The Crowd: Costa Mesa couple celebrate boat

Last Monday evening on a dock reaching out into a side channel of the Newport Harbor, dreams came true for a young Costa Mesa couple, David and Katie Levy.

It was 6 p.m. on a cloud-covered evening on the docks of the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. Berthed at a guest slip was a pristine CSY 44 sailing vestal christened "Stargazer." Its sleek hull and stately mast beckoned a crowd of well-wishers steadily growing in ranks from initially a few close friends and family members into an exuberant overflow, shoulder-to-shoulder turnout of sailing enthusiasts.

They had come to share in David and Katie's dream come true at a rededication ceremony recognizing the changing of the guard of ownership from the yacht's original masters, Don and Doris Stoughton of Corona del Mar, members of The Balboa Yacht Club, into the stewardship of David and Katie Levy, new young members of the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club.

The back story is the best part of this happy occasion. David Levy, a graduate of Newport Harbor High School, attended USC as a sailor, and it was there that he met his future bride, Katie Clausen, also an accomplished member of the USC team.

David and Katie became racing partners at USC, both receiving All-American recognition for their achievements. They married on the sand of the Lido Isle Yacht Club in the summer of 2009 as the sun set over the harbor.

David and Katie grew up on the water, the children of avid sailors. When David was 14 he spotted Stargazer in the harbor, calling it love at first sight. He became acquainted with the yacht's skipper, Don Stoughton, who had the vessel custom built in the 1970s and had for a considerable time enjoyed his yacht in the South Pacific waters of Bora Bora and other Tahitian locales, prior to bringing her home to Newport Beach.

"If you ever want to sell this boat — call me first," David often told Dan when their nautical paths crossed. It was friendly dream affirmation.

Then, earlier this year, Don and Doris Stoughton took delivery on a spectacular new catamaran and decided to sell Stargazer. There were inquires and potential offers but Don remembered David's desire and wanted him to have the yacht. He called and the rest is pure dreams come true.

With the help of David's parents, Barry and Nancy Levy, who are minority partners in the purchase, the young couple greeted the crush of nautically attired sailors who had come to witness the re-dedication.

Katie's parents, Kers and Kathy Clausen, also avid sailors and members of the St. Francis and Richmond yacht clubs in Northern California, came aboard along with Kjeld Hestehave and Diane Witting, up from the San Diego Yacht Club.

BCYC Commodore Don Bernard and his wife, Jill, were front and center along with BCYC vice Commodore Ted O'Conner and his wife, the lovely Connie O' Conner. Phylis Jasmin was there along with Jeanie Lowry, both women looking very sharp in their starched white nautical slacks.

David and Katie's collegiate racing friends, Kim and Zack Maxam and Erin and Whit Batchelor, were also on board joining Levy grandmother, Marian Yudin, and sister, Danielle Clawson, with husband, David Clawson, and their two very young mates Makenna, 3, and Ethan, 1.

A sentimental poem was delivered to the crowd by yachtsman Jay Carson specifically written for Stargazer. Mother Nancy Levy served champagne and margaritas and offered a hors d' oeuvre spread worthy of the memorable night. Darkness fell and the crowd stayed on late into the evening. It was all too good to end.

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