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A fleet of fabulous ships turn out for presidents' day

By Jack David
Photo by Barbara Ruhnke-David

The West Valley R/C Mariners 2023 Presidents Day Flotilla and Parade of Boats (February 18) featured 12 registered skippers with about 21 boats. Missing were some of our usual out-of- town skippers, but local skippers made up the difference. The weather was beautiful, sea conditions were near perfect, and the event drew a nice group of spectators who enjoyed the event—especially the kids!

Held each year since 2001 except for 2020, the WVRCM Presidents Day Flotilla & Parade of Boats is an event featuring electric military, commercial, pleasure and sail vessels. There's a parade, with each boat making a parade pass and the Harbor Master/Commentator describing each boat for the crowd, followed by free running around the milling oval. The very first WVRCM Flotilla and Parade of Boats was held in 1993 on Labor Day weekend. The Flotilla & Parade of Boats has proven to be a popular format with both spectators and the skippers. In 2001, the Labor Day event was replaced in favor of events on Veterans Day and Presidents’ Day.

The fleet this year represented a good range of boat types with warships: a PT boat, commercial, pleasure craft and a novelty craft by Barrett Hochhaus featuring a powered float with a Fuji Blimp mounted on wires, making it look as if the blimp was cruising above the lake. It was also the debut of WVRCM’s DesDiv (Destroyer Division) 1. There are now three 1/72 scale Fletcher Class Destroyers in the club.

The event was well received by the residents of Litchfield Park and the kids were instrumental in the smallest boat in the event—the 18-inch tug Betty L—winning People’s Choice.

WVRCM thanks all the skippers who attended and especially the residents of and the City of Litchfield Park for providing the WVRCM with a home for over 26 years.


Patrick Webb: "Betty L" – People’s Choice Award
Rodney Benner: “Got Wet” Chris Craft, Skippers’ Choice Award
Brett Harper: HMS Queen Mary, Best Warship
Mike Davis: Monte Carlo Tug, Best Commercial
Rob Shaw: "Ava Jeanne," Best Pleasure
Patrick Habel: WWII Sub Chaser, Engineering Award
Barrett Hochhaus: Fuji Blimp, Engineering Award

Click here to see the photo album

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