For more than 1,000 Southern California boaters, the event was sort of like Christmas and the Irish Sweepstakes rolled into one.
At stake was something that money alone could not buy: coveted slips in the new Cabrillo Marina in San Pedro.
Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley did the honors, reaching into wooden boxes and pulling out the first two names in a lottery designed to give boaters an equal chance.
The first two people whose names were drawn, who will get priority in choosing slips, were Robert J. Stuart of San Pedro and Joe Bernstein of Gardena. They are among the 1,125 who will be able to dock their boats in the marina when it opens late this year.
That left more than 700 who were not selected.
The 370-acre, $100-million marina is expected to relieve the chronic shortage of boat moorings and change the face of the harbor area. The marina is one of several projects in the Harbor Department's West Channel/Cabrillo Beach recreational complex that will include several restaurants, specialty shops, a major hotel and a marine fuel and hardware store.
Department officials said winners should receive their slip allocations within two weeks. Those who did not make the top 1,125 will go on a waiting list according to the order in which they were drawn.