Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Harbor Report: Deputy Webster joins harbor team

Deputy Kevin Webster.
 (Courtesy OC Sheriff's Department)


By Len Bose:

I would like to introduce everyone to our new mooring administrator, Deputy Kevin Webster of the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Department.
Webster is not new to the county or the department.
"I am an Orange County kid, born and raised," he said.
He has 16 years on the job, six of them with the Newport Beach Harbor Department. He's a married father of a 19-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter.
I met Webster when he and our outgoing mooring administrator, Sean Scoles, were out doing introductions around the harbor.
The mooring administrator is responsible for the alignment of the moorings, permit holders' maintenance records, fees and insurance requirements. These tasks include mooring extensions and harbor permit requests. They also monitor the anchorages and guest slips and receive and respond to accident reports.
Fortunately, the Harbor Department has Sally Cooper to help with administrative work the department and the city require to manage the moorings. Cooper provides the continuity within the harbor department's mooring administration during every personnel change.
Other tasks Webster is assigned to monitor are the city's Vessel Turn In Program (VTIP) and Abandoned Water Craft state grants. Over the last two years, these programs have removed 30 boats from our harbor. There is quite a bit of time needed to manage these programs and to obtain these state grants.
"As long as the state provides the grants, we will continue the program," Webster said.
This always leads me into asking — what is a derelict boat?
"There are a whole lot of interpretations of what a derelict boat is," Webster explained. "The boat has to be operable and in seaworthy condition. A derelict will have excessive debris that will be concern of a fire hazard.
"It is a vessel that is uncared for, unsafe and poorly maintained. Other visible signs are excessive bird droppings, broken windows or extreme marine growth attached to the hull of the vessel. Those are all signs of poorly maintained vessels and I would define as derelict."
We discussed other important topics. Mooring permit holders are not required to keep a vessel on their moorings. People can rent a mooring for $27 a night and can request a mooring's location anywhere in the harbor. Two or more boats tied together are considered a raft-up and require a permit that can be found on the city or harbor department websites.
Accidents that require more than $500 in repair must be reported to the Harbor Department. Should you spill fuel, someone get injured, swamped, sinking or run aground, you are required to contact the Harbor Department. And you should not leave the seen of the accident.
Over the last eight years we have been fortunate to have deputies assigned to our Harbor Department. From what I have seen from Webster, while on patrol and when attending Harbor Commission meetings, he is one of the good ones. He is easily approachable. He listens to your concerns. And while talking to him, one feels that he really cares.
My gut tells me he will move up the department ranks rather quickly. We are fortunate to have him on our team.
::
Boat name of the week: "Wish you were here"
Sea ya.
--

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

The Harbor Report: It's good to be king.


By Len Bose

Sunday July 17 is the start of the 81st Flight of the Lasers and when people like Brett Hemphill, David Beek and Gator Cook call me up to ask me to write a story about “The Flight” I am all over it.

First call I made was to Seymour Beek to find out as much about the race as I could. Beek first sailed in the race at the age of seven, I did not happen to ask Beek what year that was but the race started in 1936. The race first was known as the Flight of the Snowbirds, which is 11 foot monotype sailing dingy. The Snowbird was a class in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games.


Beek’s best finish’s were in 1948 and 49 with two-second places to Gil Kraemer and Dick Deaver respectively. These were the years when as many as a 160 boats would be on the starting line at the same time. To finish in the top fifty would be quite the accomplishment, but to finish second during this time,with all the past Olympians 0n all those boats, needs some serious respect and acknowledgment.

Beek refers to the race as “The Flight” because over the years the race has been sailed in the Snowbirds from 1948 to1970, Kites 1972 to 73 and now Lasers from 1975 to present. The Laser also happens to be an Olympic class boat.

In 1954 Tom O’Keefe won The Flight and I had a chance to talk to him over the phone. “ At that time The Flight was the largest one design race in the world. I recall once I got into the lead there was a news reel boat filming the race and later played the news reel in the theaters.” O’Keefe said. “ I also remember all the power boats in the bay blowing their horns at the finish line when I won the race. It was a big deal at that time. O’Keefe recalled a story about a competitor who's boat did not measure in to the rules and this person had won a number of different regattas that summer. There was someone who took offense to this competitor and swam from Balboa Island and tipped the boat over just before the start of the race. O’Keefe recalls the harbor department following the swimmer back to the beach he had come from. “I still have the silver plated bowl I won as the take home trophy that year, I will always remember all those boats.” O’Keefe said.

Next I checked in with Chris Raab who had won The Flight in Lasers in 99, 02 & 03. “ This race meant everything, I needed a new sail really bad and the winner received a new sail. My father was at work and he did not have time to trailer my Laser down from Long Beach so I remember sailing my boat from Long Beach to Newport, at the age of 15, so that I could practice a couple of days before the event. Dude this race meant everything to me, it was huge!” Raab said.

I had to pick up the phone and call the man himself Jon Pinkney who has won The Flight more than anyone else with seven wins. Like all the past winners the first thing he said was “ It was the big event, the biggest race on the bay at the time, and I wanted that new sail. Out of the 100 boat that started the winner was the king.” Pinckney said.

Pinckney recalls the 1990 Flight, which was one of the windiest, as the one that got away from him. “ Phil Ramming and I came off the starting line ahead of the fleet. Ramming had just tacked off of O mark to starboard and lee bowed me back to the right side of the course. Ramming then made it in front of the ferry, that was headed into Balboa Island, and I had to sail around it. I was never able to catch him after that.” Pinckney said. This was some twenty-six years ago and Pinckey was telling the story as if it was yesterday.

When I told Pinckney and Raab about the winner of this years Flight receiving a new sail they both got rather quite. I’ll let you know if I see Raab on his Laser this week before the start. Sailing Pro shop is donating the new sail along gift certificates, the entry is free thanks to the Newport Chamber of Commerce. There are several categories that people can enter, such as the youngest skipper, parent child, couple, oldest skipper, and bragging rights.

Entry and information can be found on the website, www.flightofthelasers.org

Boat name of the week “ Chill Vibe”


Sea ya

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.