What: Palm Beach Vintage Regatta
When: Saturday, February 21, 2015, 10am – 5pm
Where: The Landings and Middle Dock, Downtown West Palm Beach, FL
THE STORY: HOW TO BUILD A CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA
In October, an antique boat restorer and a nightclub mogul got together to catch up over coffee and the next thing you know, they decided to put on a show, the Feb. 21,2015 Palm Beach Vintage Regatta on West Palm Beach’s Intracoastal Waterways and the Downtown West Palm Beach Flagler Drive Waterfront and Docks.
Rodney Mayo had poured over Palm Beach’s yachting traditions during the run up to opening his latest venture, the swanky “Camelot” nightclub, which combines JFK and yachting as Kennedy did during his lifetime.
During coffee with Jim Moores, who specializes in antique yacht restorations, Mayo talked about his fascination with the area’s rich yachting history since the area has historically been the playground of the rich.
Back in 1917, there was a yacht regatta or gathering that evolved into the Palm Beach Cup, which was the event to race and be seen during the gilded 1920s.
Moores, who owns a 58’ 1947 Trumpy yacht “Aurora II” happened to have a bronze medallion from the Palm Beach Cup on his own boat.
“Okay, I’m in. Let’s do this. I’ll round up the boats,” Moores said.
There were more coincidences. Moores also had restored the yacht most identified with Kennedy’s presidency, the 1931, 92’ “Honey Fitz,” the eighth and final presidential yacht.
The “Honey Fitz” served five presidents, from Eisenhower to Nixon, but is most identified with the President Kennedy, who named it after his beloved maternal grandfather, John Francis Fitzgerald, a two-time mayor of Boston known as “Honey Fitz” for his charm.
They decided to schedule the event for Feb. 21, the same date as the original Palm Beach Cup, and Moores was able to not only get “Honey Fitz” as an exhibitor but another client, the “Blue Mist,” built in 1917, the year of the first Palm Beach regatta.
More than 20 antique and classic yachts will be on exhibit at the free event open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 on the Downtown West Palm Beach Flagler Drive Waterfront and Docks.