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50's Ocean Racing in S.Cal.


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As memories and photos fade, it's not too late to recall a vibrant ocean racing scene in S. Cal during the 50's.  The fleet was mostly wood, with good looking overhangs, varnished spars, South Coast winches and Watts Sails, red lead bottom paint, Kenyons and RDF's for navigation. NALU II won the '59 Transpac with sacrificial chickens aboard, and GOODWILL carried a crew of 51.  HILARIA never had an engine, and SALLY and SIRIUS were the prettiest 10 meters in the world.

  As a kid I crewed on our family Lapworth 36 and was in awe of the diverse designs and characters who sailed them.  Here is a recollection of some of the fleet.  For every boat or personality recalled, there are a dozen more with matching stories to be told.

ALTAMAR, ANTIGUA, AKAHI, ATORRANTE (go Burke!), ANDALE, AMORITA, TEMPEST, KITTEN, ESCAPADE, CHOLITA, VALENTINE, CHUBASCO, CAROUSEL, COTTON BLOSSOM, BUTCHER BOY, BARLOVENTO, CHERRIO. 

Alex Irving, Barney Huber, George Griffith, Ash Bown, Peggy Slater, George Fleitz, Clark Sweet, Hale Field, Chuck Ullman, Porter Sinclair, Pappy Allen.

 DASHER, DANCER, VIXEN, MADCAP, MARA, CASSANDRA, HOLIDAY, COQUILLE, CALIFIA, GALATEA, JADA, JINKER, GAMIN, HANAHULI, KIRAWAN, GOOD NEWS, BONNIE DOONE, KELPIE, FREEDOM, HILARIA, JADA, KIALOA, KAMALII, BAGATELLE, LANDFALL, LEGEND, FLYING SCOTCHMAN (Lapworth's first design), LEDA, MORNING STAR, NAM SANG, NOVIA DEL MAR, SANTANA, NELLY BLY, RED WITCH.

Gene Wells, Fred Smales, Willard Bell, Gabe Giannini, Jack Hedden, George Sturgis, Prent Fulmour, Dick Steele, Goldie Joseph, Peter Grant, Clark Sweet, Ray Wallace.

ODYSSEY, NALU II, FLYING CLOUD, MARIE AMELIE, ORIENT, QUEEN MAB, HUSSY, REBEL, RENEGADE, STARLIGHT, SEA DRIFT, SANTANA, SERENA, SOLILOQUY, SERENADE, STAGHOUND,, ISLANDER, SIRIUS, SPARKLE, SALLY, WINDWARD, WHITE CAPS, WESTWARD HO, CONSTELLATION, WESTWARD, LANDFALL, PIONEER, DOUBLE EAGLE, PURITAN, RESOLUTE, SILOUETTE, TANTALUS, L'APACHE, SEA WITCH, SHEARWATER, WOOLHARA (honorary powerboat), BRANTA, RAVEN, Y COMO.

 Not a spade rudder yet to be seen. 

ALERT, MICKEY, LARK, FLAMBOUYANT, SALUDA, QUEST, VIXEN, NARRAGANSETT, SUNDA, CRITERION, ROLAND VON BREMEN, BONGO, DEBRA, CHIRIQUI, DIABLO, CELEBES, NORDLYS, QUEST, FAIR WEATHER, MAI TAI, SKYLARK, GULLMAR, TYPEE, GROOTE BEER, SANDPIPER, DAUNTLESS, QUEEN MAB, ESCAPADE the big blue yawl, DIABLO,

K-38's, PCC's, K-40's, L/36's, Cal 32's, Newporter Ketches, PBY's, Ohlson 35's, Owens Cutters, Vikings, Snowbirds.

Skip Calkins, Carl Chapman, Rolly Kalayjian, Bill Lapworth, Bob Barneson, Gordon Curtis. Paul Cook, Gerry Driscoll, Bob Dickson, Ernest (Shorty) Alderman, Humphrey Bogart, Fred Schenck.

Marina del Rey hadn't been dug, Dana Point was still the best point break on the Coast, and Race Committees had difficulty locating the 14 Mile Bank for the weather mark. Not to forget the rock on the layline, 50 yards inside the Pt.Fermin red buoy. Buck Ayres at Lido Shipyard kept a dedicated sledgehammer for straightening lead keels.

Least we forget ANGELITA, NO HU HU, CONSTELLATION, ROBON, BRIGADOON of BOOTHBAY, YUCCA (loveliest 8 meter of my dreams), MALIBU Outriggers, P-Cats, EL GATO, IMA LOA, AIKANE, LADY GODIVA, GOODWILL and Coast Guard Cutter DEXTER. 

Kenny Watts, Saint Cicero, Swede Johnson (invented first tiller pilot), Al Lockaby, Rudy Choy, Frank Rothwell, Russ Nash, Denni Barr, Harry Bourgeois, Waldo Waterman, Plazi Miller, Connie Wurdemann, Bob Sloan. 

OCEAN STATION NOVEMBER, SUNRISE, RENEGADE, FAIR WEATHER, KITTEN, GALLANT, DIUNE, the Schock 25, RIGOLETTO, TYGER TYGER, PT JOE, MARTHA, SWIFT OF IPSWICH. 

Dick Deaver, Dr. Thaddeus Jones, Clancy, Goldie Joseph, George Kettenberg, Vic Stern. Walter and Ricardo Hussong, Pappy Allen, Bill Schock, Porter Sinclair, Nick Potter.

First Long Distance Race to Mexico: 1953 Acapulco Race.

First Ensenada Race: April 23, 1948. Originally called the "Governor's Cup Race," CA's Gov Earl Warren failed to make his promised appearance in Ensenada that year, and the event was renamed Ensenada Race in '49. Entry fee: $22.50/boat.

To get to/from Coronado, you rode the ferry for a nickel. And it cost a dime to ride the ferry from Newport Peninsula to Balboa Island.

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I wasn't there when this dramatic black and white film was shot at the Newport Harbor Entrance...Quite the weather event. The wishbone ketch coming in under sail, STELLA MARIS, was later owned by Dennis Conner's grandparents... Why all the boats attempting to enter port in such dangerous conditions? It was Sunday afternoon and they were mostly all returning from Catalina, 28 miles to the west. Gotta get the kids back for the start of school on Monday morning. Did I mention the biggest boat in Newport Harbor,the 138 foot M/V PARAGON, was sunk in the Harbor Entrance that evening? Doggies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZl6-xYtZZg

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GALATEA, at 68' LOA, was built in Sweden in 1899 and was one of the fastest yachts in S.Cal in the 50's. She was steered with a long, beautifully carved tiller and had other extensive carvings in her teak bulkheads below.  Until catamarans made the scene, GALATEA reportedly held the record for crossing the Catalina Channel from Long Point to LA Harbor Light, 19 nm, in under 2 hours.

Galatea014.jpg

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After WW2 sailing in So Cal was very active up to the Tech Bubble bursting and then the Mortgage Backed Securities debacle of 2008. Sailing has never really been the same since. And now the Covid thing is not helping.

We started our Wet Wednesday series this week. 2 boats in A, 2 boats in B and 2 boat in the Family Cruising Class (C). 

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SERENA, a lovely 83 foot Alden schooner, was actively campaigned in S.Cal. waters in the 50's and 60's, and raced 3 Transpacs.  Her 4,200 square feet of sail was an inspiring sight and steady speeds of 16 knots on a reach were regularly reported.  SERENA's all-star "schoonermen" crew had their hands full with sail handling, as there was only one, Paul Luke, single speed, coffee grinder amidships for the multiple heavily loaded halyards, sheets, guys, and runners.  Neal Beckner photo.  Neal was the Beken of Cowes of S.Cal and chronicled the sailing scene in consistently quality manner.

SERENA.jpg

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17 hours ago, sleddog said:

I wasn't there when this dramatic black and white film was shot at the Newport Harbor Entrance...Quite the weather event. The wishbone ketch coming in under sail, STELLA MARIS, was later owned by Dennis Conner's grandparents... Why all the boats attempting to enter port in such dangerous conditions? It was Sunday afternoon and they were mostly all returning from Catalina, 28 miles to the west. Gotta get the kids back for the start of school on Monday morning. Did I mention the biggest boat in Newport Harbor,the 138 foot M/V PARAGON, was sunk in the Harbor Entrance that evening? Doggies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZl6-xYtZZg

My mother still tells the story of sitting on the cliff above Big Corona and watching the boats milling about outside waiting.  Then, a small double ended, single engine fishing boat chugged into view, slowed a little to time the swell, gunned it (chug, chug, chug, chug) and made it look easy.  This gave those waiting outside the courage to give it a try, with the unfortunate results shown in the film.  She will love the movie.

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My parents (87 and 90) still have (and use) their Watts Sails seabags purchased during the '60s. Those things are indestructible. My dad learned to race on the PCC Dorthy E out of LAYC. PCCs were the hot SoCal ocean racers, until they were suddenly displaced by the new kid on the block, the Cal 40.  As my dad tells it, the owner of Dorthy E realized his boat just went from competitive to has-been the very first time he raced against a Cal 40 in the Whitney series. End of an era, literally overnight! PCCs are still beautiful boats and will always have a place in my heart--having spent quite a bit of time on Dorthy E for deliveries and such during my formative years as a youngster. 

 

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Started sailing in 1957 on BZ and Thad Jones boat, Island Clipper 44, sanguine.  Trips to Moonstone when it was just a rock and pebble beach, hiking the island, rock rolling, being chased by buffalos and wild boar.

