La Paz Trophy online

Long Beach Yacht Club's dining room manager Steve Felix with the Long Beach to La Paz Governor of California Trophy.

LaPaz Race

Wilson High classmate John Echeto texted me photos of a “keeper” plaque from Long Beach Yacht Club’s 1969 Long Beach to La Paz race. These are presented to winners of perpetual trophies, so they have something to put on their mantel to celebrate a major win.

Echeto found the vintage hardware while cleaning out his garage, presumedly a thrift store discovery of his mother’s from decades ago. It was presented to the winner of the Governor of California (Edmond G. Brown at the time) trophy.

We started researching, and some news reports were unclear regarding who won the trophy — so John suggested I just check whose name was engraved on it.

LBYC’s dining room manager Steve Felix helped me locate the trophy. With a bit of polishing, we discovered the 1969 winner was LBYC’s own Dr. Holiday racing aboard Aquarius. Jack Holiday died this past October — the day after his 99th birthday. Echeto is checking with his family members to see if anyone would like this memento from 50 plus years ago.

In 1977, the race finish was changed to Cabo San Lucas. LBYC’s 1966 Commodore Bill Dalessi explained, “The tough part of the La Paz race was going from the cape to the gulf into La Paz against the chop — it was hard to keep the boat going."

In 1969, Dalessi won the Governor of Baja trophy. The perpetual trophy was donated by Governor Hugo Cervantes del Rio. It is a stunning mother of pearl trophy with an ornate Aztec canoe.

The Baja Governor was so impressed by Dalessi that he gave him the perpetual trophy and donated a replacement trophy that is in the trophy case at Long Beach YC.

Foiled Again

Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) Commodore Bill McNamera asked, "What’s going on with Jerry Fiat and a foiling youth sailing program?"

Great news. In a telephone interview with Fiat this week, he shared that he has secured a boatyard in San Pedro to establish “Next Generation Sailing” the first week of July. The current fleet of 9 includes three types of catamarans: GC32s, Nacra 17s, and Flying Phantoms.


Long Beach Race Week has been canceled the second year in a row. Co-Chair Steve Mueller listed the rationale in a press release, including: “If we can’t have our traditional parties, it just won’t be Long Beach Race Week!”


Anchor Marine Canvas owner Ken Fogg remembered when he was first in the process of getting into the business, he cut his teeth on some repair work on board a well-maintained wooden power boat near the end of gangway 5 in Alamitos Bay Marina.

I remembered the boat named Rapture and the wonderful live-aboards, Don and Winifred Patterson. He was an animator for Walt Disney, working on classic projects including, "Fantasia," "Dumbo" and "The Three Caballeros."

My Naples School classmate, David Cook, whose family lived aboard the sailboat Faith, had fond memories of the Pattersons.

Cook texted me photos of the embossed leather-covered Bible Don and Winnie gifted the Cook family on Christmas 1967. Now a family heirloom, the inscription says it all, “To the “Faith” from the “Rapture.”

Sea Fever

Readers Oscar and Anne Gallo were dispositioning the estate of their late friends Frank Grew and his artist wife Maria Gunnarsson when they came upon a framed plaque with a photo of a sailboat.

The inscription read: “The brave ship, Sea Fever suffered a dreadful explosion, burned and sank to the bottom at Avalon Bay, Catalina Island on January 23, 1971. All hands survived, by the grace of God."

There is a hand-written note to the bottom, “I loved the painting from the first, now it is invaluable. Thank you — Signed Jim.”

The Gallos asked for “more of the story” and according to news reports in January 1971, Mr. Mahoney, along with his son and a friend took the 36-footer to Catalina for the weekend. After refueling, the sailboat blew up at the gas dock — throwing the three of them into the drink.


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