The 3rd Annual Mahogany & Merlot event in Lake Chelan, Washington was once again, a fantastic gathering of vintage race boats, antique & classic boats and wonderful people from all over the Pacific Northwest and Canada. The event which is presented by the nice folks from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum & The Pacific Northwest Chapter ACBS, continues to grow in popularity every year.
What makes this event unqiue is that you have the rare opportunity to admire a wide range of antique & classic boats and also experience the sights and sounds of the vintage unlimited & limited hydroplanes all at the same time. And this year the weather was perfect all weekend, bringing with it calm water both days.
The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum shows their appreciation to many of their hard working volunteers and sponsors by arranging to take them for rides in one of their vintage unlimited hyrdoplanes throughout the weekend. I can tell you first hand, this is an experience of a lifetime.
We have had the privilege of attending this great event both in 2010 and 2011, and returming back for a third consecutive year was almost like going back to a class reunion… Getting together with so many friends who, in some cases, we only get to see once a year was the highlight of the weekend.
This year there were fellow Woody Boaters from all over the surrounding area, representing the Pacific Northwest Chapter, Okanagan Chapter, Big Sky Chapter, Columbia-Willamette Chapter, Inland Empire Chapter and Payette Lakes Chapter. And what also makes this event so unique is having the opportunity to interact with the wonderful folks from the vintage raceboat hobby, who are always willing to share their vast knowledge of the hobby with us.
Each year on the Friday before the weekend, a group of Woody Boaters make the 50 mile trip up to the north end of Lake Chelan for lunch, which is also becoming popular for many of the boaters. And the cool part is that the only way in to this area is by boat, sea plane or barge. Below, fellow Woody Boater Dick Dow and crew on board “Sindbad” a rare 1939 Batchelor runabout.
Below, fellow Woody Boater Curt Erickson taking some friends for an exciting ride in Curt & Marsha’s Gentlemans Runabout “Miss Sidney” on Saturday. Curt & Marsha are great ambassador’s for the wooden boat hobby where ever they go.
On Sunday morning I had the opportunity to tag along with some great people who were responsible for manning the tow boat, assisting the race organizers by radio to ensure everyone was safe on the race course. We were positioned on the inside of turn one on the race course. It was quite an experience and we all had a really great time watching the hydroplanes as they thundered by at speed. This was also a perfect opportunity to snap a few shots of the raceboats in action, but you had to be fast on the camera.
The smaller Limited Class vintage raceboats also provided lots of entertainment as they screamed past the corner buoy… These folks love getting out in their raceboats and it shows, as they power through the corners.
So our tow boat moved in to action and towed the raceboat safely back to the dock for repairs. Although his boat was stalled for the moment, everyone is out there enjoying themselves and even the driver was smiling as we towed him back to the dock.
A perfectly restored 20′ Post War Chris-Craft Custom owned by fellow Woody Boater Ike Kielgass, restored by Robert DaPron a few years ago. Robert DaPron is one a few top wooden boat restoration companies in the Seattle, Washington area, and he does premium work.
A vintage Mercury outboard Tyson spotted in one of the boats on land display.
And a very nice Chris-Craft Super Sport was also on hand this year for everyone to enjoy.
Although there are tons of people that volunteer their time to make this great event such a success, we would like to give special thanks to Executive Director David Williams and his crew from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum in Kent, Washington, also to Jon & Chris Courtright for their hard work and dedication, and to Tom & Kris Bassett from Wenatchee, WA for everything they do to make this a winner. And to Peter Bro and the folks at the Pacific Northwest Chapter ACBS for co-hosting the event.
And also say thanks to all the volunteers that make an event of this size possible.
Campbells Waterfront Resort provides the premium accomodations for the event and their great banquet facilities for the Saturday night awards party.
Congratulations on another successful, enjoyable and safe weekend at Lake Chelan.