In 1964, crewed on a Baja Bash with Dr. Thad on Jada, from Cabo to San Diego.  Was able to see the real Cabo before it became...

Saw one boat from Cabo to SD.  Had the bay in Cabo and the whole Baja coast to our selves.

Thanks for the memories sleddog.

 

 

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On 4/16/2021 at 11:47 AM, sleddog said:

As memories and photos fade, it's not too late to recall a vibrant ocean racing scene in S. Cal during the 50's.  The fleet was mostly wood, with good looking overhangs, varnished spars, South Coast winches and Watts Sails, red lead bottom paint, Kenyons and RDF's for navigation. NALU II won the '59 Transpac with sacrificial chickens aboard, and GOODWILL carried a crew of 51.  HILARIA never had an engine, and SALLY and SIRIUS were the prettiest 10 meters in the world.

  As a kid I crewed on our family Lapworth 36 and was in awe of the diverse designs and characters who sailed them.  Here is a recollection of some of the fleet.  For every boat or personality recalled, there are a dozen more with matching stories to be told.

ALTAMAR, ANTIGUA, AKAHI, ATORRANTE (go Burke!), ANDALE, AMORITA, TEMPEST, KITTEN, ESCAPADE, CHOLITA, VALENTINE, CHUBASCO, CAROUSEL, COTTON BLOSSOM, BUTCHER BOY, BARLOVENTO, CHERRIO. 

Alex Irving, Barney Huber, George Griffith, Ash Bown, Peggy Slater, George Fleitz, Clark Sweet, Hale Field, Chuck Ullman, Porter Sinclair, Pappy Allen.

 DASHER, DANCER, VIXEN, MADCAP, MARA, CASSANDRA, HOLIDAY, COQUILLE, CALIFIA, GALATEA, JADA, JINKER, GAMIN, HANAHULI, KIRAWAN, GOOD NEWS, BONNIE DOONE, KELPIE, FREEDOM, HILARIA, JADA, KIALOA, KAMALII, BAGATELLE, LANDFALL, LEGEND, FLYING SCOTCHMAN (Lapworth's first design), LEDA, MORNING STAR, NAM SANG, NOVIA DEL MAR, SANTANA, NELLY BLY, RED WITCH.

Gene Wells, Fred Smales, Willard Bell, Gabe Giannini, Jack Hedden, George Sturgis, Prent Fulmour, Dick Steele, Goldie Joseph, Peter Grant, Clark Sweet, Ray Wallace.

ODYSSEY, NALU II, FLYING CLOUD, MARIE AMELIE, ORIENT, QUEEN MAB, HUSSY, REBEL, RENEGADE, STARLIGHT, SEA DRIFT, SANTANA, SERENA, SOLILOQUY, SERENADE, STAGHOUND,, ISLANDER, SIRIUS, SPARKLE, SALLY, WINDWARD, WHITE CAPS, WESTWARD HO, CONSTELLATION, WESTWARD, LANDFALL, PIONEER, DOUBLE EAGLE, PURITAN, RESOLUTE, SILOUETTE, TANTALUS, L'APACHE, SEA WITCH, SHEARWATER, WOOLHARA (honorary powerboat), BRANTA, RAVEN, Y COMO.

 Not a spade rudder yet to be seen. 

ALERT, MICKEY, LARK, FLAMBOUYANT, SALUDA, QUEST, VIXEN, NARRAGANSETT, SUNDA, CRITERION, ROLAND VON BREMEN, BONGO, DEBRA, CHIRIQUI, DIABLO, CELEBES, NORDLYS, QUEST, FAIR WEATHER, MAI TAI, SKYLARK, GULLMAR, TYPEE, GROOTE BEER, SANDPIPER, DAUNTLESS, QUEEN MAB, ESCAPADE the big blue yawl, DIABLO,

K-38's, PCC's, K-40's, L/36's, Cal 32's, Newporter Ketches, PBY's, Ohlson 35's, Owens Cutters, Vikings, Snowbirds.

Skip Calkins, Carl Chapman, Rolly Kalayjian, Bill Lapworth, Bob Barneson, Gordon Curtis. Paul Cook, Gerry Driscoll, Bob Dickson, Ernest (Shorty) Alderman, Humphrey Bogart, Fred Schenck.

Marina del Rey hadn't been dug, Dana Point was still the best point break on the Coast, and Race Committees had difficulty locating the 14 Mile Bank for the weather mark. Not to forget the rock on the layline, 50 yards inside the Pt.Fermin red buoy. Buck Ayres at Lido Shipyard kept a dedicated sledgehammer for straightening lead keels.

Least we forget ANGELITA, NO HU HU, CONSTELLATION, ROBON, BRIGADOON of BOOTHBAY, YUCCA (loveliest 8 meter of my dreams), MALIBU Outriggers, P-Cats, EL GATO, IMA LOA, AIKANE, LADY GODIVA, GOODWILL and Coast Guard Cutter DEXTER. 

Kenny Watts, Saint Cicero, Swede Johnson (invented first tiller pilot), Al Lockaby, Rudy Choy, Frank Rothwell, Russ Nash, Denni Barr, Harry Bourgeois, Waldo Waterman, Plazi Miller, Connie Wurdemann, Bob Sloan. 

OCEAN STATION NOVEMBER, SUNRISE, RENEGADE, FAIR WEATHER, KITTEN, GALLANT, DIUNE, the Schock 25, RIGOLETTO, TYGER TYGER, PT JOE, MARTHA, SWIFT OF IPSWICH. 

Dick Deaver, Dr. Thaddeus Jones, Clancy, Goldie Joseph, George Kettenberg, Vic Stern. Walter and Ricardo Hussong, Pappy Allen, Bill Schock, Porter Sinclair, Nick Potter.

First Long Distance Race to Mexico: 1953 Acapulco Race.

First Ensenada Race: April 23, 1948. Originally called the "Governor's Cup Race," CA's Gov Earl Warren failed to make his promised appearance in Ensenada that year, and the event was renamed Ensenada Race in '49. Entry fee: $22.50/boat.

To get to/from Coronado, you rode the ferry for a nickel. And it cost a dime to ride the ferry from Newport Peninsula to Balboa Island.

18 hours ago, sleddog said:

I wasn't there when this dramatic black and white film was shot at the Newport Harbor Entrance...Quite the weather event. The wishbone ketch coming in under sail, STELLA MARIS, was later owned by Dennis Conner's grandparents... Why all the boats attempting to enter port in such dangerous conditions? It was Sunday afternoon and they were mostly all returning from Catalina, 28 miles to the west. Gotta get the kids back for the start of school on Monday morning. Did I mention the biggest boat in Newport Harbor,the 138 foot M/V PARAGON, was sunk in the Harbor Entrance that evening? Doggies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZl6-xYtZZg

My mother still tells the story of sitting on the cliff above Big Corona and watching the boats milling about outside waiting.  Then, a small double ended, single engine fishing boat chugged into view, slowed a little to time the swell, gunned it (chug, chug, chug, chug) and made it look easy.  This gave those waiting outside the courage to give it a try, with the unfortunate results shown in the film.  She will love the movie.

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On 4/16/2021 at 11:47 AM, sleddog said:

As memories and photos fade, it's not too late to recall a vibrant ocean racing scene in S. Cal during the 50's.  The fleet was mostly wood, with good looking overhangs, varnished spars, South Coast winches and Watts Sails, red lead bottom paint, Kenyons and RDF's for navigation. NALU II won the '59 Transpac with sacrificial chickens aboard, and GOODWILL carried a crew of 51.  HILARIA never had an engine, and SALLY and SIRIUS were the prettiest 10 meters in the world.

  As a kid I crewed on our family Lapworth 36 and was in awe of the diverse designs and characters who sailed them.  Here is a recollection of some of the fleet.  For every boat or personality recalled, there are a dozen more with matching stories to be told.

ALTAMAR, ANTIGUA, AKAHI, ATORRANTE (go Burke!), ANDALE, AMORITA, TEMPEST, KITTEN, ESCAPADE, CHOLITA, VALENTINE, CHUBASCO, CAROUSEL, COTTON BLOSSOM, BUTCHER BOY, BARLOVENTO, CHERRIO. 

Alex Irving, Barney Huber, George Griffith, Ash Bown, Peggy Slater, George Fleitz, Clark Sweet, Hale Field, Chuck Ullman, Porter Sinclair, Pappy Allen.

 DASHER, DANCER, VIXEN, MADCAP, MARA, CASSANDRA, HOLIDAY, COQUILLE, CALIFIA, GALATEA, JADA, JINKER, GAMIN, HANAHULI, KIRAWAN, GOOD NEWS, BONNIE DOONE, KELPIE, FREEDOM, HILARIA, JADA, KIALOA, KAMALII, BAGATELLE, LANDFALL, LEGEND, FLYING SCOTCHMAN (Lapworth's first design), LEDA, MORNING STAR, NAM SANG, NOVIA DEL MAR, SANTANA, NELLY BLY, RED WITCH.

Gene Wells, Fred Smales, Willard Bell, Gabe Giannini, Jack Hedden, George Sturgis, Prent Fulmour, Dick Steele, Goldie Joseph, Peter Grant, Clark Sweet, Ray Wallace.

