MRSA was organized in 1974 as a sailing club for sailors living on the Magothy River. It was the outgrowth of the El Toro Fleet 66 – a fleet of eight-foot sailing/racing dinghies. In 1974 there were more sailors on the Magothy than could be accommodated by the two existing clubs, the Gibson Island Yacht Squadron and the Potapskut Sailing Association. To race in inter-club events sanctioned by the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association, membership in a CBYRA member club is required.
At the annual meeting of CBYRA in the fall of 1974, MRSA became a provisional member club and a full member club the following year. The requirements included demonstrating that MRSA had a racing program, a training program for Race Committees and a junior training program. Because it has no physical facilities, MRSA has an unlimited membership open to all supporting its objectives.
Although organized primarily as a racing club, MRSA quickly attracted cruising sailors and has a large representation of those interested in racing, cruising and day sailing. MRSA has a long history of training juniors and getting the support of adult members to help with the training. Race committee seminars have trained many race committee crews to conduct the races it sponsors. The Junior Training Program has followed the US Sailing/CBYRA format. MRSA cruises have been organized each year by the Cruising Committee which sponsors a Cruise Planning party early each year to plan the season’s cruises. Early cruises were fairly short; but in recent years, a long cruise of Virginia’s Rappahannock and Piankatank rivers and Cape May, NJ, are planned. Members volunteer to lead each cruise. They have helped new cruisers learn about rafting, anchoring and cruising skills.
From the beginning, MRSA has sponsored Wednesday evening racing on the River in cooperation with Gibson Island, Potapskut Sailing Association and the Yacht Club of Cape St. Claire. Because the majority of those racing Wednesday evenings are MRSA members, the club plans and organizes the Wednesday night racing series as well as the Trophy Party that concludes the racing program. The Magothy River Sailing Association is managed by its membership through an elected Board of Governors. MRSA membership meetings have been held once a month, except in July and August, to conduct regular business and provide a social gathering. For detailed business and reports, the Board of Governors meets once a month year round. It has been a tradition of MRSA that any member may attend any Board meeting to discuss the activities of his or her committee or to discuss special business. The Board meets at the Severna Park library, and meetings typically last from 1900 hours to 2030 hours.
MRSA members have always been encouraged to join committees representing their interests and to chair those committees. Traditionally, the club officers each year have been chosen from members who have been active on committees. MRSA members — new, old, or prospective — have always been invited to share not only their enthusiasm for sailing but also years of knowledge and both racing and cruising experiences with all the other members.