This race is part of the “Highpoints” series and open to all racers, whether they are members of a yacht club or not. But in order to receive or be counted in the “Highpoints” credits for this race, you must be a member of a yacht club and have a valid PHRF certificate. The course: Mandalay buoy to Frenchy’s Cove on Anacapa Island, then back to Mandalay buoy, and then to Ventura Harbor……it’s a reach, reach…….quite a run.
Here Some History: In 1928 Raymond “Frenchy” LaDreau arrived on West Anacapa Island and lived a hermit-like existence for the next 28 years. Frenchy’s wife had died, it was said, and he’d come to the island in a state of mourning. As the years passed, Frenchy’s sorrow over the loss of his wife did not lessen and his drinking increased. Despite this (or because of this), Frenchy LaDreau became the unofficial Park Service representative, reporting on acts of vandalism and island activities. He was well-known among fisherman from Monterey to Ensenada; fishermen often stopped in to sample his bouillabaisse from the lobster he trapped, the fish he caught and the abalone he pried from the rocks below. When he was 68, he suffered a fall and the Park Service decided to move him to the mainland. He was put on a bus in Port Hueneme. “His destination was not known,” a Park representative says, “and that was the last they ever saw of him.” Not a single scrap of wood, a nail, a stone, remains to suggest his curious, long tenancy.
The above is fact, below is legend…
Prohibition was in force from 1920 to 1933. Is this why Frenchy stayed? Some say he was the supply depot for illegal rum running during his early days of residence. Maybe his stash of rum is still there! If you feel like stopping off at the cove during the race to search for the legendary Frenchy’s stash, then be our guest. Although, if you do, you will surely miss out on the rum prizes that are given in honor of Frenchy. Each year we hold this race in Frenchy’s memory.
All boats welcome to the bash & race…….See ya on the water!
The Ventura Sailing Club is located in Ventura, California. With two public harbors and close proximity to the Northern Channel Islands, this area is often referred to as the “Gateway” to the Channel Islands. The Santa Barbara Channel is also well known for its challenging and diverse sailing conditions; the area has even been used as a training ground for America’s Cup competitors.
The Ventura Sailing Club was founded in 1975 with the objective to provide planning and leadership for a recreational program of boating activities centered in Ventura County, California. In its current incarnation, the VSC has focused on the utilization of the Channel Islands National Park and the Santa Barbara Channel as excellent grounds for staging sailboat races, as well as a premier destination for all cruising activities, for the benefit of the local boating community.