Unless you are an "old timer" on the Dana Point racing scene, you may not have known Howard Trueba. To a few of us Howard was a very special friend. Howard raced a Cal 25 named Nasty, and he started racing in Dana Point as a novice. He didn't win at first, but he (and we) knew he would before long. Howard was a winner. He loved challenges and he knew what they were about. He raced, he learned, he practiced, he sought advice, and he raced again until he was consistently out in front.
Howard was a young man. He loved life. He won regattas and friends. He brightened the world for those who knew him. Then cancer gave him a new challenge. Even though it eventually took his life, his optimism and spirit prevailed until the day he died. He is fondly remembered by those who knew him.
Several of Howard's friends dedicated a trophy in his memory and to commemorate his competitive spirit. This trophy is awarded each year to the winner of the Dana Point Harbor Championship Regatta ~ a regatta appropriately restricted to proven winners. Winning this trophy should be the objective of any Dana Point yacht racer.
This trophy and the Harbor Championships are a tradition that was established by the Capistrano Bay Yacht Club. Unfortunate circumstances forced the end of Capo Bay Yacht Club in 1998. At that time, a group of dedicated racers and friends of Howard from both Capo Bay and Dana Point Yacht Clubs got together to ensure the tradition of the Harbor Championship and the spirit of the Howard Trueba Memorial Trophy endured. Those individuals included, Don Becker, Carlos Williams, David Cooper, Pat Shoemaker, Jim Perkins and Dick Holmes. In 1998 Capistrano Bay Yacht Club formally deeded the "Trophy" to Dana Point Yacht Club and that year became the first that DPYC hosted the Harbor Championships.
After several years of discussion, in 2009 the Dana Point Yacht Club Board convened a committee to review the Deed of Gift with the primary consideration being to potentially expand the number of races in the Harbor Champs. The review committee, chaired by John Berry, included Jack Taylor, Pat Shoemaker, Carlos Williams and Cindy Wynne. After discussions the committee set forth an amended Deed of Gift which included expanding the number of races of the Harbor Championship Regatta from three to five with the provision that four of the five races be either windward-leeward or Olympic style race courses. The amended Deed of Gift was presented to the DPYC Board and on August 19, 2009 it was approved by the Board and signed by Commodore Andy Fuller.
In December of 2016 the Deed of Gift was further amended to eliminate the need of a trophy being awarded for the First Place finish in order to qualify for the Harbor Champs.