• 7 Sep 2022 11:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Questions - September 7, 2022:

    See the attached drawing of a structure proposed  to be built by CYC. 

    1. Was the structure built, and if so, what was/is it and where was/is it located?
    2. If it wasn’t built, why not and what was to be its purpose?

    Answers - September 7, 2022:

    The drawing is of a 1950 proposed racing Rower at Leschi.  From 1945 until the Tower was completed in 1951, the CYC Race Committee ran the races from various outdoor shore sites – and so had to brave wind, rain and the elements.  Early races were run from the Leschi Ferry building and oater from the roof of the cold storage building –now the BluWater Bistro restaurant.  The courses would use the “permanent” marks first set up in 1946, and the starting/finishing marks were just off Leschi (and not adjustable for the winds).  Race committee work was indeed a labor of love. 

    Walt Little, Hugh Miracle and Ken Kenworthy were among the CYC members who led the construction of the Race Tower.  See the photo of the construction attached.  The 1951 Helmsman noted that “The unavailability of materials made it impossible to use the previous plans for a more efficient tower; however, the present structure provides welcome protection to the hardworking Corinthian Race Committee…”  In 1962, the Race Tower was moved from its initial location at the Yacht Basin to its current location at the north Leschi moorage.  The Race Tower, now unused, is slated for destruction. 

    For a full history of the Leschi Race Tower, see “History of the Leschi Race Tower” below. 

    History of the Leschi Race Tower
    The drawing in the History Quiz goes back to 1950 and is of a proposed racing Rower at Leschi  that was built in 1951.  From 1945 until the Tower was completed, the CYC Race Committee ran the races from various outdoor shore sites – and so had to brave wind, rain and the elements.  Early races were run from the Leschi Ferry building, which was torn down to build the Leschi marina.  Races were then run from the roof of the cold storage building – later the Leschi Café and now the BluWater Bistro restaurant.  The courses would use the “permanent” marks first set up in 1946, and the starting/finishing marks were just off Leschi (and not adjustable for the winds).  Race committee work was indeed a labor of love.

    Walt Little, Hugh Miracle and Ken Kenworthy were among the CYC members who led the construction of the Race Tower.  See the photo of the construction attached.  The 1951 Helmsman noted that “The unavailability of materials made it impossible to use the previous plans for a more efficient tower; however, the present structure provides welcome protection to the hardworking Corinthian Race Committee…”  In the same light: “Frantic pursuits of wind scattered record papers and frustrating efforts to write on wet, disintegrating work sheets have thus become memories – nightmares conquered by dreams.”

    The Race Tower was located in the Yacht Basin- the marina between North and South Leschi – likely near the outmost float (at one time it was possible to buy gas at the Yacht Basin).  If anyone remembers where exactly the Tower was located, please let us know!

    In 1962 the Race Tower was moved from its original location to its present site at the “outer dock of the new north Leschi moorage.” The 1962 Helmsman continued: “Now the race committee has an excellent view of the race course and participants, and there is space to store the equipment of the Junior Club Penguin fleet as wells as for the Race and Marks Committees.  The move as accomplished in true Corinthian fashion by club members under the direction of Walt Marshall.  The tower was physically transported by Vance Sutter (Fain’s brother) with his fishing tender…”

    A year later the Helmsman reported that “Management of the races from the Leschi tower was greatly facilitated by the new arrangement of mast and signals engineered and executed by Felix Moitoret [1967 CYC Commodore]  …The new installation has been a tremendous success (except for the time Dick Marshall [1957 CYC Commodore] tripped on the lanyard and blasted a hole in the postponement flag).” 

    Starting/finishing lines were set between a flag on the race tower and an outer mark “Z.” There was also an inner mark “L” closer to the tower and boats had to start between “L” and “Z.”  I have heard that at some time the “Z” mark was connected to underwater rails and could be adjusted to the appropriate wind directions by lines running to the race tower – but I cannot find anything in the Helmsman or Leadline about this.  If you have any information about adjusting the marks from the Race Tower, please let me know.

    Until 1966, all Lake Washington races started from the race tower irrespective of wind direction.   That year Phil Duryee located a sturdy craft to serve as a floating race committee boat and he put together a syndicate of individuals and the T-Bird and I-14 fleets to purchase and outfit the boat and then charter it to CYC on a lease-purchase arrangement so the boat eventually became CYC property – thus YC2!

    Even so, the Leschi Race Tower continued to be used to start and/or finish for certain races, including the Women’s Twilight Series in the early 1980s and the Windjammer, Weekend, Long Distance Series, Moonlight and Starlight races into the early 2000s. 

    History moves on, and the Race Tower, once the pride of CYC, now sits unused and is slated for destruction.  Attached are photos of the current Race Tower.





  • 27 Jul 2022 10:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Questions - July 27, 2022:

    1. Who is pictured on this Helmsman Cover
    2. What is the trophy on the cover?
    For tiebreakers:
    • What is the year?
    • Finally, what is unique about this Helmsman cover?
    A Free Drink to Larry and Carol Mast for their response.

      Answers - July 27, 2022:

      1. Bill Buchan is on the 1955 Helmsman cover.  The trophy pictured is the Mallory Cup, given to the winner of the Men’s North American Sailing Championship (now titled the Adult Sailing Championship) and features representatives from the eight US Regional Sailing Associations.  Bill sailed with his father, William Buchan, and Ron McFarlane, representing the PIYA (and CYC).  In the regatta, sailed on Lake St. Claire, just out of Detroit, Michigan, they won 3 of the 8 races (and had two 2nds, a 4th and a 5th), winning by an amazing 5 ½ points over some of the best sailors in America.  The competition began in 1952, and transitioned to an open event in 1993.  This was the only northwest crew to win this trophy until 1986 when Jack Christiansen, Charlie McKee and Cheryl Lanzinger won, followed in 1998 by Dalton Bergan, Kevin Guitron and Mike Visser.
      2. The Mallory Cup is a magnificent sterling silver tureen originally given by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire to the family of Lord Nelson in appreciation of his command over the English fleet that defeated Napoleon in the Battle of the Nile in 1798.
      3. The 1955 Helmsman cover is unique as it is the only cover to feature a separate photo of a CYC member (all other covers only feature boats).  The cover is also interesting as it features a Star, a boat obviously associated with the Buchans – Bill’s very enjoyable memoir is titled “Star Fever” - but the 1955 Mallory Cup was sailed in Luders 16’s.

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