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Balboa Yacht Club Hosts Third Annual Wooden Boat Festival

The public is invited to celebrate the multifaceted maritime heritage of Newport Harbor and wooden boats past and present at the Third Annual Balboa Yacht Club (BYC) Wooden Boat Festival, to be held at the BYC on Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One of approximately 25 shows of its kind in the nation, the BYC Wooden Boat Festival is a free, all-day event dedicated to the unique nature, history and character of all shapes and sizes of wooden boats. More than 50 of some of the best, most unique wooden power and sailboats in the country will be on display in the water and on land at the BYC. Newport Harbor is the largest recreational harbor on the West Coast, and our community is home to more than 9,000 pleasure boats for racing and cruising.

Experienced boaters, as well as novices, will come together to enjoy a day filled with maritime craftsmanship, art and exhibits, delicious food and drink, and lively music. The event will conclude with a 4 p.m. awards ceremony to honor the Best in Show (Perpetual Trophy), Best Sailboat, Best Powerboat, Best Human-Powered Boat, and People’s Choice Award winners.

A featured attraction at this year’s event will be the Wild Goose, the former WWII mine sweeper converted to a 136-foot pleasure yacht, once the pride and joy of legendary actor John Wayne. Free tours of the Wild Goose will be available throughout the day.

Also not to be missed will be the 55-foot authentic Chinese junk, Mei Wen Ti, and its builder and former owner, Walt Hackman, Sr., who will be on hand in the exhibitor area to sign his book, “No Problem, Mr. Walt,” a fascinating memoir about building the one-of-a-kind vessel in China (read about it on page 14).

The Wooden Boat Festival started when community leader and BYC member Ralph Rodheim approached Doug West, now BYC Commodore, with the idea of hosting a world-class wooden boat exhibition modeled after the storied automotive Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach. Now, four years, 2,000 guests and 100 volunteers later, their vision has become a legacy event for Southern California.

Guests will enjoy the swinging sounds of the Dave Stephens Band, as they peruse a fantastic on-land array of exhibitors, the artwork of Scott Kennedy and Lorelle Miller and Laguna Beach Festival of Arts artists Kerry Rutherford and Gary Miltimore, Lyndsey Philpott “The Knot Guy,” author Walt Hackman, Sr., Challenge America, Models by Duffy, International Guild of Knot Tyers, Nespresso, Western Marine Marketing, Newport Beach 1st Battalion, 1st Marines Foundation, and many more. There will also be a silent auction featuring donated art and other unique items, with proceeds benefitting the BYC Junior Sailing Program.

Generous sponsors for the event include Roger’s Gardens, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Clarke Marine Garvey (Insurance Services), Driver SPG, Lido Yacht Anchorage, Newport Beach & Co., Vessel Assist, Pacific Yachting Club, Hausman Family Trust, TKO International, and InterSeller.

Free shuttle service will be provided throughout the day, running constantly between BYC and the free parking located at 1600 Newport Center Drive (entrance to the lot is same as Newport Beach Country Club off PCH). For more information about the Wooden Boat Festival, contact BYC at 949.673.3515 or visit BYCWoodenBoatFestival.com.