By Beth David, Editor
The wind was screaming at more than 20 miles an hour on Sunday when 17 little sailoats took to the water for the second annual West Island Regatta at Hoppy’s Landing.
The little boats, mostly Sunfish-style sailboats, had a bit of a chaotic scramble at the beginning as the wind tossed the little vessels into each other. The mostly good-natured sailors, however, were not fazed by Mother Nature’s bluster.
Captain Riley O’Connell, 11, said she had no qualms about the race, despite the wind.
Sailboats need wind, after all.
The boats took off from a marker in the mooring field at Hoppy’s Landing and followed a simple loop course of about 3.5 miles.
After it was all over, Ian Penn, who came in third overall, but noted that he was second in the Sunfish “class,” said it was “phenomenal.”
He also noted that he had a broken foot, increasing his bragging rights among the competition, most of whom he knew. The group of neighbors sails together nearly every weekend.
Addie Hellstrom, who came in two overall, but beat out Mr. Penn for the coveted #2 slot among the Sunfishes, said it was fun. Not too windy?
“It was just right,” she said, adding that on most Sundays she goes out with the group on the west side of Sconticut Neck, where it is choppier.
Laurie Hellstrom said the race was made more fun by the responsiveness of Paul Casey, the race organizer.
“And it was great as a spectator,” threw in Susan Sullivan.
Bob Vogel, of Falmouth, sailed his 1959 Sunfish, that he has owned since he was a “kid,” but he refused to give his own age.
He said it was terrible maneuvering around the mooring field, and he had trouble timing the start, but once he got past the boats…”I went flying after that,” he said.
He ended up in the middle of the field, which was great since he botched the started.
It was his first time at Hoppy’s Landing.
“I had no idea what to expected, but I couldn’t resist seeing it from this side,” said Mr. Vogel.
Mr. Casey, who organized the event said there were 12 boats last year, 17 this year, and most sailors said they would return next year.
“Everybody had a good time,” said Mr. Casey, who promotes the event as “an informal, friendly sailing competition” on the website.
“This will be a very informal event, no protest allowed, just get out and have fun,” it reads.
Officially, the winners were Skip Mattos in the Laser Class, and Laurie & Addie Hellstrom in the Sunfish Class.
For more information, visit www.westislandregatta.com