The Harbor Report: Fifty-four years (almost) on the water

I had an interview postponed this week and needed to pull something out of my hat to fill my column. So while I took a Duffy cruise of the harbor, looking for that last-minute story, the thought kept coming into my head to interview myself — a type of self-portrait.

I will be 54 this year and was born in Arcadia, California. My parents, Vivian and Len, moved to Huntington Beach in 1968, and, because we had previously lived in Hawaii, I headed straight for the beach. I also had a passion for baseball. I graduated from Edison High School and Orange Coast College and attended Cal State Long Beach for a year.

In 1975, my father built up the courage to purchase a Hobie Cat 16, and we started sailing in Newport Harbor off 16th Street. After spending a couple years running into all the moored boats in front of 16th Street, I started racing with my father. For a number of years, we sailed in the Ancient Mariner Regatta, which was named for the sponsoring restaurant. That race was interesting because we started and finished each day in front of the restaurant.

By 1979, I noticed the OCC sailing team. It was quickly brought to my attention that I was very green and needed to step up my game. I remember coach Jim Jorgensen telling me, "Len, you can really hurt someone if you come barging into the start like that." Jorgensen was very understanding with me and gave me a spot on the team to go to the Naval Academy and race in the Kennedy Cup. During the summer, I practiced sailing Lido 14s, and by the time the next season started, I had made the team and raced for OCC that spring. I kept working hard, and the following year, I was made coach of the OCC sailing team and took it back to the Kennedy Cup.

During this same time, the Richley family built its Choate 48 Amante and I became part of the family. Thanks to Ricky and Mel Richley, I was selected to sail in the 1983 Transpac race to Hawaii. This led to five Cabo San Lucas races with Amante, and because of the break the Richley family gave me, I have taken part in nine races to Hawaii and 29 races down Baja California.

In 1989, I started working as a yacht broker at the Yacht Connection and spent two years at Ardell yachts. In 1993, I started Len Bose Yacht Sales and have kept the door open now for 21 years.

In 1995, I joined the Balboa Yacht Club and became very active within it. In 2001, I was awarded the Sportsman of the Year Award and served as fleet captain in 2003-04. In 2008, with help from Kelly Buchan and Gunnar Torre, we won the Club Championships. About that same time, the Lido 14 fleet became very active again and I served as Fleet 1's captain. This is when I started to write about sailing and encouraged people to participate in our local sailing events.

One day, Brett Hemphill said I should start writing for the Newport-Mesa Daily Voice and introduced me to Tom Johnson. When 2010 came around, I found myself with the Daily Pilot writing a weekly harbor column.

Recently, I have gotten too big for my Lido 14 and have moved over to the Harbor 20 fleet, where I have been tasked with the class public relations and given a chair on the Harbor 20 class board. In 2012, I moved my flag over to the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, which awarded me the Elmer Carvey Memorial last year.

BCYC has been very kind and has provided me with the tools for "my silly ideas."

My plan is to stay on course and promote our harbor, boating, our harbor's history and sailboat racing. I feel like I have everything lined up to make a difference, and I have you, my readers, to thank.

It will be an interesting voyage. I just hope you all will stay on board with me.

Sea ya.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World