At the regular monthly members meeting on Tuesday, February 8, Mike Leneman will talk about the driving forces behind El Nino this winter and how that will affect weather conditions here in Southern California. As a Professor of Oceanography at UCLA who has been sailing in our local waters for decades, he will bring a unique perspective on El Nino and the affect it might have on our sailing community.
Mike was Director of Sailing at the University of California at Los Angeles in the 1970’s, and is the organizer and founder of the largest offshore multihull event on the West Coast, the Indian Summer Splash. Mike is also championship racer; a four time winner of the Newport to Ensenada Race and holder of the best multihull racing record of any sailor in Southern California. In the early seventies Mike raced Hobie Cats and worked for Hobie Cat of France for a summer (winning the French National Championships), but soon gravitated to offshore cruising/racing and has seen his share of offshore mishaps. In the 1980’s, on the Transpac race to Hawaii, for example, he was on a custom catamaran that broke apart at night. He was saved in a dramatic nighttime rescue.
Like the other pioneers of multihull construction, Mike learned his lessons along the way. In the early 80’s, while working with multihull designer and legend Craig Ashby, he built a 40 foot offshore racing cat, Minette. For many years Minette held the Santa Barbara to King Harbor race record and has won the Ensenada Race four times. He has also designed and built: two 32’ trailerable powercats, a 23’ trailerable powercat, a 20’ sailing/peddling catamaran, the L-7 trimarans (23 ft.), and various other small boats.
Always a go fast freak, he got involved with Corsair trimarans in 1990 at the request of the owner, John Walton, and became a dealer. In the mid-90’s he remodeled the F-31 to make it the fastest F-31 on the west coast. This proto-type then became the basis for the Corsair F-31R. He even designed the aluminum mast and rig for the production Corsair 31, as well as kayaks for local companies.
Presently, he is working on an 18 ft., 65 lb., car-toppable, fin drive, sailing trimaran with sliding akas.