ODYSSEY, NALU II, FLYING CLOUD, MARIE AMELIE, ORIENT, QUEEN MAB, HUSSY, REBEL, RENEGADE, STARLIGHT, SEA DRIFT, SANTANA, SERENA, SOLILOQUY, SERENADE, STAGHOUND,, ISLANDER, SIRIUS, SPARKLE, SALLY, WINDWARD, WHITE CAPS, WESTWARD HO, CONSTELLATION, WESTWARD, LANDFALL, PIONEER, DOUBLE EAGLE, PURITAN, RESOLUTE, SILOUETTE, TANTALUS, L'APACHE, SEA WITCH, SHEARWATER, WOOLHARA (honorary powerboat), BRANTA, RAVEN, Y COMO.

 Not a spade rudder yet to be seen. 

ALERT, MICKEY, LARK, FLAMBOUYANT, SALUDA, QUEST, VIXEN, NARRAGANSETT, SUNDA, CRITERION, ROLAND VON BREMEN, BONGO, DEBRA, CHIRIQUI, DIABLO, CELEBES, NORDLYS, QUEST, FAIR WEATHER, MAI TAI, SKYLARK, GULLMAR, TYPEE, GROOTE BEER, SANDPIPER, DAUNTLESS, QUEEN MAB, ESCAPADE the big blue yawl, DIABLO,

K-38's, PCC's, K-40's, L/36's, Cal 32's, Newporter Ketches, PBY's, Ohlson 35's, Owens Cutters, Vikings, Snowbirds.

Skip Calkins, Carl Chapman, Rolly Kalayjian, Bill Lapworth, Bob Barneson, Gordon Curtis. Paul Cook, Gerry Driscoll, Bob Dickson, Ernest (Shorty) Alderman, Humphrey Bogart, Fred Schenck.

Marina del Rey hadn't been dug, Dana Point was still the best point break on the Coast, and Race Committees had difficulty locating the 14 Mile Bank for the weather mark. Not to forget the rock on the layline, 50 yards inside the Pt.Fermin red buoy. Buck Ayres at Lido Shipyard kept a dedicated sledgehammer for straightening lead keels.

Least we forget ANGELITA, NO HU HU, CONSTELLATION, ROBON, BRIGADOON of BOOTHBAY, YUCCA (loveliest 8 meter of my dreams), MALIBU Outriggers, P-Cats, EL GATO, IMA LOA, AIKANE, LADY GODIVA, GOODWILL and Coast Guard Cutter DEXTER. 

Kenny Watts, Saint Cicero, Swede Johnson (invented first tiller pilot), Al Lockaby, Rudy Choy, Frank Rothwell, Russ Nash, Denni Barr, Harry Bourgeois, Waldo Waterman, Plazi Miller, Connie Wurdemann, Bob Sloan. 

OCEAN STATION NOVEMBER, SUNRISE, RENEGADE, FAIR WEATHER, KITTEN, GALLANT, DIUNE, the Schock 25, RIGOLETTO, TYGER TYGER, PT JOE, MARTHA, SWIFT OF IPSWICH. 

Dick Deaver, Dr. Thaddeus Jones, Clancy, Goldie Joseph, George Kettenberg, Vic Stern. Walter and Ricardo Hussong, Pappy Allen, Bill Schock, Porter Sinclair, Nick Potter.

First Long Distance Race to Mexico: 1953 Acapulco Race.

First Ensenada Race: April 23, 1948. Originally called the "Governor's Cup Race," CA's Gov Earl Warren failed to make his promised appearance in Ensenada that year, and the event was renamed Ensenada Race in '49. Entry fee: $22.50/boat.

To get to/from Coronado, you rode the ferry for a nickel. And it cost a dime to ride the ferry from Newport Peninsula to Balboa Island.

Sorry about the operator Error.

Chubasco on the 2011 NHYC Opening Day Race.  The fellow standing in front of the mizzen mast in the red hat and red pants is the one who made Chubby go in the 50’s and 60’s, Dick Deaver (amazingly, he looks better these days at 90).  Councilman Duffield (who also looks better these days) is grinding to the left and Major Avery is trimming the kite forward.

1581651201_Chubby2011.thumb.jpg.97a8f2bfde16a95d4005d369c14ce5b9.jpg

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What is really bad is everyone talks about the past without talking about how the A-holes who have fucked everything up,  then we do not do it again and we can get back to the Hey Day, if that is even possible.

The past is just a memory and I look forward to a better future for my son and grand daughter. Maybe I'll post her pic soon except for the Pedos here.

 

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22 hours ago, sleddog said:

I wasn't there when this dramatic black and white film was shot at the Newport Harbor Entrance...Quite the weather event. The wishbone ketch coming in under sail, STELLA MARIS, was later owned by Dennis Conner's grandparents... Why all the boats attempting to enter port in such dangerous conditions? It was Sunday afternoon and they were mostly all returning from Catalina, 28 miles to the west. Gotta get the kids back for the start of school on Monday morning. Did I mention the biggest boat in Newport Harbor,the 138 foot M/V PARAGON, was sunk in the Harbor Entrance that evening? Doggies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZl6-xYtZZg

Wow. So basically they were all for Global Warming before it even became popular.

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5 hours ago, foamy1946 said:

In 1964, crewed on a Baja Bash with Dr. Thad on Jada, from Cabo to San Diego.  Was able to see the real Cabo before it became...Saw one boat from Cabo to SD.

JADA, 56' LOA, was designed by I.Judson Kelly, who also designed near sistership ODYSSEY.  JADA and ODYSSEY were built by Stephens Bros. in Stockton, CA and both launched in 1938, JADA as a schooner and ODYSSEY as a yawl.  In 1955 George Sturgis converted JADA to a yawl and with improved speed, won many local races. JADA competed in 6 TransPacs, winning the 1956 Tahiti Race overall.

George Sturgis was an excellent skipper with a good sense of humor, and attracted outstanding crew including Bill Lawhorn, Eddie Fink, Tom Skahill, Dick Blatterman, Barney Huber, Dick Hovey, Don Barber, Ray Person, Graham Jones, and Dr.Thad Jones as navigator.

In 1961 Sturgis sold JADA to the Howard Wright family and bought a new Bill Lapworth design, L-50 #1 ICHIBAN. Last I saw JADA, she was doing charters out of Honolulu, her longevity a tribute to the Stephens brothers construction.

JADA002.jpg

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Last I saw Jada was in Mission Bay in a charter service about 5-6 years ago.  Saw pics on line, a lot of refit and upgrades since I was on her.  That picture of her sure brings back memories.  Nothing like tonnage to hammer up the Baja coast.

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My dad still owns one of those old classics. Sunda was a Seaborn designed 35 footer. Built in 1941 at the Blanchard shipyard in Seattle and then bought by Carl Schumacher father and moved to So Cal as their family boat. Sunda won the N2E overall in the late 50’s. Still a blast to sail today, so long as you like going 6 knots on all points of sail. Let me see if I can dig up some of the old photos. 

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On 4/17/2021 at 3:29 PM, PHM said:

My parents (87 and 90) still have (and use) their Watts Sails seabags purchased during the '60s. Those things are indestructible. My dad learned to race on the PCC Dorthy E out of LAYC. PCCs were the hot SoCal ocean racers, until they were suddenly displaced by the new kid on the block, the Cal 40.  As my dad tells it, the owner of Dorthy E realized his boat just went from competitive to has-been the very first time he raced against a Cal 40 in the Whitney series. End of an era, literally overnight! PCCs are still beautiful boats and will always have a place in my heart--having spent quite a bit of time on Dorthy E for deliveries and such during my formative years as a youngster. 

 

My first summer job in 1961 was at Watts Sails working out of a hot attic closet hot knifing  those indestructible white dacron sea bags. PCC's (Pacific Coast Cruisers) at 46' and their little sisters, the K-38, were George and Paul Kettenburg's bread and butter during the 50's.  From a distance, it was hard to tell the PCC from the K-38 they were so similar.

PCC's, and I guess about two dozen were built, were fast as they were narrow with long overhangs, sorta like an 8 meter. And equally pretty.  Half a dozen would turn out for most local S.Cal races and there was a yearly class championship.  Challenging PCC's for Class B supremacy were the equally fast, 7 Cal-32's designed by Nick Potter, also 46' LOA, as well as SPARKLE, BAGATELLE, and the 8 meter YUCCA.  Their handicaps were almost identical, and so this competitive fleet pretty much raced boat-for-boat.

George KETTENBURG's first PCC, #1, EULALIE was launched in 1946.  A couple of years later, Paul KETTENBURG launched K-38 #1, TOMBOY.

As my father used to skipper LARK, I became familiar with the PCC Class as a 12 year old.  Here's the names I remember, and I'm sure you can add more: EULALIE became AKAHI became SQUALL. SELENE, MICKEY, ANTIGUA, KITTEN was #6 and won the 1949 TransPac overall. GOSSIP, LANI, BALLERINA, BOLERO, LARK, KINGS RANSOM, and UNDINE.

Here's a pretty photo of PCC GOSSIP finishing the 1951 TransPac 8 hours ahead of 1949 overall winner KITTEN. Note the spinnaker net, still a popular item for Pacific races.

PCC4.jpg

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Undine was modified to a spade rudder, had the jumpers removed & added runners  I was on the delivery crew HI to Santa Barbera in '77

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2 hours ago, longy said:

Undine was modified to a spade rudder, had the jumpers removed & added runners  I was on the delivery crew HI to Santa Barbera in '77

Here's UNDINE after her "conversion" finishing the '75 Transpac. There's the ubiquitous spinnaker net just outside the "tallboy" staysail. Check out the North Sails loose footed main on the wood boom. Cool.

