Youth Training Hits “Epic” Proportions

A key ingredient to having an epic weekend of sailboat training is to have epic-type wind. And the solstice weekend of June 21-22 provided just that at Sail Sand Point in Seattle as two, Division 4, youth Hobie teams took to the water to practice for the upcoming Hobie 16 Youth North American Championships to be held in Sandy Hook, NJ in early July.

John Ped & Alex Biondi drove up from Portland to join Will Nelson (Seattle) and Tawnya Fox (Chilliwack, BC) for two days of training on the Hobie 16. The two teams were under the watchful eye of US Sailing instructor Tim Webb and Kelly Havig, as the two coaches put the two youth teams through series after series of drills that refined their boat handling skills.

Some classroom instruction in the morning of both days gave time for the wind to build while discussing strategy, tactics, rules, and racing technique. After lunch the teams hit the water while coaches took to chase boats and set marks for a short course. Long-time Div. 4 sailors Caleb Tarleton and Peter Nelson joined the action on the water.

Hobie Division 4 has been actively recruiting teenage sailors anxious to feel the “need for speed” that catamaran sailing delivers. “We had 4 teams travel to California for the North Americans last year. This year only two are going because the East Coast venue makes it more difficult logistically.”, said Laura Sullivan, Division 4 Chairman. Laura has been the primary impetus to the Hobie youth movement in the Pacific Northwest. “Between local fundraising and the youth grants the teams are receiving, the teams will be heading to New Jersey for what amounts to a free, week-long vacation. They will be re-uniting with friends they made at last year’s event.”, Sullivan continued.

The excitement from the North Americans is starting to build momentum. At a recent Hobie regatta at Sail Sand Point 6 youth teams showed up and got their own start! Any youth interested in learning Hobie racing should contact either Hobie Division 4 at www.hobiediv4.org or Sail Sand Point. While you don’t need “epic-type” wind to sail or race a Hobie, it doesn’t hurt the fun factor one bit!!