I keep thinking of a local band back from the early '80s called "The Daddy O's." Their hit song, "Tiki Boat Party," was based on good times we all had on The Tiki Boat, a charter boat that runs out of the Balboa Fun Zone.
The words to the song went like this: "It's a Tiki boat party, It's a Tiki boat parade, summer and the sun is out, we really got it made!"
This week, the Balboa Yacht Club held its Club Championships in the Governors Cup 21's. Two events took place on Saturday: the Masters, for members over the age of 55, and the Family Championships.
The Masters was lightly attended with only two entries. The competitors were Commodore Judi Gorski's team versus Joe Carter's team. Both entries brought in ringers to helm the boats with Commodore Gorski asking Alan Andrews to helm her boat, and Joe Carter handing the tiller to local sail maker Bob Kettenhoffen.
The result was five match races that brought everyone to their feet to see who was leading at every turn. At the end of the event, Team Gorski took home the gold. A shout out must be given to junior members Christophe and Porter Killian along with Harrison Vandervort for doing a fantastic job running the races.
Next up was Family Championships with six teams making it out to the starting line. This event is all about the photo opportunities and bringing as many generations together for one event as possible. Even if we all say this race is just for fun, the competitive spirit comes out at the start of the first race.
The trick for me is to remain calm and request that the new weather jib sheet be released and sheeted in to leeward as soon as possible. This year, Team Killian completed the five races that started at M mark and finished in front of the race tower at BYC with the winning combination.
Team Vandervort grabbed second place, followed closely by Team Wanless in third.
The main event was on Sunday. The Club Championships is what we like to call it "the race for the parking place" in front of the club. This year's race was stacked with talent, including Sailing Hall of Fame member Dave Ullman, yacht designer Alan Andrews, Peter Fallon, Christophe Killian, Eric Aakhus, Steve Kent and myself.
At the start of the first race and into the first wind shift it was apparent that team Ullman was sailing faster than the rest of the fleet, and they would take the parking place. The question was which one of us could take a race from team Ullman within this 5-race series? Team Andrews did win race No. 3 and kept team Ullman from sweeping the series, while the rest of were fighting for second place.
At the end of the day Team Andrews was tied with Team Bose for second place. After a tie-breaker, Team Andrews took second and my team finished third.
I could have not been more pleased with my result and have to thank my crew Alex Steele and especially Shannon Heausler for all their hard work.
The quote of the day came when Dave Ullman told me, "Lenny, you sailed very well out there today."
So you might be asking yourself, why did I write about one yacht club's event? The answer to your question is that this is the best format I have found that promotes sailing at its grass roots level.
It brings together as many as three generations to sail on the same boat or to compete against each other. It brings the membership together to watch and cheer on their favorite teams. I am sure I will be doing the same type of story in September for The Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club Championships sailed in Harbor 20's. If you are a BCYC member, make sure you sign up soon.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.