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EIGHT BELLS - Charles F. Hathaway
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Jan 14, 2013, 10:05 AM

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EIGHT BELLS - Charles F. Hathaway Log-In to Post/Reply

On January 7, the Southern California yachting community lost a thoughtful voice, an inspirational leader and a good friend when Charles F. Hathaway succumbed to pneumonia and related complications. He was 86.

A prominent figure in the Los Angeles business community for many decades, his proudest achievement was leading the re-founding of the California Yacht Club in 1961. After CYC was shuttered by the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII, Hathaway, along with a small handful of other businessmen, took a risk by sub-leasing some space on the then dusty flats of Marina del Rey, and led its development into the world-class yacht club that it is today. In the early 1960s, Hathaway also helped spearhead the creation of the Association of Santa Monica Bay Yacht Clubs, and served as its commodore in 1964. In 1987 his own beloved California Yacht Club named him their Honorary Commodore in perpetuity.

Hathaway was an able and courageous seaman, winner of many important yacht races and regattas, and explored many of the world’s oceans on a wide array of sail and power boats. In 1976, for his 50th birthday, Charles pioneered endurance rowing in Southern California by completing the first known solo crossing from Catalina Island to Marina del Rey in his beloved fixed-seat ocean dory, Fritz. Five years later he repeated the same row, laced up his shoes and ran to Riviera Country Club, then rode his bicycle downtown to the Los Angeles Athletic Club, to complete the first triathlon of that type in Southern California. In 1984, at age 58, he rowed Fritz from Santa Barbara to Marina del Rey, an astounding open ocean distance of 72 nautical miles.

Hathaway is survived by his siblings Frank Hathaway, Barbara Wolff, and Sylvia Eisenberg, and a large and loving family, including his wife Patricia, their five children Steven Hathaway, Rebecca Halladay, Thomas Hathaway, Sally Miller, and Robin Luley, their spouses and 13 grandchildren. A memorial service is pending. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Catalina Island Conservancy.

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