La Jolla Rough Water Drink Regulations – Albert Conforms

The Official Mac Meda Rough Drink started in the early 1970s (sorry exact date is a tad fuzzy) and for about 8 years it grew until lifeguards, police and the Coast Guard, banned boats from being X miles from the La Jolla Rough Water swim. Well, drinking also had a major role.

The first Drink, two boats collided and sunk. The famous picture (we are trying to get it now) shows a guy standing on the bow, with beer in hand, as the boat slowly sinks. The next year, T-shirts were made with the logo of just the arm holding a beer and the words La Jolla Rough Drink, and the year.

Now Coast Guard regulations for safe boating require that each recreational boat be equipped with an appropriate life jacket for each person on board and a requirement for the maximum number of people on a vessel based on the size of vessel.  Okay …

Boats less than 16 feet long and all canoes and kayaks must have the following safety equipment:

  • A U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable life jacket for each person aboard.
  • Proper lights displayed sunset to sunrise.
  • One Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher of B-1 or larger unless boat construction doesn’t allow explosive or flammable gases or vapors to be trapped and blab blab blab …

The Coast Guard Regulation for number of people in a boat is based on the following formula: The vessel length in feet times the vessel width in feet divided by 15.

Mac Meda Rough Drinks regulation are a little different then Coast Guard regulations for safe boating. There are only two regulations

  1. Get as many floating devices as possible, that includes, but not limited to boats,  rafts, surfboards, boogie boards etc etc.
  2. Cram as many people and beers as you can in them and still float!!!

So lets make captains Doug Moranville’s  (Stocker) and Pinky’s (Wood-i, the green boat) the perfect example of how Mac Meda conforms to their rules.

The Stroker is 12 feet long, about 5 feet wide, the capacity according to the formula is 4 people, but Moranville has about 12! Good job Doug!

And check out Pinky’s lobster skiff, that’s required to carry 9, but I think the count is around 25. Now  check it out when it taxied a ton of people; the rails are about 2 inches out of the water, but we must not forget,  that included the lobster boxes which were transformed into coolers and packed with beers, which added a ton and the reason why it is riding so lowwww heading to the event. Way to keep on top of regulations!!!

Well Albert’s Captain followed regulations when he cruised the event in a 18 foot Whaler with two other people. The captain figured, gorillas probably did not like to swim.

And out of the hundreds of people, the ONLY person that has a life vest was Thomas Hendricks, that’s because he had a neck brace for a broken neck … but we will let this slide…

Hummm, beside Thomas and Albert,  do you think for one second that any of the other Rough Water Drink captains conformed to Coast Guard regulation?

I don’t think so ….

Photos by Doug Moranville


  1. Great website (linked from Kip Ives site). Doug, Searat, my old buds. Great memories on here. The infamous ‘drink’… good thing nobody drowned.

  2. Have 1970 Shirt. Stencil by Jack Mac. “LaJolla Rough Water Drink 70”. Hotchkiss & Johnson got egged with their Dates. Oranges&Lemons Also.They went to LaJolla Shores Market and Bought EVERY EGG in Store.. A while later their Ski Boat was Damaged and 100% full of Water. Still afloat. You just had to be there, see it to believe it..I had a water resistant swiss container with 30 joints around my neck. It was labeled MARIJUANA. MAC Thought it was hilarious! Good Fun had by All. ( not so sure about Rick&Bills dates?)

  3. God… it looks like if Doug Moranville was not there.. many of these photos would not even EXIST…. I remember that Doug was into photography way ahead of the rest of us…. most of us did not even own a camera.. and he was ( I think) developing his own photos.. He was dating the gal from Palm Springs that year.. (1967) her name was Kathy… (Lisa Coombe’s friend)…. and he had photos of her on his wall.. I WONDER what ever happened to her… she was so sweet… Well if anyone (maybe Doug) gets in here in the next few years maybe he can tell me… I am on Face Book…

  4. Doug Moranville says:

    Pinky, we are in process of going retro with the old designs. So far Sip&Surf, Ocean Fresh, Club WindanSea and I have the art for all rough Drinks plus today I found the old Mac Media Ab Dive art. There’s more….

  5. John Frager says:

    Photo of the gorilla throwing the girl off the boat. Boston Whaler owned and driven by Dan Mulvihill (cardioligist now). I was in the gorilla suit and the girl being tossed off the boat was my sister, Gina (Frager) Hixson. I’d guess that was 1977 or 1978.

  6. Dennis Downie says:

    Dan, it was not me

  7. Dan Dameron says:

    Hey Mark, I think the guy who you are thinking of was a guy in my class at LJHS (1968), tall guy, I think he played basketball….Dennis Something…Where you living now?

  8. mark dameron says:

    SOMEBODY told me his brother Jim, my brother Rick, Bill Decker, and maybe one other guy were ” hunting” in Carmel Valley,when an unfortunate bird landed nearby. They ALL opened up on the poor bastard (with .22 cal. semi-automatic rifles)… when the smoke cleared , all that was left of it was some blood, some feathers, and some goo. This resembled vomit. Thus the term “SHOT – BIRD”. It’s a good story, true or not.

  9. Dennis Downie says:

    I remember one Rough Drink, I drank a whole gallon of Red Mountain out on one of the boats. When the Drink ended I somehow swam to the Clam, climbed up the cliff and made it to my car. I had to take a leak so bad. With hundreds of people walking by my car I sat in the car and pissed into my plastic gallon water jug. What a relief ! The next thing I remembered was waking up in the sand @ Sea Lane that nite. I made it home, slept a few hrs and got up at 7 AM to go to 1st day of classes @ SDSU. Wow, I was so sick. Driving down the street with the car door open, I laid a continus wavy line of vomit half way to SDSU. I was late getting there so I had to park far off campus. Upon existing from parked car, I decided to rinse out that vomit taste from my mouth. I swallowed a small amount of water and then with a mouth full of water and the water jug above my face I suddenly remembered why the water looked a bit yellow !!!! Needless to say I vomited for thirty minutes straight. I neved drank to puking excess ever again.
    By the way, where and who made up the phrase” to shoot bird” .

  10. I remember still attending the Rough Water Drink in the early ’80s….boats, beer, water balloon launchers and all….when did it end? late ’80s???

  11. Great Picture Doug…. 🙂 Those were some good times!

  12. Anne, Karena, Leanne and I bought a 6 man raft back then and christened it the “Sea Pussy”. Crazy times at the Drink! I also no longer drink straight tequila–that was not a good thing there. Dangerous results(lacerated the bridge of my nose). Great website

  13. Dan Dameron says:

    I understand it was Rakestraw who offered you the nickname LaMont

  14. 2 things: I should have never shaved the beard and that was the last time I ever drank straight tequilla!

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