Todd Christensen Memorial Regatta

Do you ever feel like you just want to put the pedal to the metal, get the lead out, and do some honest-to-goodness double trapping under controllable conditions? Do you get tired of half-hiking? Or dinking around with those stinking shrouds? How about just putting the hammer down and staying in the back of the boat?

Want to help youth sailing? Maybe give back a little to the sport that has given you so much? Well, here’s your chance.

As you know, our good friend and avid Hobie sailor, Todd Christensen, went home to be with the Lord last November. It was before his time, but the Lord had other plans. So now Todd is beam reaching in heaven while the rest of us try to figure out how to rig an 16!! Anyhow, we are having a fund raiser regatta in Todd’s name Aug. 22-23 at Skamokawa Vista Park on the Columbia River. This venue is a crowd favorite – we have been coming here for 20 years or more!! The day starts out with a light fog on the river – smoke on the water, or Skamokawa in Indian-speak. By noon little zephyrs appear on the river. And by 4 p.m. we are in full-on double trap conditions!! It is an absolute hoot! And on Sunday we’ll sail the long distance race down the river and back. Overall winner will get name put on the Todd Christensen Memorial Long Distance Trophy. Todd would be proud – he won it enough times (including as recently as last year!!). And just to keep you guessing, we are throwing a few wrinkles into the racing!!

So come on out Friday afternoon. NOR is here. Bring money to donate to youth sailing. Bring money to buy raffle tickets with. Give it up for charity!! Val Groesz and I have been hustling the sponsors and have some really, really cool stuff. And we’re not talking calendars and beer cozys! We’re talking wetsuits and stuff like that!!! Sponsors include: Zhik, Murray’s Marine, West Coast Sailing, Ronstan, Hobie Cat, & McLube.

Dinner Saturday night is hosted by Team Shrek (who else, right?!!), and the good times will be on full display as we celebrate!! Look forward to seeing you there.

Hobie 18 North Americans – Avila Beach, CA

Eight Pacific NW teams from Division 4 picked up the challenge to head south and take on Division 2 and the rest of the country in a Hobie 18 showdown on the beaches of Avila, just north of Pismo Beach.  Five days of racing culminated in a total of 16 races.

The first 3 days saw strong winds in the 20-25k range with gusts over 30k.  The last two days the wind settled into a comfortable 10-20k range.  The heavy winds brought three Div. 4 teams to the top of the leader board — Ken Marshack & Val Pioszak, Peter Nelson & Laura Sullivan, and Paul Evenden & Tawnya Fox.  Not far behind were Alexa Edgar & Doug Weston, Gillian Thomson & Ruth Branscombe, Jerry Valeske & (Texan) Dana Gradel, and Cal Bridge & Chris Pomeroy.

A total of 20 18’s were on the line for most of the races, and made for some exciting starts and mark roundings.  Despite the heavy winds, there were few capsizes, owing to the 18’s significant stability.

Wednesday was the most brutal with sustained gusts over 30k and a huge sea state, with just one race before racing was canceled.  Marshack, Nelson, & Evenden all capsized (as well as a few others), but all survived and came away with smiles (more or less).  Peter & Laura capsized just 5 boat lengths from the gate, which the committee was going to shorten the course at.  When Paul & Tawnya came around leading the 2nd lap they did the same thing!

Laura went into the event with a swollen, black eye.  She quickly put to rest rumors that Jerry or Peter were to blame by explaining it came from a collision at Quinault.  Then on Wednesday, while coming into the beach after a harrowing day, her trap handle broke and dislocated her finger.  She was not to be denied, and sailed the final two days with a black eye AND a dislocated finger!!

The wind subsided the last two days and allowed the committee to run 7 more races in comfortable, double-trap conditions.  Under sunny skies it was a sailor’s dream.

Organizers managed to give each team a life jacket similar to the one used by America’s Cup teams.  Shoreside parties and prize giving were held just a mile down from the campsite in downtown Avila, which is a rocking little town.

Overall it was a very wonderful regatta.  It is safe to say a good time was had by all.  Next year’s rumor for the 18 North Americans is on the East Coast.  Stay tuned!

2015 Youth 16 NAs – final results

H16 Youth 2015 final

2015 Youth 16 NAs – day 2 results

H16 Youth 2015 day 2

2015 Youth 16 NAs – day 1 results

H16 Youth 2015 day 1