NW Area Championships
What a venue! PNW sailors were treated to another epic weekend at Lake Quinault the weekend of July 14-15. Hot weather inland brought the Quinault doctor in on time Saturday with first race off around 11:30. Pro PRO Charley Rathkopf ran 6 races in medium breeze that delighted all 30 boats and the 2 Miracle 20s and Wagz’ 16 who showed but didn’t race.
Many of the racers were looking for another 2-3k from the 10-13k, but the flat waters made for super comfortable conditions. Just as the wind would start to build it would let off, teasing the sailors but keeping carnage to a minimum. T-shirts and shorts were the order for the day, with several of the ubiquitous wetsuits reminding us this is still the Northwest.
The 18s were the most competitive class, with an epic duel going on between Ken Marshack/Valerie Pioszak versus Ethan Salkind/Laura Sullivan. In the end it was Ken/Valerie who prevailed, but only by 2 points. Earning honorable mention was John Hoag/Paul Carter who, besides debuting John’s new (to him) 18 managed to also win two of the 9 races.
In the 17s Kelly Havig went into Saturday night feeling pretty good having won half of the day’s 6 races. But she faltered in the light airs Sunday and gave the lead over to Dave Wilder who showed consistency pays with only 2 bullets but no worse than a 3rd. Scot Chapman showed great strength in the breeze, good enough to edge past Dan Tarleton by one point. It didn’t help Dan’s cause to fall asleep on the tramp for race 8 and miss the start despite winning 2 of the 3 races Sunday.
In the 16 fleet Peter Nelson/Joe Seuk sailed away with a strong performance, while Jennifer Hoag/Jaedon Bott nailed down silver. This youth team will be attending both the 16 Youth nationals, as well as the open North Americans later in the season. Good luck, girls! This was Jaedon’s first regatta in the 16 fleet. Not a bad start!
Tim Player/Ross Bretherton carried 3rd place into Saturday night. But a strong finish from Jeff Janders/Sue Davies pushed Tim & Ross back to 4th. Jeff was a hallmark on the leaderboard during the 80s and early 90s, so it was good to see him back on the water with a bone in his teeth! And thanks for bringing the chase boat, Jeff!
Big, big kudos to Al Jones for organizing the best regatta in the division for the umpteenth time. J Rosenbach put together some good looking trophies, and Matt Markovich and clan provided some handsome t-shirts for the competitors. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the indefatigable Molly Brown, er Laura Sullivan, who not only organized Saturday’s dinner, but carted a bunch of necessary equipment out to the lake.
Last, and most certainly not least, Bob Combie and “Grouchy” Tim Dorwin quietly put together a race management clinic that could not and should not be overlooked. They reset the course multiple times over the two days, and did so quickly and accurately. Unless you travel to other regions to race, you really cannot fully appreciate how good these guys really are.
The unsung heroes from Quinault would be the many volunteers on the beach who prepared a delicious Saturday dinner AND were instrumental in supporting the 3-day youth clinic.
First and foremost would be “Happy” Tim Webb.Tim’s “other” job is as a school teacher, and those skills were well on display as he corralled 8 energetic kids into focusing on having fun while learning sailing. Jaedon Bott and Will Nelson showed the young sailors the ropes out on the water along with support from Laura, Paul, and Peter.
The kids advanced quickly from Day 1 skills of learning basic sailing to the skills of Day 2 and 3 involving trapping and rounding marks. Their hungry faces were constantly fed by Laura & Dana Groesz who tirelessly worked the kitchen not only for the kids but also all of the “hangers on”.
Acknowledgement/Disclaimer: If you chipped in and helped out — even if it meant washing a pan or picking up some trash — and you got left out of this list then please accept my/our humble apologies for the oversight. It takes a village to put on such an epic 5 days and we greatly appreciate your efforts. Thank you so much!!