You ever wonder how an event got started? Like, where it was conceived and then pondered to the point where someone finally said… “Yeah, lets do that… next month!” Then put hours and hours of work into pulling it off just so everyone could show up and have a good time? (hint: River Dave knows ;-). Well, that’s exactly what happened last summer when two guys, locally known as “Dog” and “Andy”, were sitting around their river houses on the California Delta. On that day they came up with the idea that they should invite a bunch of buddies with their V-Drives over to Windmill Cove and have a party. The date was settled and the first Dog & Andy’s V-Drive Run was born.
I had heard about it from a friend (most of you know him as Roger That) and I happened to be visiting family in NorCal that weekend, so I rounded up my dad and we hit the show. It was a great turnout for being the first year. Clearly Dog & Andy have a lot of friends.
Flash forward one year later, and the Dog & Andy’s V-Drive show was ready for its second edition. So last weekend, they rounded up their friends and put on a great weekend of food, drinks and vintage boating fun. Just like last year, I was planning a summer trip to NorCal to visit family, but this time I had bigger plans. On the way up Hwy 99, I stopped and shot the Flat Bottom Boogie™ event at Club Royal Oak on the Kings River. From there I spent the week visiting family (even boating on Lake Tahoe for a few days with my brother). Then, once again, grabbed my dad the following weekend and hit the Dog and Andy’s show.
The venue for this event is Windmill Cove Bar and Grill on the California Delta. Situated on the main channel just a few miles west of downtown Stockton, it’s comprised of a simple free-standing building with a large deck facing the channel, and its own lagoon in the back with ample docks for parking. If you’ve never been, it’s not much to look at when you first arrive. But within minutes you can’t deny the relaxed, tropical, laid back vibe. I grew up coming to this place with my family in my dad’s old Sanger bubble deck, so of course I have many great memories.
As we arrived, it was obvious that the event had grown. Not only was large the parking lot already packed by 10am, but the docks were completely full of boats (at least twice as many as the previous year), and they were charging admission to the party. We didn’t mind paying because along with the new larger and more “official” status of their show, they designed it to support the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Explorer Program. They were also selling T-shirts and a BBQ Tri-Tip lunch with all proceeds going to a great cause.
Boats lined the complete perimeter of the lagoon. This year there were 82 boats registered for the event, approximately double that of last year. There were tons of beautiful classics lining the docks which made for great viewing. The party itself isn’t actually held at the bar on the channel. Instead, it’s hosted at Dog & Andy’s river cabins behind the lagoon on a little section of manicured lawn, complete with tropical styled landscaping. The massive BBQ trailer is situated next to their custom built outdoor bar and is the perfect setting for the show.
If you’ve spent any time at all on the Delta, you are going to run into someone you know. And besides the usual NorCal peeps I expected, it was also nice to see fellow Southern Californians, Jeff and Kelly Kurt who towed their boat up from Long Beach – a 1987, 21ft Rush GN, powered by a blown Chevy 572 built by Advanced Racing Engines. It’s beautiful boat and easily recognized in the lineup. From what I was told, they had a great time on the Delta. Of course I saw my friend (Roger Thaat) again, who is always a gracious host.
(Jeff Kurt in his 21' Rush)
One of the great things about this venue is the open access to the main channel. So, when you are ready, you can fire up your boat and take it for a spin. But the real treat is for the spectators, who can have a cold beer on the upstairs deck bar overlooking the channel while watching the boats do some speed runs on the open water. There was even a live band to add a soundtrack to all the action.
One comparison I could note from the previous weekends Flat Bottom Boogie, however (story on front page), is that the actual speed runs are optional, and not organized as a part of the event. They are left to the will of the registered boat owners who decide to take their boat out for a spin. This means that while there was a lot of eye candy, there wasn’t quite as much action on the water as the previous weekend’s Flat Bottom Boogie. At that event, as mentioned in the story, the water was shut down to open boat traffic specifically for the time trials. It was not only excellent viewing from the shore, but the planned runs on the closed course gave you a little more bang for your buck when it came to watching these sleds do what they were built for - go fast!
On the Delta, you never know what you’re going to see. From a sailboat decorated like a pirate ship, to an ultralite doing a low altitude fly by, you should always expect the unexpected. On this particular day, we had both, along with some other nice boats that came to the show. For instance, two locals I met at the bar showed up for the show in their offshore boats. Garrett in his 27ft Eliminator Daytona, and Bill in his 26ft RPM Redline even went out and did a couple of high-speed passes for a photo-op. It was a big hit with the crowd, and the pics turned out pretty bitchin.
While I only attended on Saturday (because I had a 7 hour drive home on Sunday), I heard that the party continued until Sunday afternoon. The 3 day event was definitely a step up from its inaugural year, and by all accounts it was a success. I’m still waiting on the final number for what was raised for the Explorers, but based on the boat and head count, I’ll assume they met their goal.
After a week of boat events and working remotely, I was ready to head home. And of course after being gone for a week, I had a lot to catch up on which explains the delay in this story. But it was a great week filled with fun, friends and great boating action. And if at all possible, I’ll definitely plan on hitting the show again next year.
Next up is the ARP Long Beach Sprint Nationals presented by Nick Rose Insurance, this weekend at Long Beach Marine Stadium. I will be there for RDP to cover all the action, so stay tuned for the story and possible live facebook feeds from the course! And of course you can always follow my instagram page for more photos and video.
Until then, See ya on the water!