|Ronda, left, and Natalie Tolar at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club|
By: Len Bose
Each summer I look forward to sailing in the weekday night races around the harbor.
One night seems to stand out above the rest during this summer, and it is not on the race course. It is after the race.
Rhonda Tolar has put a team together that is setting the bar to new heights for after-the-race social gatherings. "We wanted to capture the crews of each boat and keep them coming back." Solar said.
|Harbor 20 Fleet|
The post-race activities normally start with racers looking for their favorite beverage and then joining their sailing teams or fleets at a table that has their name cards on them.
As the different teams arrive the energy fills the room. Before sitting down participants are looking for the Taco Tuesday girls to get their raffle tickets. The swag from the raffle always appears to be never ending with shirts, hats, photos, hot tamales, rum, tequila and just plain good, old-fashioned fun.
This recipe is catching on with close to 225 people showing up each week to see who will be this week's Taco Tuesday girl or Tequila guy, not to be outdone by the Hot Tamale guy and gal.
Tolar was born and raised in Orange County and started boating from Day One.
"My parents enjoyed fresh-water boating where I leaned to fish and water ski," Tolar said. "I also wanted to take up sailing someday, so I started asking boat owners if I could crew for them on the weeknight races."
She then got the racing bug and purchased a Mumm 30 and joined one of the most competitive fleets in the world. She put together a strong team from BCYC and competed in the San Francisco Big Boat Series and the Mumm 30 Worlds.
She also sailed in the bay, where her sailing team finished fifth overall and first in the Corinthian, amateur non-pros class. Not an easy goal to achieve.
During this time her friends would tell her she was crazy and wild spirited to try to compete at this high skill level. So she started naming her boats Wild Thing. If you look around the harbor you will notice two very good looking boats with that name.
Tolar felt there needed to be a change to improve the participation at BCYC summer weeknight races. She has been no stranger to volunteering at the club chairing events like Showboat, The Anglers and an upcoming BCYC Sailing Foundation event.
So, when she asked BCYC management to tune up weeknight racing, the club said: "Here, it's all yours."
Tolar and her daughter Natalie have put together a group that spends more than eight hours getting ready for 16 Tuesday nights every summer. They are going on their sixth year.
Tolar's group has planned a blowout party for BCYC's last Taco Tuesday of the summer on Aug. 30. With a grand finale raffle planned, a DJ with dancing, everyone is welcome to come see how it's done.
The party starts at about 7 p.m. There is a $13 buffet.
I am going for the hot tamales myself.
I will be speaking at Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Yachtsman luncheon on Wednesday on my observations around the harbor.
This week's boat name: "Baby got back."
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.