31st Annual Concours d ’Elegance and Wooden Boat Week Has an Italian Riviera Flair

What better way to spend a summer day in California’s Tahoe than to enjoy Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation’s Concours d’Elegance, the lake’s 31st annual celebration of classic wooden boats. Approximately 125 boats will be on display at the two-day show, Friday and Saturday, August 8 and 9, 2003, held on the waterfront at Sierra Boat Company in Carnelian Bay, North Lake Tahoe.

The event is designed to showcase craftsmanship in wooden boats and to celebrate those who build, restore, and maintain their watercraft, as well as to give visitors and residents an understanding and appreciation of Tahoe’s rich maritime heritage. This prestigious show has become known as one of the best of its kind in the country, and boat owners, who hail from all across North America--and some even from Europe--are happy to share tales of their boats with spectators.

The "marque" class, or featured class, showcases a different category each year, and this year’s featured boat is Riva, an Italian manufacturer of wooden boats since 1842 that has enjoyed unprecedented popularity in recent years. With their bright turquoise and tangerine-orange accents, Riva boats are characteristically stylish and will lend a touch of vogue to this year’s show.

"We enjoy being able to share the beauty of the boats to the public, and it’s also our chance to pass on some of Tahoe’s nautical history," says Philip Ballantyne, Concours d’Elegance chairman. A professional restorer of wooden boats hirnself, Ballantyne volunteers his time each year to produce the event, which has contributed significantly to summer tourism in Tahoe. Proceeds from the event are donated to various local nonprofit groups that are committed in some way to nautical pursuits at Tahoe. Ballantyne noted that last year’s Concours d’Elegance attendance broke records, and over $35,000 was donated to various chanteys in the area.

Concours d’Elegance is just part of a larger event--Wooden Boat Week--taking place August 7 to 14, 2003. The week-long event includes parties, lakeside picnics, on-water wooden-boat parades and rallies, and even a fashion show luncheon (Italian Riviera theme, of course). All events are open to the public.

If purchased in advance, tickets to the Concours d’Elegance are $20 for an adult two-day pass; one day passes will be sold for $15. Children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult. At the gate, ticket rates go up by $5. Proceeds from the show wiIl again be donated to the community. Tickets will be available for advance purchase from Memorial Day through July 24; contact Tahoe Yacht Club at 530-581-4700.

Join Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation as it applauds historic and antique wooden boats at one of the country’s most prestigious gatherings of watercraft in North America For more inforrnation, log on to www.tahoeyc.com. For lodging, contact the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association at (800) 824-6348.