 Owner Norm Dawley leaves us a wonderful story of UNDINE:  https://www.kettenburgboats.com/rec57.htm

Undine-75-transpac-1.jpg

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Last I heard (7-10) years ago was it was somewhere in Scandinavia undergoing a total rebuild that came to a halt. It was also back to its original name Simba. I was part of the delivery crew when it went to Florida in 1980. Nice ride! 

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13 hours ago, The Profit said:

What ever happened to Sirius II, the 82 sloop owned by the Ahmandson family.  It lived in Newport when I was growing up and usually kicked Newsboy's ass in the Ensenada Race every year.

 

An M Class boat like Pursuit in Sausalito. Remember them racing each other on the Bay in the late 50s I think. Was part of the delivery crew that brought "little" Sirius, the 10 meter, from SF to del Rey after Big Boat in '66 or '67. Interesting trip complete with drugged out hippies, a pair of nude German girls, big breeze and seas off Conception that resulted in a spreader dunk, anchoring off Avalon to dry out and a Mexican serenade from a Whaler early one morning.

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Stephens Bros. built a large number of great boats for a long time. First boat I raced on was the Stephens built Pajara in SF (probably 1954). The boat was a 44 ft. cutter built in the late 30s. Rumor was that it was the first boat to race with a spinnaker inside the Bay way back when. Worked well but they had trouble taking it down and were, apparently, at risk of running into Red Rock near Richmond. Good story true or not. Finishing Transpac in the pic.

 

PAJARA.jpg

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Sails by Watts had the original wood spar from Sirius II stepped out by the strawberry field in Torrance to use for sail checks. It those days, every sail was test flown to check for flaws in shape or finish before shipping. Watts was a big operation then; 2 sail lofts, cloth weaving and finishing plants, machine shop and warehouse all at 20905 Earl Street. Now the entire property is the Kenneth E. Watts Memorial Medical Center.  

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SIRIUS II was an 82' "M" class cutter, designed by Starling Burgess, and built by Abeking and Rasmussen in 1929. She was generally considered the fastest and best sailed of the 3 "M" boats on the West Coast, the others being WINDWARD and PURSUIT.  Under Howard Ahmanson's ownership, Bill Ficker was skipper of SIRIUS II.

Under Charles Deere Wiman's ownership, then PATOLITA raced the '47 and '49 TransPacs, but suffered the ignominy of sailing into the Pacific High.  In 1957, owned by Frank Hooykass, she had been renamed BARLOVENTO and won the TranPac's Barn Door in 11 days, 13 hours.

In the 1961 Transpac, after exchanging positions for much of the race, SIRIUS II and TICONDEROGA had an epic finish, just 37 minutes apart. Diamond Head was gridlocked with spectators as SIRIUS II came barreling past Koko Head at which point her spinnaker pole broke.  The chute flew to leeward, knocking her down for an extended time until the spinnaker halyard was cut. When SIRIUS II righted, she ended up towing the spinny and broken pole for the final 6 miles.  Slowed to 7 knots, she managed to beat Big TI by just 37 minutes. Ironically TI had also lost her spinnaker, but not been knocked down.  The hundreds of spectators got to watch the closest first-to-finish in TransPac history, not bested until TICONDEROGA nosed out STORMVOGEL 4 years later.

Glad to hear SIMBA has her original name back.

Sirius II2.jpg

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WINDWARD was sadly lost on the beach at Yelapa, MX. in 1958.  I tried to find remains in 2014, but even part of the mast, which was stepped as a flagpole by the PURSUIT crew in 1964, was long gone.  One grandmother in the Village did remember...the anchor chain had broken while the crew was ashore having a meal on the beach.  They swam out and got aboard. But the engine filter had recently been changed and the engine only ran for a few minutes before she grounded in the surf.  Several rescue attempts by fellow yachts failed, and that was the end of WINDWARD. The full story is here at Raicilla Dreams http://fayeaugustine.blogspot.com/2015/03/wreck-of-windward.html

WINDWARD at Yelapa.jpg

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20 hours ago, sleddog said:

My first summer job in 1961 was at Watts Sails working out of a hot attic closet hot knifing  those indestructible white dacron sea bags. PCC's (Pacific Coast Cruisers) at 46' and their little sisters, the K-38, were George and Paul Kettenburg's bread and butter during the 50's.  From a distance, it was hard to tell the PCC from the K-38 they were so similar.

PCC's, and I guess about two dozen were built, were fast as they were narrow with long overhangs, sorta like an 8 meter. And equally pretty.  Half a dozen would turn out for most local S.Cal races and there was a yearly class championship.  Challenging PCC's for Class B supremacy were the equally fast, 7 Cal-32's designed by Nick Potter, also 46' LOA, as well as SPARKLE, BAGATELLE, and the 8 meter YUCCA.  Their handicaps were almost identical, and so this competitive fleet pretty much raced boat-for-boat.

George KETTENBURG's first PCC, #1, EULALIE was launched in 1946.  A couple of years later, Paul KETTENBURG launched K-38 #1, TOMBOY.

As my father used to skipper LARK, I became familiar with the PCC Class as a 12 year old.  Here's the names I remember, and I'm sure you can add more: EULALIE became AKAHI became SQUALL. SELENE, MICKEY, ANTIGUA, KITTEN was #6 and won the 1949 TransPac overall. GOSSIP, LANI, BALLERINA, BOLERO, LARK, KINGS RANSOM, and UNDINE.

Here's a pretty photo of PCC GOSSIP finishing the 1951 TransPac 8 hours ahead of 1949 overall winner KITTEN. Note the spinnaker net, still a popular item for Pacific races.

PCC4.jpg

 

1 hour ago, A3A said:

Sails by Watts had the original wood spar from Sirius II stepped out by the strawberry field in Torrance to use for sail checks. It those days, every sail was test flown to check for flaws in shape or finish before shipping. Watts was a big operation then; 2 sail lofts, cloth weaving and finishing plants, machine shop and warehouse all at 20905 Earl Street. Now the entire property is the Kenneth E. Watts Memorial Medical Center.  

An old customer (~90 years old), brought a suit of Watts Snipe sails into my shop.  Egyptian Cotton!  He said he put them up once to make sure they fit, and then bagged them up and put them in his garage.  Note that the bad is marked “San Pedro”!

A46AFF6C-8765-4935-9C37-EB7D5CF21212.jpeg

A5917982-F133-4686-9C10-176BFDD4A5C4.jpeg

E1B4F2A7-191E-4E85-88EF-A990DFD5CE94.jpeg

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On 4/17/2021 at 2:39 PM, sleddog said:

SERENA.jpg

That gollywobler was the largest sail on the west coast!
I remember sipping drinks down below when she was at Ardell Marina in '69. I was at least 18 years old...

 

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1 hour ago, Mulligan said:

 

An old customer (~90 years old), brought a suit of Watts Snipe sails into my shop.  Egyptian Cotton!  He said he put them up once to make sure they fit, and then bagged them up and put them in his garage.  Note that the bad is marked “San Pedro”!

A46AFF6C-8765-4935-9C37-EB7D5CF21212.jpeg

A5917982-F133-4686-9C10-176BFDD4A5C4.jpeg

E1B4F2A7-191E-4E85-88EF-A990DFD5CE94.jpeg

I have a bag just like this which I found with my classic 14 when I was restoring her. Way before my time but cool treasure.

thumbnail_20160713_221517_resized.jpg

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11 minutes ago, Irrational 14 said:

I have a bag just like this which I found with my classic 14 when I was restoring her. Way before my time but cool treasure.

thumbnail_20160713_221517_resized.jpg

I sent pictures to Steve Dair and @poncho !  

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On 4/17/2021 at 2:39 PM, sleddog said:

SERENA, a lovely 83 foot Alden schooner, was actively campaigned in S.Cal. waters in the 50's and 60's, and raced 3 Transpacs.  Her 4,200 square feet of sail was an inspiring sight and steady speeds of 16 knots on a reach were regularly reported.  SERENA's all-star "schoonermen" crew had their hands full with sail handling, as there was only one, Paul Luke, single speed, coffee grinder amidships for the multiple heavily loaded halyards, sheets, guys, and runners.  Neal Beckner photo.  Neal was the Beken of Cowes of S.Cal and chronicled the sailing scene in consistently quality manner.

SERENA.jpg

Dang, a Gollywobbler.   We set one of those on New World in 73.  Much fun.

83' long, setting the same sail area as a TP52.  

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If there was a sentimental favorite for 1950's "Boat of the Decade", I would happily choose Alex Irving's 40', modified New Bedford Whaleboat, SPARKLE. SPARKLE dominated S.Cal. sailing like no other during those years, and could sail boat-for-boat with the longer PCC's and Cal-32's  SPARKLE, built in Irving's backyard in 1947, was narrow, double-ended, had 36 feet of waterline, was easily driven and barely left a wake. SPARKLE's dedicated crew were mostly aeronautical engineers and understood airfoils and drag.  When not racing, Alex Irving loved to go fishing.  I remember SPARKLE tying up at Balboa Yacht Club one afternoon, Alex Irving nonchalant with his cooler full of sand dabs.  Just another day on the water for Alex Irving and his beloved SPARKLE.

 

 

Sparkle 1.jpg

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On 4/18/2021 at 4:10 PM, sleddog said:

My first summer job in 1961 was at Watts Sails working out of a hot attic closet hot knifing  those indestructible white dacron sea bags. PCC's (Pacific Coast Cruisers) at 46' and their little sisters, the K-38, were George and Paul Kettenburg's bread and butter during the 50's.  From a distance, it was hard to tell the PCC from the K-38 they were so similar.

