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Historic changes at club

Balboa Yacht Club, celebrating its 2012 opening day Saturday, will be led by a female commodore for the first time in its 90 years.

May 13, 2012|By Mona Shadia
  • Members of the Los Angeles Scots Pipe Band perform during opening day for Balboa Yacht Club's 90th anniversary Saturday.
Members of the Los Angeles Scots Pipe Band perform during… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

NEWPORT BEACH — The Balboa Yacht Club's 90th anniversary celebration, which coincided Saturday with its 2012 opening day, was different from others that came before it.

For the first time in its 90 years, the yacht club is led by a female commodore.

But Judi Gorski, who first joined more than 30 years ago after visiting the club with her roommate, doesn't feel different from any other commodores who have taken on the role before her, nor from any roles she's taken on throughout her life.

"I enjoy being a pioneer," she said.

Nonetheless, Gorski said she believes she will bring a unique touch to the club.

"Every woman does," she said.

Gorski — who retired as the vice resident of an international operation of a testing laboratory — is using her business background to set up a strategic business plan for the club.

The plan will look at ways to increase and retain the junior membership at the club, overall objectives around membership and planning for the club's centennial, among others, she said.

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The theme of the club's 90th anniversary is "A Voyage of Discovery" and Saturday's celebration brought hundreds to its Corona del Mar location, some who have been members for generations and others who practically grew up there.

Newport Beach resident Cameron Hausman was at the celebration along with his wife, mother and four girls.

Hausman, 32, said he's been a part of the club since he was a boy, sailing with his grandfather, who joined in 1970.

Hausman joined in 2009 at the advice of his grandfather, Gaston Ortiz.

"He told me if you want to keep coming, you have to join."

Hausman said the club is family oriented and a welcoming place for his daughters, who like to sail.

Saturday's festivities also included performances by bagpipers and the Southern California Children's Chorus.

mona.shadia@latimes.com

Twitter: @MonaShadia

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