No announcement yet.

2014 Wylie Wabbit Nationals

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 2014 Wylie Wabbit Nationals

    14 Wylie Wabbits and crews came together at the Richmond Yacht Club as part of Totally Dinghy and their National Championship over th September 19-21 weekend. While that may not seem huge in other classes, keep in mind the Wylie Wabbit fleet is spread out nationally but concentrated locally. Originally built in 1982 as a simple trailerable boat you could tow anywhere with the smallest family car, Tom Wylie's response to the ongoing fuel shortage from oil embargo at the time, the wabbit developed a cult following by those who sailed them, and a small family of devotees followed.

    Melinda, Rusty and Kieth on Jack

    "We generally see 9-12 at these reagattas" Says Melinda Erkelens who has been sailing the Wabbit since there inception and along with husban Bill has owned several of them over the years "This year we decided to cooincide the event with the Totally Dinghy for several reasons, one of which is a quality Race Committee and great courses" Melinda, was sailing the event with a crew of Keith Stahnke, Rusty Canada and Jim Watters over thw weekend. Part of the family of Wabbiteers that meander about the state in search of good times, fun racing and long established family of friends. Its ease of trailering made the Wabbit a favorite for families of serious sailors that liked road trips, with minimal hassle, and regattas from Huntington Lake, Whiskeytown Lake, Tomales Bay and Santa Cruz became part of the landscape.

    Simon Winer, Pete Trachy and Mike Bishop

    Kim Desenberg, Terry White and John Groen

    Jon Stewart, Elanore Wingwalker and OJ Olson

    Brendan McNally and crew

    "Great people to sail with, and the boats are just fun!" Melinda adds "The performance over cost is hard to beat, they just respond so quickly and it just takes a little puff to get up and start moving! On Friday's long distance race which started at Southhampton shoal, went west to Blackaller, then proceeded over to Harding Rock, reached across to Blossom Rock and then back to South Hampton the conditions were "Perfect Wabbit Reaching conditions" Melinda exherted "We had low 20's and a nice ebb and a few really fun ferry wakes to surf down!" Their boat with Jim Watters and Kieth Stanhke crewing was blasting along in 1st after rounding Blossom when things went south, they crashed hard and ripped the kite."It was still awesome fun and Kieth said it was the most fun sailing he could ever remember!" Melinda added.

    Jerry Keefe provides a sweet look at Friday long distance "Survival Fest" with the images above
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    A lot of the Wabbit fleet was pretty close in terms of boat speed, and tactics were very important on the course. The favored side of the course changed several times each day, there were lots of puffs to take advantage of on the downwind legs. Rusty and Kieth were super sharp and fantastic at looking at the breeze and picking our way up and down the course. It was really a pleasure to sail with them. On Friday, Jim Watters was awesome on the wire in what was more of a suvival fest! The competition was really tight which made for a fun event. Lots of boats won races and the scores were all over the place!

    Melinda, who has won the Wabbit National a handful of time before sailing with hubby Bill took home the trophy again this year with her pick up crew, but she mentions that Bill did some rig tweaking and whatnot just before heading to Valencia for the start of the Volvo. "He was there in spirit if not in person" Melinda added. Asked if any new crews or surprise shown through at this years Nationals, without hesitation she
    replied "Oh yes Deke Klatt and his crew of 49er sailors that came up from Ventura were amazing in the various conditions, especially Friday's big wind long distance race!"

    Deke Klatt and Ventura 49er sailors Ian Baldwin 17 and Taylor Schlub 19.

    With 7 races over 3 days, the family of Wabbiteers enjoyed another fun and festive gathering and celebrated another national championship 3 plus decades after the 1st launch. Much like the Moore 24's, the comaraderie and the adventure is just as much a part of journey as is the sailing itself. Hop on board and enjoy the ride!

    Andy Hamilton, Aaron Sturm, Guillaume Cavinet

    Ethan Peterson, Carmalyn Peterson and ?

    Tim Russell, John Claude, Steve Parker

    David Rassmussen, Kelsi Schoenrock & Matt Van Rensselaer

    Bart Hackworth, Rich Jarret, Ron Tostenson

    The Official Report from Class Prez Kim Desenberg

    Congratulations to Melinda - and Keith, Rusty,Jim and Bill - for winning yet again - a hard fought nationals regatta with perhaps the deepest fleet we have assembled - 14 boats, the majority of whom could have won this regatta.

    A fairly light wind first race, with an auspicious win by Melinda/Keith/Jim, a second by Aaron/Andy/Guilliaume, and a surprising third by the new fleet member Deke Klatt from Ventura in the black boat with two young skiff sailors (sorry, I don't have their names).

    Then came the long race. Boy, it was long. The beat was long, although the wind was under 20 and at least it wasn't survival conditions. The first reach was a very high speed string of long fire-hose planes, making it hard to see and to breath. After Harding some of us jib-reached over Alcatraz (wrong!!!), the rest screamed by to leeward, and didn't mind some having to drop their chutes to make it at the end because they were well ahead of us traditionalists by then.

    That leg and the next one to the finish saw several knockdowns, with skippers and crews swimming ( I believe Melinda had the record with three in the water at once - whereas our boat only had one over. I was somewhat concerned as it was me, but was able to grab the mainsheet parts at the barney post and roll back into the boat, only swallowing part of the bay in the process....I believe Colin took a dive on the last leg, we went over between Alcatraz and the mark. The black boat with the kids aboard won that one and our "kids" from RYC, headed by Dave Rasmussen, came second, and Jon Stewart coming out of a long retirement taking third.

    Three races Saturday and two Sunday completed a very nice regatta, with the following results (skipper only): Melinda Erkelens, Deke Klett, Tim Russell, Simon Winer, Kim Desenberg/John Groen, Ron Tostenson, Erik Menzel, Jon Stewart, Colin Moore, David Rasmussen, Aaron Sturm (missed the Sunday racing), Brendan McNally, Ethan Petersen, Zane Working. 5 different boats won at least one race (Melinda was the only multiple with 3 firsts).

    Kim D.
    "Mr. McGregor"

    Wylie Wabbit Nationals Gallery

    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery