Every Thursday in 2017 we will be sharing the highlights of each year in Ullman Sails’ history using the #UllmanSails50th. Be sure to check back to each week for more!
Founding Year, 1967: 50 years ago in November of 1967 21 year-old Southern California native David Ullman founded the first Ullman Sails loft in the coastal town of Corona Del Mar.
The loft was a small 37m2 office space with a single sewing machine. The first sails bearing his blue and red logo were made for a popular local dinghy, the Lido 14, and the sails won their first race.
David learned how to make sails for five years prior to founding Ullman Sails at the local Baxter and Cicero loft. Even at the very beginning of his career, David’s success on the water was the best promotion for his sails as seen in this advertisement from 1965.
Year 1, 1968: David Ullman quickly expanded his loft space in Corona Del Mar from 37m2 to 400m2 to accommodate a bigger floor, which enabled him to do larger sail repairs. He continued to build most new sails for local dinghies in which he actively competed, including Naples Sabots, Lido 14s, and Snipes.
Image: Corona Del Mar in the late 1960s was simply a small, quiet coastal town, mostly viewed as a place people could retreat from Los Angeles. In the bottom right you can see part of Balboa Yacht Club where Dave has been a member his entire adult life. #UllmanSails50th
Every Thursday in 2017 we will share the highlights of each year in Ullman Sails’ history using the #UllmanSails50th. Be sure to check back each week for more!
Year 2, 1969: At age 23 David Ullman wins his first two U.S. National Championships – the first in the Lido 14, and the second in the Naples Senior (18+) Sabot. David was dominant in both classes in his early career. He currently holds 12 National Championship titles between the two classes (and there are some who believe he could grab another if he hopped back in the class!).
Image: Lido 14 #2787, likely built in 1967. The class, which started in 1958 (produced by W D Schock Performance Sailboats), was immediately popular. By 1969 over 3,500 boats had been produced – mostly for racers and cruisers in Southern California. The Lido 14 class remains popular today with over 60 teams competing in the 2016 Class Championships.
We think the photo shown here is of David. The Lido 14 and Sabot are a major part of Southern California sailing heritage.
Year 3, 1970: In 1970 David Ullman went on to win his third National Championship – claiming the Lido 14 National Championship for the second year in a row.
Image: Lido 14s powering downwind in a local regatta in Newport Beach, California. Ullman Sails’ dominance in the Lido 14 has continued for decades with teams using Ullman Sails winning the majority of the class’s National Championships over the last 50 years – including 2016’s winner Bruce Golison.
Year 4, 1971: David Ullman continued to dominate the local Southern California dinghy circuit winning the Lido 14 National Championship for the third year in a row and taking his second Senior Sabot National Championship in three years. The two victories brought his National Championship titles to 5 total at the age of 25.
At this time Dave was starting to look for sailing outside of Southern California, he just had to find the right class…
Image: David around this time (date not available) rocking his classic mustache.