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The Most Photographed Boat

The most photographed boat at the recently completed International 14 Worlds was not the winning skiff, nor one of the many that capsized. The most photographed boat was not even in the water.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In 2007 Southern California I-14 sailor Paul Galvez raced in the Prince of Wales Cup hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron. It was the 80th anniversary of the International 14. Paul was “blown away by the beauty and craftsmanship of the old wooden 14s on display. Especially the pre-WWII classics.” He told his wife, “I’ve gotta have one.”

He returned home with the dream, but after a while gave up hope of finding one in the US. More than a few years later he got a line on an old 14. He sent the picture off to the class historian who confirmed it was old, but did it predate the war? The woody was at an estate of man who collected fine things. After lowering it down from the rafters onto a classic Ferrari, dusting it, and chasing out the spiders, Paul realized it was a “bones boat — it had ribs." He bought the boat on spot.

Lovely Lorelei from another angle, on another day, shot by a different photographer. The boat spent the regatta displayed on RYC’s lower deck.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

From the old boating archaeological perspective, it was a little crude: bronze-fastened, didn’t have the ‘silk’ waterproofing, double cedar planking, screwed instead of clenched, and caulked. Paul determined she was an Uffa Fox design, yet built in America by some yet-to-be-determined builder. In the old days, Americans imported 14s from Britain. These were very expensive, so they sought an American-made alternative. Powerboat builders could crank out economical ones.

Paul’s goal was to return the boat to Concours d’Elegance condition. With the Worlds fast approaching, RYC I-14 sailor Rand Arnold, who knew about the boat, asked Paul to bring her up. Paul sacrificed training time, and after coming home from work each day, “put in labor, love and time," meaning sanding and varnishing — all in tribute to the class he loves.

Paul Galvez and Cameron McDonald finished 17th in the 60-boat regatta.

© Richmond Yacht Club

The bumper strip on the transom of Paul’s Bieker 5 I-14 says,  “My other I-14 is a woody.” His future plan? Once he ‘retires’ from the class, he’ll have a boat to sail.

Thanks to our source at RYC for sending us this report. Look for our race recap on the I-14 Worlds in Racing Sheet in the September issue of Latitude 38, coming out this Friday.

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  This is the time of year when the Bay Area gets visited by many sailors heading north to south.
The Hawaiian Islands were spared a direct hit from Hurricane Lane — which at one point was a Category 5 event before it weakened to a tropical storm and veered southwest, brushing against the archipelago.
The big-name, big-boat regattas this weekend will be the 76th Windjammers (Friday, San Francisco to Santa Cruz Yacht Club) and the 26-mile Jazz Cup (Saturday, Treasure Island to Benicia).