Monday, September 11, 2006


Our Encinal Yacht Club hosted the first annual Caltopia this weekend (I was the organizer). There were some twenty Cal boats there from Friday to Sunday – four Cal 40s, six Cal 39-2s and a raft of others from 25 to 36 feet. A lot of Cal boaters who couldn’t bring their boats cruised in by land, so EYC had a full house. Especially so, because Caltopia coincided with the EYC fall flea market on Saturday, which several Cal boaters took advantage of by selling, swapping, and buying stuff at a stall provided to them by the club.

Steve Seal, who worked as a rigger at Jensen Marine’s Costa Mesa plant in the 1960s, and Roger Jones, who was an engineer there in the 1970s, held an informative lunch-time discussion about the history of Cal boats, construction issues, and then answered questions from Cal boaters.

Saturday afternoon three of the Cal 40s held a match regatta with pick-up crews from the rendezvous, going from below the Bay Bridge, round Alcatraz, and down the Alameda Estuary to finish at the club. Jim Quanci’s Green Buffalo took first place. Second went to EYC’s Shaman, skippered by Steve Waterloo, who was closely followed by Rodney Pimintel’s Azure, also from EYC. The Club's Vice Commodore, Tony Shaffer, ran the regatta and gave every finisher the gun.

One thing that stands out among Cal boaters is that they really love their boats. Every boat had seen lots of tender loving care, and every one truly enjoyed visiting every boat, admiring little details of each boat, and exchanging ideas for projects.

During the day, Steve Seal, Roger Jones, and EYC member Tony Kay visited all the boats and judged them in a Caltopia Concours d’Elegance.

Caltopia organizer Jim Williams gave out framed awards to the winners before everyone adjourned for dinner and an evening of jazz music. Prizes (sponsored by EYC’s Bill and Carol Blackburn) included: “most original,” to EYC’s Mike Chambreau for his Cal 34 Impetuous), the “nicest interior” to Duane & Lynn Knize’s Cal 39-2 Marlyn (Emeryville), the “best Cal 40” to EYC’s Rodney Pimintel for Azure), the “best Cal under 38 feet” to J.R. & Brenda Dicks for Banana Wind (Marina Village). The overall “most elegant” as well as the “best Cal 39” went to EYC’s Jim Williams & Deborah Stern for Spindrift (really, the event was not rigged).

The best news is that this great event will happen again next year. Jim has agreed to head up organizing Caltopia 2007 again, with Roger Jones and others helping out. There may be a bit of competition among San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay clubs for hosting! If you know a Cal boater who missed it (or if you missed it), mark September 7-9 on your calendar for next year. And, email me to put yourself on the electronic contact list.

More photos


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