21st annual Lake Arrowhead show

with pictures from the Russ Knox Collection

Last year the water level in Lake Arrowhead, nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California, was down. WAY down. Down so far that hydrologists said it would take 10 years of normal rainfall to recover.

But the winter in Southern California was anything but normal. The largest cumulative rainfall in nearly 100 years filled the lake in only six weeks. This was just a precursor to what many perceive to be the best Arrowhead show ever.

Major efforts and vision by chapter president Dave Horst, chapter liaison to the Arrowhead community Tom Seebold, the Chamber of Commerce, Arrowhead Lake Association and the Lake Arrowhead Village shopping area pulled off a show that a win-win for all parties.

Early arrivers on Thursday afternoon were greeted by showers, after having driven through the clouds on the way up. Several boaters held off launching due to the poor visibility on the lake. By 10 that evening, however, the storm front scheduled to bring a 20% chance of showers on Saturday had blown through and the stars were out. Friday morning dawned gloriously clear and sunny.

Boat arrivals and dock assignments filled our 38 slips with 46 boats – a good trick thanks to some ingenious end ties. Members Bud and Cherl Wegge hosted the Friday night social & mandatory skippers’ meeting at their lakeside residence (103 stairs roadway to water – we worked off the excess we consumed!). All had a good time and we thank the Wegge’s for their generosity.

Saturday was just as nice as Friday. By the time the gates opened for the public there was much more to see than the boats on the water: four woodie wagons, Tim Robinson Dolphin, customized PT Cruiser woodies, an outboard motor display, outboard race boats, Inland Nautical Society models, sponsor booths, ship’s stores (run by the Cof C), and an excellent full color program published by the Chamber. The Chamber also manned the gate to the docks, collecting the $5 gate fee. The fee is split between the chamber and the chapter with a portion going a local charity.

Right after the lake “stern-wheeler” tour boat Arrowhead Queen left the dock at 12:30 began our 2nd annual boat review. About three quarters of the boats participated, idling out past the crowds on shore as their boat bois were announced over the PA system. Making a 170-degree turn around the designated buoy the participants then did a speed run before going out onto the lake for the duration of the review, about 45 minutes after the start, then coming in for more show time.

All gathered at he Burnt Mill Beach Club Saturday evening for the awards banquet. Woodies Boathouse, one of our sponsors, supplied excellent catering. The restaurant sitting at the heading of the show dock gangway provides a wooden boat décor and lake view dining.
Major award winners were as follows:
Best in show and Best in restored Woodie: Skibisquet – Dave Wright
Best 1958 & older utility: Healy Passions – John & Deborah Hunt
Best Open Class Woodie: NautiAnne – Jim & Anne Kirkpatrick
Best pre-war double cockpit: 1940 15”Century Seamaid (no Name) – Mike Nannerhorn
Most Original unrestored: Mint Julip – John DeLeonardi
Best Chris Craft: Serendipity – Larry & Victoria Barret
People’s Choice: Black Arrow – Dick & Ester Brown
Chamber of Commerce Special Recognition: Roy Wagner – Arrowhead Lake Association Safety

Sunday was still clear but there was a chill in the air. By mid-morning the wind was picking up and fog/clouds started drifting over the hills. Anticipating a repeat of Thursday a number of boats left a bit early but most stayed around until the 2 o’clock closing.

After all was said and done, this was the best Lake Arrowhead show ever. And now we’re thinking how to make it even better. Many thanks go to the Lake Arrowhead community for allowing us to have the honor and privilege of having a show at this wonderful site.