After almost 40 years on Port Jefferson Harbor, an area yacht club is changing its name.
The Setauket Yacht Club announced on Thursday that it is now called Port Jefferson Yacht Club, paying tribute to the area that has been its home since 1977.
According to a press release from Port Jefferson Village, the yacht club’s members overwhelmingly approved the name change.
The announcement comes about a week ahead of the Village Cup Regatta, an annual boat race between the village and John T. Mather Memorial Hospital — in which the yacht club participates — that raises money for pancreatic cancer research.
“We have been a part of the Port Jeff community for many years and it was time for us to embrace our ties with the local residents, businesses and the wonderful harbor,” yacht club Commodore John Ciarelli said. “We feel a special bond to the village and wanted to reflect that in our name.”
Since moving from Setauket to Port Jefferson, the club, which was founded in 1959, has been based on Surf Avenue Pass Way, behind the Port Jefferson Village Center off East Broadway. It offers a summer sailing program and services such as launches to moorings.
According to the village press release, the renaming also coincides with a new type of membership program for special activities, aimed at people who need a place to store smaller watercraft like kayaks, canoes or paddle boards.
“We want to be the portal for the enjoyment of the harbor for the greater Port Jeff and Brookhaven community,” Ciarelli said. “We provide a broad spectrum of waterfront activities, including being the home of the Stony Brook University sailing and rowing teams.”
The Village Cup Regatta will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, at Port Jefferson Harbor. Music will start around 10 a.m. at the harborfront park near the Port Jefferson Village Center, and the traditional parade of boats will begin an hour later.
In that memorial parade of boats, the sailboats racing in the regatta will cruise past with special banners and nautical flags. Following the race, the Village Cup will be presented to the winning team in the Village Center.
This year’s race ambassadors are actor Ralph Macchio, known for his roles in “The Karate Kid,” “My Cousin Vinny” and “The Outsiders,” and husband of a Mather Hospital nurse; and Maurice DuBois, a CBS news anchor.
In the four races held in the five years since the regatta was founded, Port Jefferson Village won the first three and Mather won the fourth, making the hospital the current cup holder.