PCC's, and I guess about two dozen were built, were fast as they were narrow with long overhangs, sorta like an 8 meter. And equally pretty.  Half a dozen would turn out for most local S.Cal races and there was a yearly class championship.  Challenging PCC's for Class B supremacy were the equally fast, 7 Cal-32's designed by Nick Potter, also 46' LOA, as well as SPARKLE, BAGATELLE, and the 8 meter YUCCA.  Their handicaps were almost identical, and so this competitive fleet pretty much raced boat-for-boat.

George KETTENBURG's first PCC, #1, EULALIE was launched in 1946.  A couple of years later, Paul KETTENBURG launched K-38 #1, TOMBOY.

As my father used to skipper LARK, I became familiar with the PCC Class as a 12 year old.  Here's the names I remember, and I'm sure you can add more: EULALIE became AKAHI became SQUALL. SELENE, MICKEY, ANTIGUA, KITTEN was #6 and won the 1949 TransPac overall. GOSSIP, LANI, BALLERINA, BOLERO, LARK, KINGS RANSOM, and UNDINE.

Here's a pretty photo of PCC GOSSIP finishing the 1951 TransPac 8 hours ahead of 1949 overall winner KITTEN. Note the spinnaker net, still a popular item for Pacific races.

PCC4.jpg

Great history, and love the pic of Gossip. Here is one for the historians: I  wonder when was the last transpac that a boat (and what boat?) finished with a dingy strapped to the deck? Antigua was still active and doing well in the KHYC Thursday night beer cans during the mid-late '70s when we were racing my family's Ericson 35. Not sure what happened to Antigua after that.  

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Here's the "pregnant whale," NALU II, winning the 1959 TransPac with a dinghy on deck.  NALU II, a 46 foot C. Wm. Lapworth creation launched in 1954, had a crew of free spirits and so much "reverse shear" that freeboard amidships was nearly 6' and they carried a stepladder to board from the dock. If you look closely, you can see the spinnaker had vertical panels, and 7x19 wirerope leeches. Fugly but fast downwind, NALU II still had a keel hung rudder.  Those dinghies on deck were carried before dedicated small boat liferafts and ended up filled with wet sails.

 

Nalu II001.jpg

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On 4/20/2021 at 2:27 PM, sleddog said:

If there was a sentimental favorite for 1950's "Boat of the Decade", I would happily choose Alex Irving's 40', modified New Bedford Whaleboat, SPARKLE. SPARKLE dominated S.Cal. sailing like no other during those years, and could sail boat-for-boat with the longer PCC's and Cal-32's  SPARKLE, built in Irving's backyard in 1947, was narrow, double-ended, had 36 feet of waterline, was easily driven and barely left a wake. SPARKLE's dedicated crew were mostly aeronautical engineers and understood airfoils and drag.  When not racing, Alex Irving loved to go fishing.  I remember SPARKLE tying up at Balboa Yacht Club one afternoon, Alex Irving nonchalant with his cooler full of sand dabs.  Just another day on the water for Alex Irving and his beloved SPARKLE.

 

 

Sparkle 1.jpg

Sparkle rebuilt and for sale:  40' 1947 Sparkle for sale. Also on yacht world: "she dominated Southern California racing for 3 decades...". For someone who has the resources and time to maintain a wooden classic, this would be really fun.....

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At the time of her build, 1951, by Carl Chapman ("Chappie) few knew what to make of LEGEND, a Skip Calkins design, 50' sloop. LEGEND was apparently a family cruising boat for Catalina designed for Chuck and Snoozy Ullman: narrow, double ended, high freeboard, flush decked, mast head rig, tender, fin keel, skeg hung rudder, and almost all waterline. Did I mention tiller steered? What LEGEND really was was the first ULDB in S. Cal. 20,500 pounds for a 50 footer was almost unheard of. “Unconventional” was the polite word on the docks.

For obvious reasons, LEGEND proved fast downwind. Ullman and crew were excellent sailors. And by going further south than any boat in race history, 19-55 N, LEGEND won Class B and Overall in the the 1957 TransPac.

TransPac officialdom went apoplectic over the new trend towards light displacement and LEGEND was banned from racing in the 1959 and 1961 TransPacs for being “outside the norm” of the CCA measurement rule.

Ultimately, Chuck Ullman was allowed to race the '63 Transpac with a “light displacement penalty,” and still won Class B... Chuck Ullman's all star crew included Gentle Ben Mitchell, Orin Wade, Jack Jensen, Saint Cicero, Wade Hill, Frank Person, and Chuck's teenage son Dave.

The last time I saw LEGEND, was hiking to Pt. Bennett, western most point on San Miguel Island. Sadly, there we stumbled upon the remains of LEGEND: her rig and sails being used by scientists as blinds and tents in the sand dunes for studying numerous elephant seals in the area. Returning from the '67 Transpac, LEGEND's delivery crew, not having had a recent celestial fix and running DR in heavy fog, had misidentified the Pt. Bennett red buoy light characteristics for the nearly identical Begg Rock buoy, 55 miles SE,. and LEGEND was lost.

LEGEND2.jpg

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In the '60s does anyone remember Newsboy showing movies on the mainsail in the Ensenada Race? I was racing a Cal 25 so they were a distant view but it was pretty cool watching as they rolled us.

 

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20 hours ago, sailronin said:

In the '60s does anyone remember Newsboy showing movies on the mainsail in the Ensenada Race? I was racing a Cal 25 so they were a distant view but it was pretty cool watching as they rolled us.

I remember that happening in the 70s, but it wasn't newsboy, it was some ketch.

The "play" was that they'd show some soft-porn thing on the back of the main, and some stupid Disney movie on the front, in the belief that it would make other boats want to stay behind them.

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I was on Dr. Thad Jones' Island Clipper "sanguine" in the late 50s at Moonstone.  "Legend" was there with Chuck and Dave Ullman and others aboard.  Chuck invited me and Moke Jones and another friend aboard, we were about 11 or 12 at the time.  Great boat and greater people.  Can't remember if we had margies or Brew 102.

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On 4/27/2021 at 2:39 PM, sledracr said:

I remember that happening in the 70s, but it wasn't newsboy, it was some ketch.

The "play" was that they'd show some soft-porn thing on the back of the main, and some stupid Disney movie on the front, in the belief that it would make other boats want to stay behind them.

The boat that showed the movies on the main was Miramar.

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in the 50's, San Diego had the strongest fleet of ocean racing boats, skippers and crews on the West Coast.  On any given weekend, or down the coast of Mexico, the front row was usually occupied by the 54' yawl EVENING STAR (Gene Trepte), the 8 meter PRELUDE, the 50' Q Boat COTTON BLOSSOM II (Ed and Gloria Turner), the ever-changing BONGO, Ash Bown's 40' Owen's cutter CAROUSEL and Star Class World's champ Gerry Driscoll sailing his beautiful and fast S&S 39 NOVA. Shelter Island was still sand dunes and Lowell North had not yet converted a flag shop into a small sail loft.

Ash Bown was Dennis Conner's mentor and as a 21 year old kid Conner crewed on Bown's "Car You Sell" in his first long distance race.  Ash Bown  recounted that "during the 1575 mile Acapulco Race kid Conner drove World Star champ Malin Burnham nuts by looking out the fore peak hatch of CAROUSEL when off watch and calling the spinnaker trim aft.  He'd tell Malin he was sailing too high or too low,  Malin would say, 'Shut your goddam mouth.' Half a minute later Dennis would suggest maybe easing the spinnaker a little, and Malin would tell him to shut up again. We won the race by five hours," Bown concluded.

Ed and Gloria Turner on the Q boat COTTON BLOSSOM II were the sweetest people on the waterfront and loved their boat, the fastest and most historical boat then active in San Diego racing.  COTTON BLOSSOM II was designed and built by Johan Anker in 1925.  Young Dennis Conner also formed an attachment with the Turners and raced many miles aboard COTTON BLOSSOM II.  Dennis knew an important thing about crewing aboard COTTON BLOSSOM II:  to protect the cockpit varnish, Gloria Turner would stand at the rail and greeted arriving crew. As you passed, if your shorts had buttons on the rear pockets, Gloria would quickly snip them off with a pair of scissors.

Even today the half model of much revered COTTON BLOSSOM II hangs at SDYC.  Maybe there's a full model thanks to DC (who meticulously restored CB II). Anyone know?

Gerry Driscoll was an A#1 class act, and his wins with the 39 foot NOVA were almost automatic.  Even as a kid crewing aboard our family L/36, I knew beating NOVA only happened if we were lucky.  Gerry was so advanced in his many boating skills that he became a significant part of 4 America's Cup defenses and put San Diego on the sailing map. During his life Gerry Driscoll won the Gold Star in the 1944 Star Worlds, won the Lipton Cup 3 times and the Congressional Cup in 2 consecutive years, 1965 and 1966.

Here's a recent pic of NOVA and an older one of EVENING STAR

.

NOVA.jpg

Evening Star 2.jpg

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The  8mR Prelude, was a 1937 Sparkman & Stephens design. A very interesting boat, most likely the first reverse counter metre boat ever designed & built. The original Prelude was lost some 50 years ago in a gas explosion. she was reconstructed in 2002 in the UK if memory serves me right.
PRELUDE 8 US-27
S&S 1937
Prelude%20Quarter.jpg

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17 hours ago, sleddog said:

Even as a kid crewing aboard our family L/36,

 

 

Which L-36? My Dad had L-36 #71 built in 1965 in Costa Mesa, and she has sailed out of the same berth at San Francisco Yacht Club ever since. We are putting a new Ballenger rig in her this month along with North 3di inventory etc. as she still races very actively and successfully. 

