Woodies On The Wharf 2013 – Santa Cruz Woodies

Woodies On The Wharf 2013

We have had some memorable Woodies on the Wharf events and the 19th WOW rates up there as far as successful events go.

The weekend started with the annual surfing event on 38th Avenue at Pleasure Point on Friday morning. Some 25 long board surfers, young and mostly old, paddled out. Flat waves prevented good surfing but there was a sacred moment when the surfers all gathered and joined hands in a circle and offered moments of reflection for Kenny Francis and Dave Wilkerson who passed away last year and earlier this year respectively. There were also prayers offered for those who are fighting health issues currently. Certainly, Marilyn Bowman was in everyone’s hearts.

Friday afternoon & evening SCW hosted the woodie owners and friends at the WOW welcoming party at the OP hotel with food and beverages flowing. Spirits were high as everyone retired for an early wake-up call and off to the wharf with the woodies Saturday morning. Jim Vickery, Dave Luchsinger, Big Tim, Richard Palasik and Jim Ferdinand were some of the first on the scene. But the action stepped up with all the SOCAL guys helping unload the truck and getting everything set up. By 5:30 AM there were close to 30 cars on the wharf and they just kept coming.

The weather gods favored the Santa Cruz Woodies this year (no rain Saturday or Sunday) and the attendance was awesome. In total there were 175 beautiful woodies.  Among the group were cars that represented some of the newer woodies and some of the oldest. Some notable ones were Brian Blaine’s  “bare bones” ’23 T Depot Hack (People’s Choice Award), Geri Siragusa’s gorgeous shoebox (Woodie Owner’s Award), Vic Gemmelli’s gorgeous 1956 Cadillac “View Master” woodie (City of Santa Cruz Award) and a gorgeous blue, one of two ever made, Bentley woodie.  Jerry Witt drove the longest distance of 846 miles from Phoenix in his always beautiful 1946 Mercury.

Saturday on the Wharf, the raffles were very popular and sales of SCW logo wear and posters was great. The merchants on the wharf were very happy with the large turnout this year. And, of course, this event would never happen if it were not for the City of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Police Department.  Also many thanks to Lisa McGinnis of Santa Cruz Parks and Rec for all her support.

And how lucky are we to have Floyd Smith shaping yet another beautiful surfboard at WOW. Floyd is half of the legendary Gordon-Smith team who manufactured thousands of long boards many years back. Thank you Floyd for sharing your craft with us.

After the parade off the wharf many gathered at OP for Fig and crew’s great tailgate dinner and adult refreshments. As usual, it was quite eventful. We shared some club awards and recognition which included presenting the Rich Smart Spirit of Aloha Award to much deserving George Benson. We also recognized Joan Graham who comes to WOW from Honolulu every year and never stops working until she heads back to Honolulu.

Back at the OP Saturday night

One of the things that is really cool about the Santa Cruz Woodie Club is that we are “cultivating “ the next generation of Santa Cruz Woodie members. Headed up by “Miss March” Kristina Benson second generation SCW owners are growing as Kristina welcomed two new second generation woodie owners, Mike and Judy Passof.   Cherly Luchsinger’s quilt presentations were the most memorable events of the evening. And after all that Bob “getting better with age” Lopez provided great music and songs for the rest of the evening.

On Sunday it was the annual cruise out West Cliff Drive and back passing by the Boardwalk and on over to the beach in front of the Crows Nest

More photos of the Sunday Cruise

Woodie people are the absolute best. So many people contributed to make the 19th WOW a success. Some gave their time, others gave financially and they all came to WOW. Thank you to all of you for making WOW a great event. Next year we have big plans for the 20th Anniversary of WOW which will also recognize the 100th Anniversary of the Santa Cruise Wharf. Make your plans now to be there on June 21, 2014.


Jim Alves