If the city of Newport Beach and harbor had such an award, I would nominate Barry Wood.
On Sunday, BYC will run its 43rd annual Harry Wood Memorial Regatta, which will be in Lido 14s. I could go into all the great things that Harry did for the sport of sailing, but this story is about a mentor of mine, Barry Wood, Harry's son.
Barry called me about a month ago.
"Hello, kid. I hear you are chairing the Harry Wood regatta this year," he said. "I just wanted to let you know that I have ordered the T-shirts that are given to all the competitors, and have picked up the Perpetual Trophies for updating and cleaning."
Barry does all this on his own dime. When I hung up the phone, I thought to myself, "Now this is what sailing and sportsmanship is all about."
Barry Wood is no newbie to Newport Harbor. He grew up in Long Beach, where he sailed Lido 14s with his father in Alamitos Bay and Newport Harbor in the early 1960s. He went to the same high school with Duncan McIntosh and lived down the street from him.
They teamed up and started selling Columbias and Islanders from Marina Shipyard. This explains how Barry always gets the best location at the Newport boat shows.
Shortly after that, Barry teamed up with Eddie Arnold and moved to Newport Beach, where they sold Columbias, Islanders, Hunters and MacGregors. When I called Eddie he told me they had worked together for 16 years.
"We never raced too much together because one of us had to man the shop" Eddie said.
One of the many things Barry could do well was sell MacGregor boats.
"We sold 50 of the 26-footers in one year" Eddie told me.
This made me pick up the phone and call Roger MacGregor.
First thing that Roger said was "no better guy in the whole world", "absolutely magic working with him," and "backbone of my business."
Roger then went on to tell me that Barry had sold more than 1,000 boats during the last 20 years.