Best bargain on the water? How about a delicious $20 yacht club lunch followed by a talk about current maritime happenings?

Each week, Los Angeles YC, 285 Whalers Walk in San Pedro, hosts an “open to the public” Wednesday Speaker Series. The white tablecloth luncheons feature an artfully presented three-course lunch followed by a 30- to 40-minute presentation.

The topics can include anything of broad interest to the yachting community. Recent speakers covered Catalina developments and the design of America’s Cup boats.

Reservations are encouraged; call the club office at (310) 831-1203 to confirm your attendance. The luncheon starts at noon and wraps up about 1:30. Lunch is $20 plus tax and visitors may pay by cash or credit card at the club.

The Oct. 16 presentation is, “There is nothing more expensive than a free boat.” It will be presented by Bruce Heyman and Duncan McDuffie.

Bruce Heyman is leading the nonprofit effort to restore the Official Tall Ship of the city of Long Beach. The American Pride is a 129' three-masted schooner that will soon be permanently berthed in Rainbow Harbor. Heyman has a passion for the schooner and is devoted to her restoration.

As with any vessel, the efforts required to make her seaworthy so that she can serve as a marine education platform for the youth of Long Beach have taken more time and energy than were anticipated.

Each step of the journey has brought challenges. Heyman shared, “Of course the engine wouldn't turn over the day it was to go into the ship yard. American Pride had to be towed in”.

He continued, “As American Pride was being ‘tug boated' into the ship yard we got to see the starboard side of the bowsprit for the first time. We could tell just by looking at it that there was more wrong than just peeling paint. We ended up remaking a little over a third of the bowsprit back in our shop.”

During LAYC’s lunch, Heyman will share his vision to keep the vessel in Long Beach full time, along with telling the story of, as he explains, “The economically disadvantaged students we serve rarely come to us with the money needed to cover the expenses associated with delivering our award-winning character and STEM base experiential programs at sea.”

Farr 40

"The Farr 40 class is back in Long Beach for their World Championships this year," Long Beach Yacht Club's John Busch said. "Long Beach is famous for strong breeze, warm temperatures, and fantastic hospitality. We are happy to host this prestigious racing class of yachts in 2019.

Last weekend, Cabrillo BYC hosted the pre-worlds where Busch served as the Principal Race Officer. This week (Oct. 2-6) the Long Beach YC hosted regatta will be sailed in local waters.

Local boat Dark Star will be racing, and reviewing the details of the on-line entries is always interesting. There are classic crew positions — helmsman, pit and bow. For the recent Transpac race, a number of crew were listed as “in the way,” a category that sounded almost like hazing. Sailing is a type of fraternity, and having a Long Beach sailor, Todd Leutheuser, to root for will make tracking the results more meaningful.

Leutheuser said, “We put together our team and boat a few years ago and we are excited to participate at this level. It’s not every day that you get to race against the best from five or six countries.”

Upon reviewing Dark Stars’ crew list Todd Leutheuser is listed as “Rush Chairman.”

He explained “I just got that from the dropdown menu on the entry form. It seems to fit. Putting together the crew, substitutes, coordinating the weight limitations (1,675 pounds) and keeping everyone on the same page can be a challenge. We also have to remember to have fun. After all, this isn’t our day job.”

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