8 Bells over Lake Quinault

As many of you know by now, our good friend, Jerry Valeske, passed away Jerry Valeske over Lake Quinaultunexpectedly on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 at approximately 3 p.m.  He was 66 years old.  He died doing the thing he loved best – sailing – at the venue he loved the most – Lake Quinault.  Jerry was leading the race at the weather mark of the 2nd race of the Pacific NW Area Championships at the time of his passing.  He is survived by his wife, Laura Sullivan, son Jason, brother Ray, and mother June.  An incredible outpouring of love and support has helped Laura and the family to endure these difficult times.  There are not enough ‘thank yous’ to express the gratitude Laura and the family feels.

Jerry will be remembered for many things.  His smile and gracious giving were two of his biggest assets.  But Jerry was also giving with the many talents God graced him with, including fiberglassing, woodworking, artistic t-shirt design, trophy design, PROing, and much, much more.  He was a man of many talents, that is for sure.  The Pacific NW sailing community has lost a dear and beloved man.

Many people have expressed a desire to send flowers or help out in other ways.  So we have set up a Jerry Valeske Memorial Fund.  The idea behind this campaign is to raise money that can help support any one of a number of passions Jerry enjoyed.  Current plans are under way for a park bench to be donated to the Lake Quinault Rainforest Resort Village in memory of Jerry.  The Village has been very supportive of Jerry and the Hobie division over the years.  But beyond that, there are greater goals.  Hobie youth sailing is near the top of the list, but other ideas are also being considered.  Laura will make one or more contributions to a charity or charities of her choosing which she feels best matches the spirit and love of her beloved husband.

Checks may be sent to: Laura Sullivan c/o Peter Nelson, 12418 83rd Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98178.  We have also started a crowd funding campaign at GoFundMe.  You can click this link to get to it: https://www.gofundme.com/2qw7axvk.  Checks are preferred to save the 3% or whatever GoFundMe charges.  Please do not feel obligated in any way to make a donation.  We’ll be fine either way.

From all of us who knew Jerry and were close to him, words cannot express the gratitude we have for your love and support through all of this.  It has been truly overwhelming.  God bless.

Registration – Skamokawa & Quinault

Online registration is now open for:

Please register early.  This helps greatly with event planning.  Our volunteers are working hard to make both of these events the best they can be.  Your cooperation and registration will help greatly.  Thank you.

Payment will be due on site for both events.

Fernridge & Jericho Recaps

Div. 4 had two regattas on back-to-back weekends — one at each end of its boundaries.  To the south, Eugene (OR) Yacht Club and its wonderful facilities played host to “Living on the Edge” regatta on Fernridge Lake June 11-12.

It was lake sailing at its best — with 20 degree wind shifts, lulls that would frustrate you and puffs that could/would take you from “zero to hero” in seconds.  Tactics played a huge part of the final outcome.  But the real story was the warm, sunny weather that served as a backdrop to the 8 races in all.

What makes Living on the Edge so much fun, besides the fantastic food, beer, & facilities of EYC, is the team and overall prizes they give out.  They pair up 3 or 4 teams in different classes and have a magical formula that regatta organizer Roeland Kapsenberg plugs results into.  There were a ton of laughs and a rowdy good time, particularly with the southern contingent of Div. 4.

The following weekend Hobie Catters trucked up to the northern environs of Div. 4 to the Jericho Sailing Center in Vancouver, BC.  Coming to this town is always a treat, and the beach and facilities at Jericho make for easy shore-side living.  Easy, that is, if you were not camping in the boat pen.

Rain and no wind on Saturday had everyone tied for first (and last) going into Saturday night’s BBQ.  The rain Friday night also had a few wayward campers in the boat pen seeking drier accommodations Saturday night.  But the Nanaimo bars after a fantastic BBQ dinner Sat. nite made up for it all!

Sunday dawned much drier and racers anxiously set their boats up in a light breeze.  Committee ran 3 races before the wind started dying and everyone was on the beach by 1315 — well in time for an early drive home.

The big stories of the day were the 1st place finishes of Jerry Valeske (H-18) and Laura Sullivan (H-16).  Both enjoyed their very first regatta wins.  Jerry’s was a total surprise.  When Paul Evenden mentioned a 4-way tie for 2nd but didn’t call Jerry’s name we figured Jerry was on the outside looking in.  But then Paul awarded Gillian Thomson 3rd and himself 2nd place before announcing Jerry’s first place!   Meanwhile in the 16s, Laura Sullivan, sailing under the sketchy name “Peter Nelson”, was able to overcome Martin Hollinsworth’s early bullet to nab the gold.  In the 17s, grand dad Caleb Tarleton showed cunning and wisdom can still sometimes overtake youth by edging grand son Dan by a mere point for 2nd place to Dave Wilder’s 1st.

Once again it was great catching up with members of the northern contingent of Div. 4.  Kelowna sailing club was well represented, swelling the 18 fleet to 7 strong for this relatively small regatta.  It is really cool to see the 18 fleet growing like it is.  Hats off to Paul Evenden for organizing the second of three regattas he is putting on this season for all of us.

Madcatter 40 Recap

When Division 4 sailors Peter Nelson & Laura Sullivan heard last year about Hobie Fleet 204’s plans for the 40th anniversary of their Madcatter Regatta there was no thinking twice.  This annual rite of Spring has been on the bucket list for several years.

Hobie beach scene at Madcatter 40Madcatter is known more for its party than its racing.  It’s no secret that when the wind blows it is usually freezing cold; and when the sun comes out there isn’t much wind.  But the weather is small talk compared to the shenanigans from the five cases of rum rolled out at Saturday night’s bar.  2016 was no different with the boogie sounds of a rock band deafening the lack of breeze.

Located on the eastern shore of Lake Oneida just outside of Syracuse, NY, the Madcatter was started in 1976 with 7 Hobie Cats, 2 Sunfishes, and a Laser.  Forty years later 110 boats came from as far away as Puerto Rico, California, Arizona, and Washington.  The largest fleet, Hobie 16A, had nearly half of those boats — 47 in all.  Several past national champions in attendance had it looking more like a “non North American Championship” than a little weekend regatta.

The practice distance race on Friday was shortened in light wind.  But that just gave the sailors more energy for the party under the tent Friday night after a hearty BBQ dinner.

Saturday’s wind didn’t improve things much.rules clinic  While the racers waited for the breeze to fill, a rules clinic was run on the beach with 3 of the top sailors dressed up like catamarans (much to the chuckles of the sailors).  The race committee finally called the sailors off the beach for one race in a light easterly which saw lake sailing at its finest — puffs, lulls, and windshifts that made a craps table look like a sure bet.

That one race only fueled Saturday night’s dinner and party and the competition was on for the coveted “party award” (ultimately won by Francisco Figueroa of Puerto Rico who was seen wandering the parking lot well into the morning looking for something or someone).

Sunday dawned no brighter.  Light winds halted the anxious sailors until they were finally called off the beach at 1 p.m.  Committee got two more races in Sunday on a light northwesterly.  But without a fourth throw out race, the sailors had to eat all of their scores.

And there were plenty of crooked numbers put up!  In fact, of the 47 sailors in 16A, only two teams were able to string together three single-digit finishes.  Local Fleet 204 member, Tom Korzniewski, ultimately beat out Canadian Dan Borg for the victory by one point.  It was only fitting since it was 17-year-old Tom who was PRO of the first Madcatter back in 1976!!  Full results are here.