The harbor will be bustling these next two weeks with the 40th Newport Boat Show and Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s Ahmanson Cup Regatta this weekend, not to be outdone by next weekend’s 66th Annual Lexus Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race and the Balboa Angling Club’s 50th Annual Lily Call.
This last Wednesday afternoon, I spent a couple of hours previewing this year’s spring boat show at Lido Village. As I walked down the main dock, I started to feel like years past when confidence was high within the marine industry. Andy Estiri from Sea Furniture was busy assembling his dock display of helm chairs, upholstery work and stainless steel hardware. Duffy Electric Boat Company has a large in-the-water display of their product line just below the main ramp.
As I walked down the docks I started calling my clients, informing them that there was something for them to see at this year’s show. Some of the standout boats I noticed were the 1970 Hinckley Bermuda 40 “Black Irish,” the 54 Eastbay “Scout” and the new Fleming 65. There was a number of clean, smaller express cruisers, sport fishers and even a couple of sailboats. Over the last couple of years, I have had that “bah humbug"-type feeling. This year, the show feels like it has something for everyone. I give it a thumbs up.
This Saturday and Sunday is the NHYC Ahmanson Cup Regatta, which is the third race of the Newport High-Point Series. This race is a little unusual in that it is run as a pursuit race. The smallest boat starts first, which is me on the J 109 Linstar, with your handicap time as your head start. Just think of the 1980s arcade game “Pac-Man"; for us, Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde are the Santa Cruz 70s OEX and Retro. If they catch us after our head start and eat us up, we lose. The winds are forecasted to lighten up this weekend, so it does not look too promising for us.
We are sailing in the Ahmanson in an effort to get ready for the following weekend’s Ensenada race. I’ve gone through all of the Linstar emergency gear and should have our Man Overboard Module (MOM) back this week after being repacked this year. I am sure all my readers understand that MOMs need to be repacked annually. There is an interesting story developing out of the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for this year’s race. Commodore Tom Madden, aboard his Hylas 46 Stella Maris, has invited four BCYC junior sailors and their fathers to crew for him on this year’s race. This should make for some good stories and good times.
Something tells me that there will quite a few moms on the buses that are available to take down to the Hotel Coral and racers can sign up for rides back. Seventy dollars round-trip and $50 one-way sounds like a great deal to me. Let’s hope that this warming trend does not stay around for long and we have some wind this year. Because aboard Linstar, we “wanna race” and place our name on that two-year lease on the Lexus IS F Sport for winning the best corrected time.
Now while all us silly ragheads are out sailing under a full moon, the true harbor user will be competing in the 50th Annual Lily Call fishing tournament. The tournament is scheduled for April 27 and 28. According to the Balboa Angling Club’s website, “This is a 4# line class tournament held inside Newport Bay. Qualifying fish are Corbina, Spotfin and Yellowfin Croaker, Calico (Kelp) Bass, Sand Bass, Spotted Bay Bass and Halibut. This is one of our most attended tournaments and is limited to the first 150 entries.” If you have never been down to the Balboa Angling Club and looked through their history of past winners of this event, you are missing a big part of this harbor history.
Please wish me luck again this week; last week, it worked. Alan Andrews joined us Saturday aboard Linstar, and we won our class in the BCYC Ocean Series. On Sunday, Craig Fletcher sailed with in my Harbor 20 to a second-place finish in the Lorin Weiss Series. Life is good in Newport Harbor!
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.