Annual General Meeting & Survey Results

On Saturday, Nov. 19th, Hobie Division 4 hosted its annual general meeting at the home of Peter & Ruth Nelson.  The AGM historically has been the time when the division puts together its sailing schedule for the next season, as well as take care of other division business.  This year the AGM was decidedly different.

Partially owing to a huge emotional bonding from Jerry’s memorial, the AGM attracted over 20 excited sailors and friends.  But unlike business meetings, this AGM was full of laughter, fun, frolic, and food — proving once again that sometimes the best path to success is sometimes the one not ordinarily traveled.

Sec./Treas. Paul Carter took notes and has put together full meeting minutes of the AGM.  You should read these as much for the completeness and organization as the content.  I mean, I can’t recall ever seeing meeting minutes so well done!

Survey Results

Meanwhile, back at the yacht club, a 2017 sailing survey was emailed to sailors prior to the AGM to get feedback on various topics.  There were 23 respondents to the survey, which was an all-time high.  Of the 22 answering, 13 said they would attend 5 or more regattas.

The three regattas gaining the most interest were no surprise — Quinault (21), Harrison (16), & Skamokawa (15).  But the fourth highest site was the Splash regatta on Lake Washington (13).  Too bad the division did not try to schedule that one.

Four respondents are looking to upgrade their sails while 2 are looking for new or newer boats.  When asked what events would help their racing, respondents were pretty evenly in support of a rules clinic, tuning clinic, guest expert, and/or practice session.

When asked how they can give back the overwhelming majority responded with regatta organization.  A surprising number (9/22) said they could help the division by introducing a friend to a regatta.  So look for new faces next year and when you see them, go up to them and introduce yourself!  Finally 3 of the respondents said they knew a youth currently not sailing who would be interested in trying out Hobies next season.

The big takeaway from both the AGM and the survey was the incredible amount of excitement in the Division.  It was clear to everyone in attendance that the camaraderie and love shared overshadows everything else.  The AGM was truly an uplifting event.

H-16/18 NACs — Puerto Penasco

Ten Div. 4 teams and shore crew extended their sailing season with a trip down to the Sea of Cortez at Puerto Penasco in October. for the H-16 and 2016 Hobie 16 North American Championships18 North American Championships.  The winds were light and allowed our teams to post some great results and gain valuable big-fleet experience.

What was particularly exciting were the four youths that came down and competed — some in their first open Championship.  JJ Hoag crewed for dad, John, while Kaylie Jones completed the father-daughter duo with Al..  Josh Markovich crewed for Paul Carter while sister Jessie caught a ride crewing for J Rosenbach.

The sheer size of the Div. 4 entourage was fun and exciting.  Seeing mexico-and-stuff-217everyone on the beach and sharing victories and challenges; going out to dinner with friends, and hanging together at the parties was all really exhilarating.

The wind was mostly light.  Only one race was run on Monday and Wednesday.  Tuesday was the only trapping day.  We got 4 races in on that day in mostly double and some single-trap conditions.  mexico-and-stuff-165Monday and Tuesday had the biggest swell.  On  Tuesday boats were flying off the tops of waves double-trapped!

Farmer J enjoying the high life!!

The venue worked out real well with everyone very close.  The RV park was right between two large hotels, so everyone was close.  You could get tamales or burritos in the morning, and there was beer under the tent at race central most days.  The beach was soft and hot, and the only real issue were navigating the rocky reefs with beach wheels at low tide.

And the division played the numbers game.  Peter & Laura scored their mexico-and-stuff-216first win of a NAC race, leading wire-to-wire.  John & JJ started the regatta off with a 2nd in the first race of the event!  Paul/Josh and J/Jessie followed up a couple of days later with a 3rd and 4th, respectively…in the same race!!  Martin Hollinsworth, sailing with Brit Jez Bull, finished 5th overall in the 18s — not bad for a couple of lardos who had never sailed an 18 before!  Carter got a 6th, Peter/Laura a 7th, and you get the idea.  Div. 4 sailors sailed well and everyone had a great time!!

mexico-hero-011 mexico-and-stuff-212 mexico-and-stuff-179 mexico-and-stuff-163 mexico-and-stuff-153 mexico-and-stuff-151 mexico-and-stuff-148

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!!

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:  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.