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Racing has always been a focus of the Laurelhurst Sailing Fleet. This page collects the experiences of Fleet members racing on Lake Washington and elsewhere on the West coast.


'Fleetwings' on Portage Bay in the 1940s

(Photo courtesy of Pat Osborne Wright)

The Osbornes and Fleetwings

One notable sailing family in the 1940s and 1950s was the Osborne family. On August 6, 1950, just prior to the opening of the first annual Seafair, the Seattle Times described Al Osborne as the "Father" of the Laurelhurst Fleet. At that time, the Fleet included 15 Flatties, racing every Thursday and Sunday from May to September.


West Coast racing in the 1950s

Ken Kraft and others from Laurelhurst drove to San Luis Obispo in 1951 for the Flattie World Championship Regatta. As the Seattle Times put it on August 19, 1951, "...the yachters raced their boats in all kinds of wind and water conditions..."

Laurelhurst skippers and crews in the 1950s

(Photo courtesy of Ken and Marilyn Kraft)

Competition among boats was as fierce as that among sailors. Racers did what they could to modify their boats to gain an advantage.

One Fleet member was caught off-guard in San Luis Obispo. Click to hear about one-design rules

The Krafts on Mission Bay in the 1960s

(Photo courtesy of Ken and Marilyn Kraft)

Proficient Kraft

Ken Kraft continued to compete (and win) after his wife, Marilyn, joined him as crew. The Krafts sailed together in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. They competed as a team in San Diego and sailed with their two girls in both Washington and California.


Friendly competition

Race start, calm, Lake Washington

(Photo courtesy of Jack and Nancy Carver)

Cachuma Lake, California, 1959

1959 Flattie International Championships, Cachuma Lake, CA

(Photo courtesy of the Morse Johnson Family)

Sport and sportsmanship

The Fleet built camaraderie among its members at home and away by racing as a team.


Excitement on Lake Washington

An impressive characteristic of the Fleet's top competitors has been their capacity for finding adventure close to home.

Harvey Davis photo from the Seattle P-I, 1958

(Photo from the Post-Intelligencer Collection, Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, WA)

This Harvey Davis photo appeared in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on August 4, 1958: "A spanking breeze catches the sails and sends these two sailors and their ship bumping along the waters of Lake Washington during the opening day of the World Flattie Championships..."