NEWPORT BEACH – More than 1,200 wooden boat aficionados spent their weekend boarding and admiring the classic vessels on display at the inaugural Wooden Boat Festival in Newport Beach, Calif.
Held on June 7 at Balboa Yacht Club, the event proved to be a success with festival organizers having to turn boats away.
“We are very excited,” said Jan Kingarrd, who handled the festival’s marketing. “There were 46 boats on display.”
Organized by Ralph Rodheim, the Wooden Boat Festival is meant to help revive the heritage of sailing and to help keep it alive.
The American Legion Yacht Club organized a wooden boat show for close to two years before making the decision to no longer host the show.
Vessels and visitors came from as far as Ventura and San Diego, with several boats from Newport to Los Angeles, to partake in the event that included live music by the Legacy Buccaneers who sang sea shanties and donned pirate garb. A visitor also brought along a pot bellied pig to enjoy the day.
Artists were on site working on paintings as guests watched and “the knot guy,” Lindsey Philpott demonstrated his knot tying abilities. Model boat builders were also in attendance. A buffet was also provided.
Prior to the festival, boat exhibitors received a swag bag, enjoyed a cocktail reception June 6, a continental breakfast and lunch the day of the show and entry into the Peoples’ Choice awards competition. Winners are as follows: People’s Choice Results: Cruiser over 45 feet; Athena, Wayne Ettel; Cruiser under 45 feet: Colnett, Bunker Hill and Steve Farwell; Sailboats over 50 feet: Zapata II, Jim and Marion Jordan; Sailboats under 50 feet: Madness, Bob King and Ralph Rodheim; Powerboats/Launches: Humble, Victoria Fash; Powerboats/Runabouts: Firecracker, Mark and Tracy Widder; Land Powerboats: Uncle Erwin, Dave Carroll; Land Sailboats: Black Cloud, Don Schaffer; Land Human Powered: Rock-A-Bye, Barry mason. Mayor’s Choice for Best Powerboat: Colnett, Bunker Hill. Commodore’s Choice for Best Sailboat: Zapata II, Jim and Marion Jordan. Skipper’s Choice for Best Show: Humble, Victoria Fash.
Show organizers are already looking toward next year’s event.
“This was planned with the intention of making it an annual event,” Kingaard said. “It now has a home at Balboa YC and all the feedback we have received from boaters is to keep on growing it and it’ll be as good as Port Townsend’s. So we’re very excited.”
The Wooden Boat Festival showcases exceptional wooden boats of various makes, models and sizes in the water and on land at Balboa YC. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://bycwoodenboatfestival.com/