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Ventura County

42nd McNish Classis Yacht Race returns after Covid cancelation last summer

McNish Classic Yacht Race returns following pandemic postponement last summer
Dick McNish
Tracy Lehr / KEYT

OXNARD, Calif.-Dick McNish and his crew onboard Cheerio II came in fourth during a photo finish in his namesake race on Saturday afternoon.

McNish, now in his 90s, still has the right stuff to skipper the 47-foot wooden yawl built in 1931. He has kept the boat, once owned by actor Errol Flynn, in pristine condition.

Before setting sail McNish said, "It looks like the wind is going to be built for us, that is primary and then our crew is all working together."

On Saturday the Cheerio II raced 9 other classic yachts from up and down the coast.

The sailors came from Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Pedro, San Diego and the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard.

The Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club hosted the event and after party.

Splinter from Ventura Harbor came across the finish line first. It's skipper Dan Shepley won his weight in Champagne.

McNish has won his weight many times and joked, " I won't mention the quality of the champagne."

Longtime Cheerio II navigator Kevin Dickman said, "It is so good to be back on the water because it has been a year that we had an off season."

Last summer's race was called off due to the pandemic.

A 95-year-old schooner named LaVolpe from San Pedro won the Bristol Boat award for its pristine condition.

The Eolo (pronounced Yolo) out of the Channel Islands Harbor won first place in the sloop category.

The participating sailors were cheered on by sailing fans during a dinner at the yacht club.

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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