Leda.JPG

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Sailed on Holiday somewhat way back when. Brought her from Newport Beach to SF with new owner in (I think) early / mid 60s.

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13 hours ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

Which L-36? My Dad had L-36 #71 built in 1965 in Costa Mesa, and she has sailed out of the same berth at San Francisco Yacht Club ever since. We are putting a new Ballenger rig in her this month along with North 3di inventory etc. as she still races very actively and successfully.

The L/36 was not Bill Lapworth's first successful design.  He'd already done FLYING SCOTCHMAN, DANCER, and the L/32's DASHER, MADCAP, and VIXEN, in the early '50's.  But with the design, build, and launch of the first L/36's, Lapworth's ascendancy to the top tier of West Coast designers began.

At the time of her design in 1953, the L/36, with a 28 foot waterline, was the smallest boat eligible for the Honolulu Race. L/36 #1 and #2 were built side by side at Carl Chapman and Rolly Kalayjian's quonset hut boatyard in Costa Mesa.  A coin was flipped to decide who got #1, and George Griffith, previous owner of the 44' PAJARA, won the toss and his family's boat, only half finished, was named CASSANDRA.

HOLIDAY, L/36 #2, our family's boat, was launched first down the railway at Rosan's where the Rusty Pelican is now.  CASSANDRA followed some month's later, as George built his own interior to save money. The launch was a festive affair, but for the reception at NHYC, 2 miles distant, HOLIDAY's engine wouldn't engage in forward.  So we motored all the way in reverse with signal flags flying and the champagne bottle hanging from the bow.

CASSANDRA and HOLIDAY accumulated wins in most every race, including the Whitney Series, the Ahmanson Series, the YRU Cruise, and the Sunset Series.  Orders came in for more L/36's.  #3 was the blue MISTRAL for the Desenbergs and she had a longer cabin, allowing headroom in the head.  This long cabin became standard.

An unofficial rivalry built up between the L/36's and the K/38's..and within several years there were L/36's scattered along the coast from San Diego (SUNRISE) to Monterey to SF to Vancouver.

Here's HOLIDAY in her first race, the Huntington Tidelands, in the summer of 1954.  The bronze bow pulpit hadn't been completed.  All Kenny Watts mains looked like that, with a hard spot up the front of the miserably short, wood battens.

And below is HOLIDAY in 1959 with her blue North main, Lowell's first 'big boat" main.  It had bungee for both the luff rope and foot rope and could be bagged up nicely for downwind. Soon there were a lot of blue sails in the S.Calif. ocean racing fleet.

Holiday1004.jpg

Holiday1005.jpg

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On 5/4/2021 at 5:18 AM, sunseeker said:

The boat that showed the movies on the main was Miramar.

The late Fred Delaney used to joke that he did several Miramar N2Es as Assistant Projectionist.

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On 5/5/2021 at 11:04 PM, sleddog said:

The L/36 was not Bill Lapworth's first successful design.  He'd already done FLYING SCOTCHMAN, DANCER, and the L/32's DASHER, MADCAP, and VIXEN, in the early '50's.  But with the design, build, and launch of the first L/36's, Lapworth's ascendancy to the top tier of West Coast designers began.

At the time of her design in 1953, the L/36, with a 28 foot waterline, was the smallest boat eligible for the Honolulu Race. L/36 #1 and #2 were built side by side at Carl Chapman and Rolly Kalayjian's quonset hut boatyard in Costa Mesa.  A coin was flipped to decide who got #1, and George Griffith, previous owner of the 44' PAJARA, won the toss and his family's boat, only half finished, was named CASSANDRA.

HOLIDAY, L/36 #2, our family's boat, was launched first down the railway at Rosan's where the Rusty Pelican is now.  CASSANDRA followed some month's later, as George built his own interior to save money. The launch was a festive affair, but for the reception at NHYC, 2 miles distant, HOLIDAY's engine wouldn't engage in forward.  So we motored all the way in reverse with signal flags flying and the champagne bottle hanging from the bow.

CASSANDRA and HOLIDAY accumulated wins in most every race, including the Whitney Series, the Ahmanson Series, the YRU Cruise, and the Sunset Series.  Orders came in for more L/36's.  #3 was the blue MISTRAL for the Desenbergs and she had a longer cabin, allowing headroom in the head.  This long cabin became standard.

An unofficial rivalry built up between the L/36's and the K/38's..and within several years there were L/36's scattered along the coast from San Diego (SUNRISE) to Monterey to SF to Vancouver.

Here's HOLIDAY in her first race, the Huntington Tidelands, in the summer of 1954.  The bronze bow pulpit hadn't been completed.  All Kenny Watts mains looked like that, with a hard spot up the front of the miserably short, wood battens.

And below is HOLIDAY in 1959 with her blue North main, Lowell's first 'big boat" main.  It had bungee for both the luff rope and foot rope and could be bagged up nicely for downwind. Soon there were a lot of blue sails in the S.Calif. ocean racing fleet.

Holiday1004.jpg

Holiday1005.jpg

Mention of the K-38 reminds me of one of the legends from the day I have heard a little about, Peggy Slater (and her K-38 and K-43, both named Valentine). In addition to a mishap that she miraculously survived while sailing solo to Hawaii (she was one tough lady), rumor has it that she is the one who got Humphrey Bogart into sailing. Sleddog, it would be great if you could can fill us in a little on her life and sailing exploits....

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On 5/7/2021 at 2:15 PM, kinardly said:

The late Fred Delaney used to joke that he did several Miramar N2Es as Assistant Projectionist.

was it miramar that had that huge white chute with the blue stripe?

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On 5/7/2021 at 10:43 PM, PHM said:

Mention of the K-38 reminds me of one of the legends from the day I have heard a little about, Peggy Slater (and her K-38 and K-43, both named Valentine). In addition to a mishap that she miraculously survived while sailing solo to Hawaii (she was one tough lady), rumor has it that she is the one who got Humphrey Bogart into sailing. Sleddog, it would be great if you could can fill us in a little on her life and sailing exploits....

PHM, you are exactly correct.  Peggy Slater, with her flaming red hair, great strength, and sailing skills was one tough lady and match for anyone  Peggy, member of a long time sailing family, began sailing at age 3 and never looked back. By 13 she was skippering small boats in local San Pedro races.and at age 28 launched her red hulled K-38 VALENTINE.  Typical of Peggy, VALENTINE had a chrome plated bronze cherub figurehead whose wings wrapped protectively around the bow.

As well as being a professional sailor and racer, Peggy was naturally good at teaching sailing and selling boats from her brokerage, especially to actors who were looking for an escape from the stresses their careers. Her most famous sale was assisting Humphrey Bogart in buying his beloved SANTANA, a 55' S&S yawl from actor Dick Powell for $50,000.

In the 1951 Transpac, Peggy Slater was sailing master aboard the 73' cutter L'APACHE when a crew member went overboard when a lifeline failed.  It took the crew of L'APACHE 11 minutes to douse the spinnaker and staysail and engine started.  Peggy and crew got L'APACHE backtacked on a reciprocal course and returned to  within sight of the MOB  who was only 200 yards away, but unfortunately did not sight him,, though he could see the main mast of L'APACHE with a crew member at the spreaders looking.  This entire MOB story is one of the Transpac epics, and happy to report the MOB was recovered after 29 hours in the water by a Navy destroyer escort.

Though Peggy Slater loved singlehanding, especially with her irish Setter, she had never singlehanded across an ocean. Peggy Slater loved all things Polynesian and always had a tiare flower behind her ear. In 1963 she built her beautiful home at Wainiha, just north of Hanalei Bay on Kauai. Until her death in 1990, being a singlehander herself, Peggy welcomed Singlehanded Transpackers. More than a few SHTP skippers stayed at her lovely bungalow.

In 1978, after the finish of the first SHTP, Peggy told me this story while relaxing in her garden.
Peggy had always wanted to sail solo to Hawaii and anchor at Hanalei Bay on Kauai. In 1964 she sold her Kettenberg-38 VALENTINE, and in 1965 took delivery of a new, bright red, VALENTINE, Kettenberg 43 #9. The intention was to sail the new VALENTINE solo to Hawaii, something she was very capable of doing at age 47.

Peggy departed San Pedro for Honolulu June 30, 1968. She had an uneventful passage until entering the Molokai Channel 17 days later. There, in a squall, she went forward to douse her genoa and was pitched overboard, along with the sail. Fortunately Peggy was secured by a harness and tether. Unfortunately, she was dragged alongside, smothered in the sail, for approximately 11 hours.

Half drowned, somehow Peggy rallied and was able to climb back aboard VALENTINE. With a broken wrist, and badly bruised, she made her way below and called the Coast Guard. The CG responded. But suffering from her ordeal, Peggy could not tell them her position. In those days there was no Sat Nav, LORAN, or GPS. Strictly celestial and Dead Reckoning.

Honolulu Coast Guard was able to get an approximate RDF (radio) bearing on VALENTINE. "190 degrees" said  the CG radio officer. In those days, for liability reasons, the CG could only give out their bearing to your ship, not the reciprocal course you might assume to sail to safety.

Peggy did not know this. In her weakened state, she set her windvane to steer south, away from Honolulu and safety. And went below to rest. After two days, friends become concerned for Peggy. She had disappeared. A private plane went in search. It's pilot, and great credit to him, had listened to a recording of the CG transmission, and figured out Peggy's possible confusion. He flew down a 190 bearing from Hono.

