Aug. 3 – 11 saw Div. 11 putting on a Hobie Mini-Mega event at Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club in New Jersey. This event would crown North American champions in: H-14, H-16 Women, H-16 Youth, Wave, H-17, and H-18.
Div. 4 sent sailors to compete in the H-16 Youth and H-18 events. The two youth teams included Will Nelson & Josh Markovich along with Jennifer Hoag & Kailey Jones. “Coach” John Hoag provided beach support and coaching to both teams. In all 10 youth teams showed up from around the country and old friendships were quickly reacquainted and new ones developed. The way Hobie youth get along seems so unique compared to other youth groups and continues to impress and instill “The Hobie Way of Life”.
The winds were light-to-medium and the crews were challenged with lumpy water from lots of boat traffic in NY harbor. Both teams were “hanging around” the top of the fleet. In the end, the girls got the better of the boys with a strong, 2-3 finish on the last day to finish 4th to the boys’ 5th.
There was a bit of confusion when 3 teams (incl. Will Nelson) were declared ineligible because they turned 21 in the year of the event (rather than after the event). The 3 teams were allowed to compete with the understanding they could not be crowned champion. Because the 3rd place team was ineligible, JJ & Kaylie officially finished 3rd in the “youth’ event. Congrats to both teams!! They both sailed an incredible series and should be quite proud of their accomplishment. Kat Porter defended her crown and won the event.
The Hobie 18 champion was easily decided by Ken Marshack, who seemed to have a whole ‘nother gear upwind and downwind. He had it pretty well locked up by Tuesday. All week he had straight bullets except for three thirds, the result of 3 OCS’s.
Five of the 8 teams were from Div. 4, thanks especially to the driving of Paul Evenden, who trailered 4 boats, including Doug Westin’s! Teejay & Angela Fox brought out Gillian Thomson’s boat to round out the team. While Teejay & Angela were helping out on committee, the other teams were learning how to sail through the slop and chop. It was quite challenging, but by the end of the week it was clear that all of the teams were much faster.
The Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club is a perfect spot. Sandy beach. Party tent. Picnic tables. Large parking lot and staging area. Showers. Support buildings. The two highlights were the continuous beer keg in the shop with free beer, and the ice cream truck that miraculously appeared several afternoons of the regatta. To put icing on the proverbial cake, the weather was perfect — warm, sunny (except for 1 day), with wind each of the days, and low humidity. We got lucky on this one!
Many thanks to our hosts Jim Doty, Greg Raybon, and a cast of dozens of Div. 11 volunteers who made it possible.