For 363 days a year, Irvine Lake, located in the rolling hills of eastern Orange County, California is a quiet, calm and serene reservoir where the loudest audible sound might come from a bird chirping or a fish jumping for its morning breakfast. In fact, for anglers, Irvine Lake is considered one of the prime hunting grounds for trophy trout, catfish and bass thanks to a mega-stocking policy that routinely yields full stringers of keepers.
However, if you’re a hook, line and sinker type of person, you might want to look elsewhere on Father’s Day weekend each year since Irvine Lake plays host to one of the most popular V-Drive Regattas in the entire country. The only thing that they didn’t count on in 2013 was a lack of water. The Santiago Flats area where the V-Drive Regatta is held was nearly bone-dry thanks to a Southern California near rainless winter.
What normally makes the Irvine event so attractive is that it offers both land and water access plus a K-Boat Challenge race that has top competitors preparing a year in advance to win the much coveted bragging rights as king of the lake. In 2010, Rick King of Speed Engineering in his blown Chevy powered Daytona flatty did exactly that, crowned king-of-the-lake over a classy field of more than a dozen hard-charging K-Boats. And along with the title came a considerable cash award that put some icing on the cake.
Over the years, the Irvine V-Drive Regatta has grown to well in excess of one-hundred boats, 75 of which are pre-registered and given lake launch and drive-it-like-you-stole-it privileges for the weekend. Take a look at some of the action and equipment on the following pages and you be the judge — would you really rather be fishing?