What’s “classic”? Larger-than-life celebrities, like Elvis. Feelings of prosperity. And right in our neighborhood, this year, the 9th edition of the South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic. Presented by the Northern California / Lake Tahoe Chapter of the Antique Wooden & Classic Boat Society, this year’s charity event takes place on July 29-30 at the Tahoe Keys Marina in South Tahoe.
There are many key ingredients that make this event remarkable. Included are:
- Vintage race boats of any class or year of racing, from runabouts to unlimited hydroplanes.
- Classic wood and early generation fiberglass boats.
- A unique theme every year. This year’s theme: “Ladies and Gentlemen, You Have a Race?”
As the organizers say, “it’s your boat” that helps make the show popular and fun. This year the historic boat, Miss Notre Dame will be restored and on display. Like a few others, she hasn’t been seen in decades. She carries her original 1927 Duesenberg W-24 engine. This third edition was driven in the 1939 season by 22 year-old local Dan Arena. Miss Notre Dame’s history will be featured in a two-part story in ACBS’ Western Wood publication. You can read about this and other grand stories here.
Lake Tahoe has a history when it comes to boat racing. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was on the APBA Unlimiteds race circuit. Then, scores of fans could witness the unlimited hydroplanes (they used to be called “Thunder Boats”) as their mighty V-12 engines roared around the shores of Tahoe. The Tahoe Yacht Club used to host regattas at various locations, including Chamber’s Landing. There was the “Bang and Go Back” event to look forward to. Local racing stars such as the Murphy Family ran boats in those races, and earlier races as well.
Highlights of the show, including special or member events on Sunday, the awards day, include the following:
- Friday, July 29. At noon, the Beer Village opens up. At 6 p.m., the ‘Blue Water Dinner’ will be pleased to serve you. Dress for this dinner occasion should be in your favorite racing theme attire.
- Saturday, July 30. The Beer Village opens at 9 a.m. And of course, the show continues.
- Sunday, July 31. At 11 a.m., the Annual Chapter Picnic and Awards Ceremony takes place at Sugar Pine Point State Park. Members and guests are invited to come by water or land.
If you want a little more information before you make your decision to join a few thousand others in admiring scores of priceless and exciting boats, visit the event’s main website. For up to the minute news and updates, visit their Facebook page.
This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.