nominating Committee, and Trophy Chairman for the sailing fleets.
As sailing fleet captain Mick was required to meet with the board to keep them apprised of what was happening with the sailing fleet, propose budgets, and establish the schedule. Mick served as a trustee in 2009. He has also served as Fleet Captain and Rear Commodore.
Rear Commodore: Neil Bennett Neil has been ‘boating’ since growing up on Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island, WA, when, at the age of 8, an old, half sunk rowboat floated up on the beach prompting his dad and him to patch it up and row it around the bay. Next was sailing lessons in the Port Madison Pram, then one thing lead to another, and pretty soon he was a Non Resident BYC member in the late 1990’s and now with sailboat, Garufa, a Freedom 32, shared with his wife Michele.
Over the years he has sailed in Prince William Sound in Alaska, Tonga, from St. Maarten to the Mississippi River, Vic-Maui in 2004, 20 years of racing in Puget Sound doing just about every regatta possible…more Swiftsure’s than he can remember, 2 Oregon Offshores…on J 30’s, J 35’s and J109’s, as well as cruising Puget Sound, the San Juans and Gulf Islands on Garufa. He enjoys both the relaxation of cruising and the excitement of racing. He is not all about sailing, but rather about boating (or yachting). Neil has friends with powerboats with whom he has shared many a good adventure as well as a vibrant discussion about the hydrodynamics of wakes… and enjoys their creature comforts as well. To every purpose there is a season.
Neil has served on the BYC Board of Trustees and as Fleet Captain. He chaired the PITCH Regatta for several years and this past year was instrumental in creating the Pink Boat Regatta in Bellingham, a benefit regatta for Brest Cancer.
Fleet Captain: Donna Olsen Donna’s sea story begins with growing up in Alaska. She was born on an island in Akutan, Alaska, a village of under a hundred people where we flew in by sea plane or came in by boat. Her family then moved to the City of King Cove, Alaska of 1000 people. She has many fond memories of taking the Alaska State Ferry to Seattle, WA after fishing season. Donna established a part-time residence in Bellingham, WA in 1992, living in Alaska ten months out of the year and Bellingham two months out of the year. She decided to move to Bellingham in 1995 and discovered how great it is to live here permanently. She bought a 28’ Erwin sailboat and has been cruising the San Juan Islands since. She and her husband Keith Olsen bought B&J Fiberglass, LLC in 2006 where they build, fabricate, and repair boats. Donna volunteered for Wednesday night Race Committee prior to joining the BYC and later joined the Club on Opening Day.
Since 2011, Donna has volunteered on Tuesday night Race Committee, Wednesday night Race Committee, as a Mark Boat driver, assisted in scoring Tuesday and Wednesday racing, as Sailing Fleet Secretary for procuring Coast Guard permits for racing and actively crews on Hravn a J33 on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Donna is also a volunteer Bartender, has volunteered in many Club Social and Boating Programs and as co-chair of the Membership Committee. Donna also served one year on the Board of Trustees before being elected to Fleet Captain. She has also donated time and materials to the BYC Youth Sailing program repairing J24s and FJs.
Immediate Past Commodore Michele Bodtke: Michele has been a member of BYC since 2005, During that time she has served on the race committee and as a US Sailing certified PRO for club racing and sponsored regattas: Etchells, PITCH, and One Design. She has raced her sailboat Spartanwith an all women crew and has crewed for others. Michele served four years as the membership chair before being elected as Fleet Captain in 2010 and then Rear Commodore. She has participated in club scrubs and have been a volunteer bartender for six years. She has also enjoyed club activities: Commodore’s Picnic, Opening Day, Lighted Boat Parade, Friday’s at Five and other raft-up weekends at Inati Bay. As a member of the Bellingham Power and Sail Squadron, Michele has taken many boater education classes, including advanced piloting. She enjoys cruising and the camaraderie of boating with good friends. “Being active in the boating community in Bellingham has enriched my life in many ways – we have a wonderful boating jewel at our doorstep.”
2014-2015 Board of Trustees
Second Year Trustees:
First Year Trustees: