Cultus Lake Recap

What a fun regatta!!  But it didn’t start out that way this year.  When sailors showed up Friday afternoon for a little afternoon sail it was cold and rainy.  ‘Hotel room sailing’ was quickly decided upon.

As the first ‘official’ Hobie regatta of the season, it was fun seeing good friends again.  There was lots of chatter on the beach and catching up as we waited for the breeze to fill in.  Finally it did and it was boats off the beach.

Winds were light-to-moderate with large shifts and enough big puffs to keep everyone honest (and upright!).  The highlight of the entire weekend, including Saturday — was watching the 3 youth teams battle in the H-16 fleet.  JJ Hoag and Jessie Markovich were by far the most entertaining.  You could hear them giggling and laughing all the way around the course.   And when they won a race — which they did on multiple occasions — the high 5’s and cheering were unstoppable.

While the two girls were trying to put a tight cover on John Ped and Alex LeBlond, they let Will Nelson and Josh Markovich head to the other side of the course.  And on a couple of those races the latter two sailed themselves into victory circle.  That proved to be just enough as Will/Josh eeked past the two tied teams by one point to steal the victory.

In the 18 class a very strong showing of 12 boats hit the line.  Peter & Laura showed great upwind speed, but it was Paul & Vanessa who showed everyone how to sail downwind.  But a lousy second race put Gillian in the driver’s seat, just 2 points back of Peter/Laura after Saturday’s racing.

The dinner Saturday night was particularly cool in that many of the pu-pus looked like sailboats!  There was lots of catching up to do, and later that night a gang of 8-9 teenage sailing thugs were seen roaming the streets of the resort pounding down a 1/2 gallon of ice cream!  Dangerous stuff.

Sunday started out looking promising.  But the wind never filled until very late in the afternoon.  PRO Steve Brunson set a short course and rattled off 4 very short races.  The races were quite refreshing because it was like short-track racing, with a premium on crew work.  In the end the Von Stubbe’s were able to overhaul Gillian and grab second place.

Other notables were Will and ____.  New sailors from Vancouver borrowing an older boat.   They got everyone’s attention right off the bat with a 2nd place in the first race.  Sandbaggers!

PSSR recap

It was a lighter-than-usual turnout for PSSR, but not a lighter-than-usual wind.  At least on Saturday.  Sailors arrived at the Corinthian Yacht Club, Seattle clubhouse at Shilshole to 20-22k of southerly breeze.  Since this was the first time out for the season for most of the sailors, fear and trepidation coursed through the parking lot where boats were being set up.

Two new sailors — Josh Curtis and Paul Hollister and crews — showed up to check things out.  Josh had towed his boat up from Harstine Island while Paul just brought his daughter, Anna, to check out the action.  It was mutually agreed to keep Josh on shore while Paul hitched a ride on an inflatable to watch the action from the water.

Saturday’s breeze was “full on”.  Jeremy Groesz and Jennifer Olegario came out to the start line on Jerry’s Hobie 18, and quickly turned around and packed it in.  Martin & Dan Hollinsworth got through the first weather leg before packing it in.  That left Tim Webb/Val Groesz, Paul Evenden/Tawnya Fox, Peter Nelson/Laura Sullivan on the course.

It was pretty much ‘ass & elbows’ that first race.  But by the 2nd race the sailors started to remember how to handle big breeze.  But when Tawnya fell off the boat at the leeward mark in the 2nd race they finished and headed to shore.  Peter & Tim didn’t need to be asked twice — it was dang cold!  So the sailors headed for the clubhouse and some bar sailing.  Both days we all retired to Geo’s Cuban restaurant because it was so dang good!

Sunday was much, much calmer.  We had the two 18s (Evenden & Groesz) and two 16s (Nelson & Webb) starting out in about 10k and gradually easing off until races were called around 2:30 due to lack of wind.  But 4 races were run and it was really a lot of fun.  Tee Jay Fox even got out on the water and started training his new crew — Tawnya’s finace’ Andrew.  Cool kid (if I am allowed to call him that).

The only bummer was that more boats didn’t come out.  But we know there were commitments and physical therapy and other stuff involved, so hopefully the crowd will come out for Cultus Lake.  Seattle sailors remember work party #2 is April 15 at Laura’s.  Sorry no photos.

