- Ladies and Gentlemen, You Have a Race!

The countdown has begun! The South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic will take place July 29th and 30th at the Tahoe Keys Marina in South Lake Tahoe. This is the ninth year the Northern California / Lake Tahoe Chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society will host the boat show for charity. We are celebrating vintage race boats with the theme "Ladies and Gentlemen, You Have a Race!"

You have seen and heard about the show's cover girl, the 1939 Miss Notre Dame and her 24-cylinder Duesenberg engine. But she isn't the only star of the show.

Master race boat pioneer, Fred Wickens, built Hurricane IV in 1948 for Morlan Visel. Visel was a limited class driver living in Southern California, but he was also a fixture on Lake Tahoe. He would become the third partner in ownership of Sierra Boat Company along with Ollie Meek and Stanley Dollar Junior. Hurricane IV was one of the first "prop-riding" unlimited boats built. She is another of the early post war boats to be powered by an Allison V-1710 aircraft V-12 engine. Famed Allison builder, Howard Gidovlenko of Avia Union in Santa Ana, California was responsible for her racing speed.

Hurricane IV was heavily modified in 1950 and was remembered for her stunning top speed of 163.136 miles per hour in 1954 on the Salton Sea.
She was only topped by another Avia Union Allison engine pushing Slo-mo-shun IV to 178 miles-per-hour. She was raced on Lake Tahoe as well as the majority of the Unlimited circuit. Always a good performer, she was a local favorite as she carried the Tahoe Yacht Club burgee on her tail fin.

Bill Briner photo of Hurricane IV racing on the Tahoe Boat Company course in 1954

Bill Stead of Reno purchased the boat and raced her starting in 1953.

Scene from Universal's "Magnificent Obsession" shows Hurricane IV without her TYC Burgee
She was a movie star too! Hurricane IV was a major draw in the 1954 movie, "Magnificent Obsession." The opening scenes show her race around Tahoe's west shore and Emerald Bay with Bob Merrick, played by Rock Hudson (actually driven by racer "Wild" Bill Cantrell) at the wheel and passenger Helen Phillips (Jane Wyman) at his side.

Another boat of the young Sierra Boat Company's impressive stable was used as camera and chase boat - recording the action and getting the close-up shots was Stan Dollar's Mercury, the 1927 Brewster built Duraluminum hydro.

Hurricane IV was restored by her current owner, Dr. Ken Muscatel and the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum of Kent, Washington. She made her running debut at San Diego's 2008 Bayfair Unlimited Hydro event as an exhibition. It is a real treat to have this boat back at her first home of Lake Tahoe! She is a great runner and will be seen running this summer.


Miss Notre Dame will also be running at the South Tahoe Lake Wooden Boat Classic. She and Hurricane IV are currently available. You can find more information on these iconic boats and their history on several hydroplane racing sites as well as at Triano Marine Design.


- Ladies and Gentlemen, You Have a Race!

The Northern California / Lake Tahoe Chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society invites you to attend the 2016 South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic.  For the 9th year, our chapter will host a boat show for charity at the Tahoe Keys Marina in South Lake Tahoe.

Race Boats of all ages, classes and their preservation are very much in vogue in our boating world today.  We have listened to your requests and have put together a couple of nice surprises.  So let’s have fun with the race boat theme of: “Ladies and Gentlemen, You Have a Race!”

This year we are inviting race boats from any class or year of racing.  It does not matter if you have the family runabout that occasionally raced or an unlimited hydroplane, this is the place for you!  Of course we always love to see any of your classic wood or early generation fiberglass boats.  It’s your boat that adds to the yearly theme that makes our show as popular and fun as it has been. So bring them out!

Boat Racing was prominent and always looked forward to each summer on Lake Tahoe.  The Tahoe Yacht Club hosted regattas in Tahoe City, Homewood and the famous Chamber’s Landing course.  The spirit was high as there were fun classes for any boat from the Junior Outboards to the Lake Tahoe Championship.  And we must never forget the fun chaos of the “Bang and Go Back”.  In the 50s and 60s, Lake Tahoe was on the circuit of the APBA Unlimiteds.  This brought scores of fans and the unlimited hydroplanes or “Thunder Boats” as the big V-12 engined boats were called, to the shores of Tahoe. 

Some of our locals such as Stan Dollar, Morlen Visel, Henry Kaiser and the Murphy Family ran boats in these races, but their stories go back years earlier with the local TYC races.  This year we will see some boats from that era that have not been seen in decades.  The centerpiece of the show and making her debut, built from the original Dan Arena plans, is a replica of the 1939 Miss Notre Dame.   While not a Tahoe boat, she has a very historic racing pedigree and carries her original 1927 Duesenberg W-24 engine.  The original (third) Miss Notre Dame was built and driven for the 1939 racing season by a 22 year old Dan Arena for owner Herbert Mendelson and would wear the racing number G-5.  She can be seen and heard running this year at the show. 

The Miss Notre Dame history will be found in the boat show program and a 2 part story appearing in the winter and spring issues of the ACBS Western Wood publication. These and past issues can be found at:    Stay tuned to future Western Wood issues, Facebook and this boat show web site to see what other boats are being featured.

Please try our   *** Early Bird Sign-up Special ***   Register your boat before April 1st and pay $150 (regular price $170) and receive 2 additional show tickets.  See the Boat Registration tab.

Last year we moved the show dinner from Saturday to Friday night and to the Tahoe Keys Home Owners Beach and Pool area.  This was a tremendous success and all enjoyed the new venue.  We are pleased that the “Blue Water Dinner’ will again be held at this location on Friday night, July 29th at 6 P.M.  Come in your favorite racing theme attire.  See the Tickets tab.

Sunday July 31st, 11am - "Annual Chapter Picnic and Awards Ceremony" - Sugar Pine Point State Park.  Bring your boat by water or land.  Guests welcome.  See the Tickets tab.


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South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic
Fri. Noon - 5pm (Beer Village Noon - 5pm) - Tahoe Keys Marina
Sat. 9am - 5pm (Beer Village 11am - 5pm) - Tahoe Keys Marina

ACBS Member Events
Fri. 6pm - Blue Water Dinner lakeside at Tahoe Keys
Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association Beach and Pool Site

Sun. 11am - Annual Chapter Picnic & Awards presentation -Sugar Pine Point
748 South Meadows Pky. Reno, NV 89521 Suite A9 #275. 775.997.9444
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