The Marathon Yacht Club, which bills itself as “The Friendliest Club in Florida,” celebrated its 70th anniversary on April 23 with a gathering that included dinner, dancing and history presentations. In fact, the club’s story does have some intriguing tidbits: The property was originally part of a large tract of land owned by the Florida East Coast Railway Company, and the club was formed on April 24, 1951, with 24 members present, one of whom was Elliott Roosevelt, son of the late president Franklin D. Roosevelt. And in May 1978, the members took on an ambitious journey: a cruise to Veradero, Cuba. The planning was done in secret to avoid unwanted attention from the many Cuban activist groups in Miami at the time. The members sailed in groups, and a total of 51 boats and 231 people made the 94-mile crossing for a 10-day stay in Cuba.
Current Commodore Bill Warner says the club has other priorities, as well. “It’s about the social experience and the atmosphere,” he said. “We do yachting, but it’s the social experience. That’s what it’s all about.”