Round Mercer Island “has a story to tell”

It had to be.  The first Hobie event of the season.  Probably no one had seen their boat for at least 5 months.  “April Fools” was stamped on the day early when PRO Peter Nelson managed to take a long walk off a short pier at Stan Sayer pits for an early swim.  The look of humiliation and embarrassment was not to be missed.  The embarrassment was further fueled when the dazzling duo sought immunity from racing when they discovered their tiller crossbar was missing!

A motley crew of Hobie sailors indeed!

Several new faces showed up, including Matt Hawkyard from Lincoln City(?), OR and his crew Nam (Pt. Townsend).  Nam was crewing for Matt, but also owns his own Hobie 16.  J0sh Curtis showed up from Harstine Island with crew Sam and another H-16, and both boats appeared more formidable than the usual “first timer”.  These guys (and gal — Sam is a girl) had game faces on that belied an experience level beyond their classic boats.

Not to be forgotten were the wannabees.  A.J. & Al showed up to check us out, but left their 18 at home, as did Paul Hollister and wife (whose name slips me.  Sorry!) from Tacoma without their H-16.  These guys wanted to see if Hobie Fleet 95 really was legit or not.  I can’t say the morning’s antics answered that question!  lol

With a 5k sou’westerly filling in and the forecast calling for it to die in the afternoon, we cancelled ‘the long course’ (round the island) and opted for a repeat of last year’s “1-bridge fiasco”.  Sailors were required to go through the east & west portals of the I-90 bridge in any direction they chose.  Interestingly, 3 went left and 3 went right.

The sailing in that light breeze should have been uneventful.  Right.

We gave the “C-fleeters” a 13-min. head start on the 17 and 18s.  Both Matt and Josh got off the line in great shape.  But the funniest part was 13 min. later listening to Paul Von Stubbe bringing Dave Wilder up at the start.  The yelling was something of epic proportions.

It was great to see Matt be the first to emerge through the 2nd required portal, and for a moment we thought this newbie might be able to pull out the victory.  Meanwhile, Jere & Jaedon Bott were on the north side of the bridge giving the bridge traffic fits and shudders.  They launched up onto one hull from a rogue puff that had them looking like Emirates Team NZ in the 34th AC.  Only with Jaedon grinding on the hydraulics were they able to save a capsize and avoid a major traffic incident on the bridge!

Paul & Vanessa VonStubbe accepting their award before the paparazzi get to them.

Then there was Jeff Rickard and crew Tory who had obviously been hired to measure the clearance of the bridge in one of the shorter spans of the east portal.  They were able to report back that a Hobie 18 mast canNOT make it through that span!  Thanks to the efforts of chase boat driver Mike Hensel, the crew was saved from a troll life of living under a bridge.

As the sailors closed in on the finish, it was fun to see everyone tacking for glory.  In the end, the Hobie mavens of Paul & Vanessa beat out defending 1-Bridge Fiasco Champ Dave Wilder to claim the victory.  (Paul was officially inducted as a Hobie Maven with the victory!)  Jere & Matt followed closely behind.

But the real battle was for last place.  Josh and Jeff were duking it out — crossing tacks and covering each other.  They finished a mere 30 sec. apart. But we suspect that if Jeff had not made his little “I-90 stopover” that he could have beaten Josh to the finish.

At the awards ceremony it was standing room only (there were no chairs!).  The perpetual trophy passed from a tearful Dave Wilder to Paul and Vanessa amid thunderous applause from the audience.  After a brief acceptance speech, Paul could be seen wandering off muttering something about getting hired on with Team Oracle USA.   We’ll see how that goes!  lol

It was, in short, a great time on and off the water seeing familiar faces and good friends, and making new ones.  Thanks to all who showed up, sailed, chased, swam, or otherwise put a smile on our collective face.

2017 Season Kickoff

Sailing season is just around the corner!!  April 1 is the Round Mercer Island Race.  (No fooling!)  We meet at Stan Sayer Pits in Seattle and circumnavigate Mercer Island.  Registration opens at 1000; skipper’s meeting at 1100, and; first shape at 1200.  Reverse start.  Continental breakfast provided.  $20 + launch fees.

Then the following weekend, Apr. 8-9, is PSSR sponsored by Corinthian Yacht Club – Seattle at Shilshole.  This will be a good warm up for teams planning to travel to Yankton in June for the 16 NACs — not a lot of time to practice!  Register on the CYC website.

If you are from out of town and planning/wanting to do both events then contact a Fleet 95 member and keep your boat in Seattle during the week in between.