This past weekend, the Campbell Boat Owners group got together in Lake Havasu City to hold their 46 th Annual Campbell Boat Regatta. 46 years of boating and partying is an amazing testament to the love and dedication these owners have for a boat that was last manufacture 21 years ago. With new boats showing up all the time, this year’s regatta did not disappoint.
The regatta tradition requires that there is a theme. This year’s theme was, “Keep Calm and Campbell On”, a reference to how difficult it can be at times to keep an old boat up and running. I am happy to report that while a few boats were being worked on right up to the late hours of Friday night, no towropes were needed for Saturday or Sunday’s activities.
Friday night’s activities kicked off with a Prime Rib buffet hosted by Shugrue’s. Almost 100 people showed up to celebrate Campbell Ownership and catch up on all the past year’s activities.
Things got started with a static display of the beautiful 1968 Ski Race Campbell “Renegade”. Owned by Pete Seitz and lovingly restored by Dave Sammons, this boat is just absolutely amazing from stem to stern. Two freight trained big block Chevies immediately take you back in time when the creative search for speed and horsepower had boat builders and riggers thinking outside the box. The dedicated research and faithful restoration of the boat had the Campbell guys drooling all over
her. Hopefully this beautiful boat will end up on the west coast in the near future?
In light of the recent boating tragedies, a moment of silence was observed and
prayers were said for those lost and still missing at the lake.
Thanks to the Friday night crew for putting together such a delicious event.
Ron and Arlene Fasola
Dan and Vickie Cowan
Craig and Jan Fowler
Tom and Daryl-Lynn Burke
Saturday began with an early morning call in Thompson Bay for a gathering of boats to run up to Pirates Cove. The caravan of boats headed north, where waiting up river was the talented Tom Leigh of www.tommygunimages.com to capture our group as drivers poured the coal on!
The group area towards the back of Pirates was once again the site of an “off the
hook” meal of Fish and Chips with homemade tartar sauce, chicken strips and bangers on the barbie. Beth Riggen provided an incredibly cool, Ice Cream truck whose goodies went down very easy in the afternoon heat.
Mitch and Teri Parker
Brad and Beth Riggen
Jonathan Raymond, and crew put together Saturday’s feast, which will be hard to top next year.
The annual Corn Hole games put together by Daryl-Lynn Burke were held and a new team of champions was crowned!
With a final count of 44 Campbell boats on the beach and at least 10 other boats that
are normally there, I suspect this event isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Several
boats made it to the beach that had not been seen in a very long time or never
Saturday night there were no “official” activities planned but several boats ended up in the channel with the Burke’s pretty little whaler “Straight Up” serving as the shuttle boat to deliver pizzas. It is hard to beat chowing down on a slice of pizza served on the bow of a classic Campbell as the sun fell into the lake.
Sunday morning was another early call day, with the group once again meeting in Thompson Bay. Three Dunes beach was the destination for the day. A few boaters tested the water at Havasu Springs while others headed straight for the beach to secure that perfect spot in the sand. By the mid morning, the beach was full of Campbell’s. With the weather temps holding up nicely, no one could wait to jump in and start the “floatin and story tellin”. I lost count of how many laps I made trying to hit each group and get the latest. Once again, the boats ran flawlessly, a testament
to the dedication it takes to keep these old girls going. As the sun began to drop, one by one, boats slowly backed off the beach and said sad goodbyes as no one wanted the day to end.
Hallet and Shockwave were holding their regattas as well but amazingly there was no interference between the large groups all hitting town and the lake at the same time. A cool side note that was totally unplanned was that our boats and event made the front pager of the Sunday paper!
It’s hard to put your finger on it or to try and figure out how, but sometimes things just fall into place. While a great deal of effort was spent on planning and putting this event together, everyone said the same thing - that this year’s event just seemed to flow and everyone had a great time.
Thanks to all (and you know who you are), just in case I forgot anyone "Keep Calm and Campbell On!"
Words : Bob Steele
Photos : TommygunImages / Bob Steele