The 20th Anniversary of Woodies on the Wharf (WOW) began early Thursday evening with our own Alan and Jule Hilton graciously hosting a meet and greet at their beautiful home on the cliff overlooking the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for club members, their guests and other Woodie owners. Appetizers and libations were served and everyone enjoyed the beautiful ocean views and enticing sights and sounds of the Boardwalk. Around dinner time many of our members departed the Hilton’s for a cruise aboard the Chardonnay II, a 70 foot sailing yacht. They enjoyed a first class sunset cruise through the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. After the cruise, guests were invited to enjoy a beach party and BBQ at the Crow’s Nest Restaurant along with some live music to close out the evening.
On Friday morning for those who are early risers, surfers or both, Jim and Patti Ferdinand hosted their now infamous annual WOW paddle-out and morning breakfast party. At the same time, Robin Carolan led a group of 25 in a “Get Bendy in the Park” yoga session. It was great to see that many of us could still get bendy! In fact, the gals doing yoga outnumbered the guys and gals who paddled out…but of course the surfers just used the excuse that the waves were too flat! After a morning spent riding the waves and bending bodies into pretzels everyone enjoyed some great food and drink along with the companionship of wonderful friends.
Friday evening we gathered at the Ocean Pacific Lodge (OP) for appetizers and drinks and for our very first Wacky-Tacky Hawaiian Shirt and Muumuu Contest. Our first place individual winner was Joe Cosgrave who wore a very attractive and stylish Muumuu with coordinating flower leis and accessories. Bob and Connie Lopez won first place as the best dressed couple.
Saturday morning the sun rose over the wharf with a light breeze blowing over the water and some low cloud cover that later turned into warm sunny weather. Many of us had driven our Woodies out at the crack of dawn to secure our favorite spots on the wharf. As is customary, our friends at Stagnaro Brothers Restaurant & Seafood were serving freshly brewed coffee and donuts to all who braved the early hours to get their cars ready for the day’s events. It was a lot of fun watching all of the wooden cars roll onto the wharf including some very special cars. New SCWC member Reno Cromer drove his family’s 1951 Ford Woodie Wagon which was recently pulled out of 50 years of garage hibernation.
We were pleased to see many new faces showing off freshly finished or recently purchased cars, and some old friends proudly displaying their “new wood” which included the oldest Woodie on the Wharf: an original 1923 Ford Model T huckster “barn find” that came up from the Central Valley. Floyd Smith, Surfboard Hall of Fame Shaper, was again present on the wharf and drew a big crowd intrigued with his shaping of another great board for one lucky member of SCWC.
The SCWC raffles are always a crowd favorite, and this year was no exception with winners taking home some great prizes including beach cruiser bikes and custom made surfboards. The longest distance award was won by a woodie owner who traveled 1000 miles from the Pacific Northwest to join the fun, but left the stage before anyone caught his name. Eight members of our club (Bob Barbour, Howard & Patsy Benfield, Rich & Barb Bloechl, Mick & Robin Carolan, John & Rae Fleming, Hugh & Marylou Forrest, Ed & Janelle Savard, Jim & Sue Vickery) were honored with beautifully made, custom spare tire covers graciously donated by Mick Carolan for having attended all 20 WOW events. By the club’s count we had a near record amount (210) of wood-bodied cars in attendance.
At 3:30 PM the parade of the woodies off the wharf began to the delight of the many assembled on-lookers who took the opportunity to clap, cheer, wave and take as many photos and videos as they could while the cars went rolling by.
Saturday evening found us all back at the OP for our annual post WOW dinner and tailgate party where we handed out some very special awards, raffled off some more great prizes, and auctioned off the 20th WOW Anniversary banner that was displayed at the entrance this year. We then enjoyed a concert with SCWC member Bob Lopez on guitar who wrote and sang a special tribute song to commemorate 20 years of WOW.
Sunday morning’s weather was sunny and clear for a record number of cars (73) that turned out for our annual post WOW cruise along West Cliff Drive and down to the Santa Cruz Harbor where complimentary coffee and pastries were provided by SCWC for everyone to enjoy while we said our final alohas – until we meet again next year!!!
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for next year’s event which will be held Saturday June 27, 2015 when we will celebrate 21 years of aloha at Woodies on the Wharf.
Check out these videos of WOW 2014