In the early 1920s, a local yachtsman who was searching for a suitable small boat for his young sons, came across a set of plans to scale in the 1921 issue of Rudder magazine. He had a local builder, Tom Broadway, build several boats and the class became immediately popular. In 1926, G.V. Johnson began building the boats. In 1928, the National Snowbird Yacht Racing Association was formed.
The flight of the Snowbird, started in 1936, became one of the largest small sailboat races in the World. The First race of record was sailed in 1926 for a trophy put up by the City of Newport Beach. Local yacht clubs had their own series, but the premiere race was the annual flight. At its height in the 1950s nearly 200 boats entered. The Snowbird sailors grew up and moved on to larger boats. They cruised the World, and sailed in Yacht Races. And some, like America's Cup winner Bill Ficker, went on to make the history books. The Snowbird has sailed into history, but the memories linger on.
The snowbird with building #1 is on display at the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, California.