Div. 4 Championships & Memorial Update

First the update:  We are having a memorial for Jerry at Lake Quinault this Saturday, Sept. 17.  If you do not know about it and want more info then send a private message to one of the fleet/division members and we can update you.

Now, after cancelling the NW Area Championships on Aug. 6 because of Jerry’s passing, it all came down to the last regatta of the season — the Div. 4 Championships at Harrison Hot Springs, BC.  Harrison is the last stop on the Div. 4 trifecta — Skamokawa, Quinault, Harrison.  And it did not disappoint…too much.

But the events of the previous 3 weeks obviously reset the competitive spirits of many.  Within the 16 fleet the kids took over.  JJ Hoag recruited Kailey Jones and dumped her dad, who was ‘forced’ to sail with Al.  (Last we heard John was still laughing!)  Meanwhile Will Nelson & Josh Markovich both said “Thanks, but no thanks.” to their dads and teamed up, leaving Matt to take Josh’s place on Paul Carter’s boat.  It was boys vs. girls!  Meanwhile, John Ped hoped no one would notice by registering as his crew, Alex LeBlond.

In all, 10 kids took to the water in the 16 fleet alone!  We should mention that youth were on 3 of the top 5 boats, and 2 of those 3 had all-youth crew!  And when her dad, Jere Bott, scored a 4th overall in the 18s you would have thought from his youth daughter crew, Jaedon, that they had just won the Olympics!  There were plenty of smiles all around, intermixed with good memories of Jerry.

Saturday saw 4 races in single and double trap breeze.  The wind would come down in puffs and rivers, making for some very tactical decisions.  Positions were changing a lot, and no one was ever out of it….or in it!  Saturday night brought a fantastic dinner hosted by Paul & Debbie Evenden, followed by a raffle and live auction.  Both events were to benefit youth Hobie sailing and it was fun to see the youth haul in the hardware, so to speak, on the many items donated by Murray’s Marine.  Murray’s has been a very active and proud sponsor of youth sailing.

The net proceeds from Harrison will be piggy-backed on to the proceeds from Skamokawa and given to HCANA and designated for youth sailing.  That will amount to over $3,000 from just the two regattas!  Now what we need to do is tap into those funds and get some Div. 4 youth sailing outside of the division!!

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.

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!