Amazingly, 400 miles south of Hono, the pilot sighted VALENTINE. A Japanese freighter was diverted, and Peggy was taken aboard. She was then transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter MELLON, who went in search of VALENTINE. Again, amazingly, VALENTINE was located and towed by the Mellon 400 miles north to Honolulu.

In our conversation, I could tell Peggy, a proud and experienced sailor, was sensitive about this rescue. But she smiled, and said, that she was "likely the only one to ever finish a Single Handed Transpac underwater."

Peggy continued to live aboard VALENTINE, sharing her time between San Pedro and Kauai. She was active in supporting women's sailing, when it was still in its infancy. In 1990, while arriving for a speaking engagement at the Women's Sailing Assn of Marina del Rey, Peggy Slater died, age 72, of a massive stroke.

Peggy Slater.jpg

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I've never heard of Peggy Slater until now!  What a story!  I'd have loved to meet her!

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What a thread!  And what a story about Peggy Slater!  

Sleddog, I randomly met you on the Customs dock Victoria, BC about 8 years ago - think you had recently launched a small catamaran (headed up the Inside Passage?), mentioned here in SA, and I’d recognized the name while at the dock.  I’d literally just arrived from Hawaii after helping on delivery of a Vic-Maui boat, first time (well, first time long distance) I’d been offshore.  I think I’d recently read of your scuttling of WILDFLOWER and was in awe at your seamanship...and am now in awe of your incredible memory for detail!  Just amazing stories.

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10 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

What a thread!  And what a story about Peggy Slater!  

Sleddog, I randomly met you on the Customs dock Victoria, BC about 8 years ago - think you had recently launched a small catamaran (headed up the Inside Passage?), mentioned here in SA, and I’d recognized the name while at the dock.  I’d literally just arrived from Hawaii after helping on delivery of a Vic-Maui boat, first time (well, first time long distance) I’d been offshore.  I think I’d recently read of your scuttling of WILDFLOWER and was in awe at your seamanship...and am now in awe of your incredible memory for detail!  Just amazing stories.

Thank you for the kind words. I do remember meeting at the Customs dock in VICTORIA..You were on Dave Ratner's Santa Cruz-50 INCANTATION and if memory serves, had a piece missing out of your bow at the waterline. Dave Ratner was cool, was the highly experienced, original owner of INCANTATION, and took her cruising in the Chilean Canals the next year after Vic-Maui.

Yes, WILDFLOWER,  the 22'' cat I was on when we met, I'd built in the driveway as a near shore cruiser.  She drew 18", would go to weather up the I-5 at 55, and we cruised her 3 different summers up the Salish Sea as far a Johnstone Straits.  Her story is here: www.skipallan.com

Cats actually played a role in '50's racing in S. Cal. Though as a kid, and not allowed to associate with "unseaworthy" cats sailed by unknown surfers and other rowdies, I came to know Brit Roy Hickok and his WILDCAT, (the forerunner of the Hobie), Carter Pyle and his P-Cats, IMA LOA, Buddy Ebsen on POLYNESIAN CONCEPT, Joey Cabell and Mickey Munoz, world class surfers, who had a cat named EL GATO, Rudy Choy on AIKANE, Steve Dashew, Vic Stern, and others who would  race the early Newport to Ensenada "tequila derbies."

My first N2E was on our family L/36 HOLIDAY in 1955.  Bill Lapworth was aboard his new design, and at dawn woke me up as we beat into light SE breeze approaching the Coronados. Apparently there was wreckage sighted nearby with people aboard.  WTF was not what was said in those days.  But could have been as we altered course to investigate. Sure enough, there were two bedraggled guys sitting on the capsized main hull of a Malibu Outrigger, the first beach cat in S. Cal.  They were missing  a vital part of their ship, the ama outrigger and aka crossbeams, and not happy to have to be rescued by a monohull in a race they had hoped to break the record, not their boat, and show the locals their seaworthiness...

Despite this and other early breakage,  the 19' Malibu outriggers with their romantic rig, beach capabilities, and high speed, became very popular. Over 2,000 were  mostly home built as far as Africa and Tahiti. Many soon to be famous sailors came from a start in Malibus including Warren Seaman, a carpenter, who in 1957 teamed with Rudy Choy and Alfred Kumalae to start CSK Catamarans, Mike Eaton, San Diego surfboard maker, Hobie Alter, Phil Edwards,  Hobie's designer, and Steve Dashew, designer of “D” class catamaran BEOWULF.

 

 

Malibu.jpg

Malibu2.jpg

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As mentioned up thread, the "pregnant whale," Peter Grant's NALU II, won the 1959 TransPac with a dinghy on deck. What was not mentioned is NALU II raced 7 Transpacs, compiling an enviable record in the 50's and 60's carrying good luck chickens in a coop in the dinghy.  You had to have been there in 1961, as Fin Beven was, to see this unusual arrangement for fresh eggs.  Thanks, Fin, for the photo. Something you would likely not encounter aboard an ocean racer these days..

NaluII.jpg

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The Malibu Outriggers set the tone for the beach cat culture.

A popular destination was Parson's Landing on Catalina Island because of the wide and gently sloping sand beach. Perfect for an overnight camp. As I recall, there may be a spigot with fresh water there.

I made the trip a couple of times on my Hobie 16 with parts of a chart taped under some sheet mylar and a plastic Davis hand-bearing compass taped to a fore-n-aft beam which was close enough to a lubber line as didn't matter. No radio; that luxury item wasn't in the budget in those days. I was jealous of the Malibu Outriggers because they had a sealed hold for stowing stuff while we had to make do with double bagging in garbage bags.

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On 5/5/2021 at 11:04 PM, sleddog said:

The L/36 was not Bill Lapworth's first successful design.  He'd already done FLYING SCOTCHMAN, DANCER, and the L/32's DASHER, MADCAP, and VIXEN, in the early '50's.  But with the design, build, and launch of the first L/36's, Lapworth's ascendancy to the top tier of West Coast designers began.

At the time of her design in 1953, the L/36, with a 28 foot waterline, was the smallest boat eligible for the Honolulu Race. L/36 #1 and #2 were built side by side at Carl Chapman and Rolly Kalayjian's quonset hut boatyard in Costa Mesa.  A coin was flipped to decide who got #1, and George Griffith, previous owner of the 44' PAJARA, won the toss and his family's boat, only half finished, was named CASSANDRA.

HOLIDAY, L/36 #2, our family's boat, was launched first down the railway at Rosan's where the Rusty Pelican is now.  CASSANDRA followed some month's later, as George built his own interior to save money. The launch was a festive affair, but for the reception at NHYC, 2 miles distant, HOLIDAY's engine wouldn't engage in forward.  So we motored all the way in reverse with signal flags flying and the champagne bottle hanging from the bow.

CASSANDRA and HOLIDAY accumulated wins in most every race, including the Whitney Series, the Ahmanson Series, the YRU Cruise, and the Sunset Series.  Orders came in for more L/36's.  #3 was the blue MISTRAL for the Desenbergs and she had a longer cabin, allowing headroom in the head.  This long cabin became standard.

An unofficial rivalry built up between the L/36's and the K/38's..and within several years there were L/36's scattered along the coast from San Diego (SUNRISE) to Monterey to SF to Vancouver.

Here's HOLIDAY in her first race, the Huntington Tidelands, in the summer of 1954.  The bronze bow pulpit hadn't been completed.  All Kenny Watts mains looked like that, with a hard spot up the front of the miserably short, wood battens.

And below is HOLIDAY in 1959 with her blue North main, Lowell's first 'big boat" main.  It had bungee for both the luff rope and foot rope and could be bagged up nicely for downwind. Soon there were a lot of blue sails in the S.Calif. ocean racing fleet.

Holiday1004.jpg

Holiday1005.jpg

Here is a picture, a few years later, of an L-36 winning some race or other in SF. The longer cabin (extending forward of the mast and therefore permitting standing headroom in the head) is visible.

2119412195_LedaonMainsheet.jpg

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On 4/19/2021 at 11:22 AM, sleddog said:

SIRIUS II was an 82' "M" class cutter, designed by Starling Burgess, and built by Abeking and Rasmussen in 1929. She was generally considered the fastest and best sailed of the 3 "M" boats on the West Coast, the others being WINDWARD and PURSUIT.  Under Howard Ahmanson's ownership, Bill Ficker was skipper of SIRIUS II.

Under Charles Deere Wiman's ownership, then PATOLITA raced the '47 and '49 TransPacs, but suffered the ignominy of sailing into the Pacific High.  In 1957, owned by Frank Hooykass, she had been renamed BARLOVENTO and won the TranPac's Barn Door in 11 days, 13 hours.

In the 1961 Transpac, after exchanging positions for much of the race, SIRIUS II and TICONDEROGA had an epic finish, just 37 minutes apart. Diamond Head was gridlocked with spectators as SIRIUS II came barreling past Koko Head at which point her spinnaker pole broke.  The chute flew to leeward, knocking her down for an extended time until the spinnaker halyard was cut. When SIRIUS II righted, she ended up towing the spinny and broken pole for the final 6 miles.  Slowed to 7 knots, she managed to beat Big TI by just 37 minutes. Ironically TI had also lost her spinnaker, but not been knocked down.  The hundreds of spectators got to watch the closest first-to-finish in TransPac history, not bested until TICONDEROGA nosed out STORMVOGEL 4 years later.

Glad to hear SIMBA has her original name back.

Sirius II2.jpg

Sirius II, 1975 (+-).  One of the few times you would ever wish for 20 knots on the nose in an Ensenada Race.  Ended up with the typical 12 knot dying quail westerly.  Discovered that meter boats turn uncontrollable lazy circles in no wind and a small swell.  Terrible race, great crew.  Rex Banks, Don Vaughn, Larry Lalonde, Boo Hanratty, to name a few.1337775473_S.II1975A.thumb.jpg.0ed1991acb1473331e83c013e566dd6f.jpg849656438_S.II1975.thumb.jpg.0a1b787635b5d7eee4a8505edf32b357.jpg

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On 5/10/2021 at 5:38 PM, sleddog said:

and if memory serves, had a piece missing out of your bow at the waterline.

 

!! Exactly.  Either you are extremely observant or have a photographic memory, Skip - likely both  :-) (We’d hit what seems like it was a floating piece of concrete encased foam from a dock?)

What’s cool about this thread is that while I know almost (actually 100%) nothing about any of this scene, time and people you’re describing, it’s engaging reading.  That means something.  Some great stories here, and technical details. Really gives a great, almost invaluable, backdrop to sailing today.

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wait till you read the story about the 8mR doing the Sydney- Hobart multiple times! also a great read!

 

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The '50's S.CA ocean racing fleet always seemed to be bouncing off things. Or so it seemed to an impressionable kid. The first "bump in the night" I recall was the '53 Ensenada Race when Bogey mistook a car's headlights for the finish boat searchlight, and put race leader SANTANA on the bricks at Punta del Morro, two miles west of Ensenada Village. Boy was he mad on the radio to the RC.

 

Not soon after, in a Whitney Race, the 36' WESTWARD HO somehow got wedged between Catalina's West End and the visible outlier. How did Willard Bell do that?

The start of the '55 Transpac was memorable when the big blue 72' Rhodes ketch ESCAPADE, working up the coast past Pt. Fermin, found a rock off Portuguese Bend and dropped her badly bent bronze centerboard. Whoops.

If I had a nickel for every boat that found the reef immediately south of Ship Rock....well, you know that place, and so did Mark Hulsman's PCC  RANSOM.

"Searoom!" Angels Gate, in the shadow of the LA Breakwater Lighthouse, became fertile ground for unanticipated contact with the submerged end of the breakwater. If you got past that, well there is that damn rock on the starboard tack layline out to Pt. Fermin R "6PF" buoy, something we hit with our L/36 at least once. Buck Ayres at Lido Shipyard kept a large sledgehammer just for straightening lead keels.

Short tacking up to Catalina's West End, it pays to stay in close, and get those big port tack lifters off the cliffs. But did anyone check the tide? There's that half tide reef, one mile east of the West End, that sticks out 100 yards, and we hit that too.

These days, with GPS and chart plotters, I'm sure Anachists never endanger their keels by taking chances that we took in the 50's. But just in case anyone finds themselves close aboard the west side cliffs of Arrow Point on Catalina after the start of this July's Transpac,  there is an uncharted rock waiting there.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, sleddog said:
 

The start of the '55 Transpac was memorable when the big blue 72' Rhodes ketch ESCAPADE, working up the coast past Pt. Fermin, found a rock off Portuguese Bend and dropped her badly bent bronze centerboard. Whoops.

 

 

Escapade - rarely mentioned, but one of the greatest boats ever built.

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11 hours ago, sleddog said:

... there is that damn rock on the starboard tack layline out to Pt. Fermin R "6PF" buoy, something we hit with our L/36 at least once.

Yeah.  we found that one in 1980 with the keel of a Choate-40.  Not fun going from 7 to dead stop.

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13 hours ago, Former MDR Vandal 1 said:

Escapade - rarely mentioned, but one of the greatest boats ever built.

If you knew BARUNA and BOLERO, you undoubtedly knew ESCAPADE, one of the "Big 3" 73 foot yawls in American yachting.  During her active racing career, ESCAPADE won just about every race she entered, including 3 Mackinacs.  One of ESCAPADE's finest moments came in the 1958 Acapulco Race when the on-watch crew sighted a burning vessel astern in the distance. ECAPADE's crew dropped their spinnaker and motored in the opposite direction for an hour to reach fellow race vessel , Jack Heddon's ketch Celebes, finding all 14 crew members in the water and Celebes burned to her waterline. Continuing on with the race, Escapade campaigned to a second place finish despite her increased crew of 30.

ESCAPADE2.jpg

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12 minutes ago, sleddog said:

If you knew BARUNA and BOLERO, you undoubtedly knew ESCAPADE, one of the "Big 3" 73 foot yawls in American yachting.  During her active racing career, ESCAPADE won just about every race she entered, including 3 Mackinacs.  One of ESCAPADE's finest moments came in the 1958 Acapulco Race when the on-watch crew sighted a burning vessel astern in the distance. ECAPADE's crew dropped their spinnaker and motored in the opposite direction for an hour to reach fellow race vessel , Jack Heddon's ketch Celebes, finding all 14 crew members in the water and Celebes burned to her waterline. Continuing on with the race, Escapade campaigned to a second place finish despite her increased crew of 30.

en

Thank you. I had forgotten the story of this beautiful Rhodes design. 

https://classicyachtinfo.com/yachts/escapade-2/

https://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/will-someone-save-escapade/

https://www.renegadesailing.com/blog/death-of-a-classic-yacht-escapade

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3 hours ago, sledracr said:

Yeah.  we found that one in 1980 with the keel of a Choate-40.  Not fun going from 7 to dead stop.

Before LA and Long Beach Harbor yacht racing was ruined by the creation of the Pier 300 and 400 land mass, nearly every race used the Point Fermin Buoy as a weather mark and that rock was almost always right on the starboard tack lay line.  Even though my father had raced past the rock hundreds of times, knew it well and I do not recall ever being on a boat that hit it, it still scared me every time we sailed past.  So at 16, after seeing and hearing a dozen or so boats hit it, some really hard, I developed a total distain for that damn rock.  Nothing makes a sound like an aluminum boat bouncing off that rock, with the wire rope halyards smacking the inside of the aluminum mast amplifying and prolonging the noise.  So one calm day, I took a dingy, my mask and snorkel and did some reconnaissance (found lots of bottom paint left behind).  After locating the two high spots on the rock, I lined them up with the Cabrillo cliff face and the background and thereafter could tell when we were within the 30 foot wide danger zone coming out from the kelp line on starboard tack.  The downside was that I was now considered a Point Fermin rock expert, and therefore responsible for not hitting it.

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23 hours ago, sleddog said:

The '50's S.CA ocean racing fleet always seemed to be bouncing off things. Or so it seemed to an impressionable kid. The first "bump in the night" I recall was the '53 Ensenada Race when Bogey mistook a car's headlights for the finish boat searchlight, and put race leader SANTANA on the bricks at Punta del Morro, two miles west of Ensenada Village. Boy was he mad on the radio to the RC.

 

Not soon after, in a Whitney Race, the 36' WESTWARD HO somehow got wedged between Catalina's West End and the visible outlier. How did Willard Bell do that?

The start of the '55 Transpac was memorable when the big blue 72' Rhodes ketch ESCAPADE, working up the coast past Pt. Fermin, found a rock off Portuguese Bend and dropped her badly bent bronze centerboard. Whoops.

If I had a nickel for every boat that found the reef immediately south of Ship Rock....well, you know that place, and so did Mark Hulsman's PCC  RANSOM.

"Searoom!" Angels Gate, in the shadow of the LA Breakwater Lighthouse, became fertile ground for unanticipated contact with the submerged end of the breakwater. If you got past that, well there is that damn rock on the starboard tack layline out to Pt. Fermin R "6PF" buoy, something we hit with our L/36 at least once. Buck Ayres at Lido Shipyard kept a large sledgehammer just for straightening lead keels.

Short tacking up to Catalina's West End, it pays to stay in close, and get those big port tack lifters off the cliffs. But did anyone check the tide? There's that half tide reef, one mile east of the West End, that sticks out 100 yards, and we hit that too.

These days, with GPS and chart plotters, I'm sure Anachists never endanger their keels by taking chances that we took in the 50's. But just in case anyone finds themselves close aboard the west side cliffs of Arrow Point on Catalina after the start of this July's Transpac,  there is an uncharted rock waiting there.

 

 

With respect, damn, you are old! 

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1 hour ago, flyingdog said:

With respect, damn, you are old! 

I felt that way last Sunday crewing doublehanded on the WylieCat 39 CHECKERED PAST in a 14 mile buoys race on SF Bay.  The deal was the electric mainsheet winch blew a fuse at the start and I reached for a standard winch handle, only to discover it wouldn't clear a nearby lifeline stanchion.  Luckily there was a stubby handle aboard, and that's what was used to trim the 30 foot wishbone and giant main all afternoon in gusty 12-20 knots TWS.  Wheee! (For those who might ask, CHECKERED PAST was designed and built to accommodate an owner/skipper with a disability that keeps him in a wheel chair.  Thus the electric mainsheet winch, for which a rating penalty is paid, allows the boat to be sailed by old and/or infirm farts like ourselves.)

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14 hours ago, flyingdog said:

With respect, damn, you are old! 

Older, perhaps.  But certainly, the years make one wiser.  And while the abundance of CCA and IOR era focused blogs on SA have allowed some to fondly remember the “old days”, even though they currently participate in yacht racing, the reason why such blogs are so numerous may be less obvious.  The “old days” were simply way more fun for everyone involved (sailors, wives, racer chasers, club members, etc.).  As such, these older sailors, by sharing (and yes, reliving) their favorite boats, races and anecdotes, are subliminally demonstrating to younger generations of sa