By Beth David, Editor
Just a little bit of drama spiced up the first annual West Island Regatta on Sunday, 7/24. Beginning and ending from Hoppy’s Landing in Fairhaven, the fleet of about a dozen small sailboats signed up to set sail for a three mile course.
Two ended up not joining the fray due to rudder problems. A couple of others looked to be having trouble getting past West Island.
Out on the course, one boat capsized and the young sailors had to be rescued buy the Harbormaster deputy.
Brother and sister team Elliott, 11, and Morgan, 14, Bennett, said they had a little trouble at the outset, but managed to overcome that and made it around the first buoy.
Then they started making good speed, according to Morgan.
“After the buoy, we jibbed and then turtled,” said Elliott, meaning they tried to turn hard and capsized.
Did they freak out?
“I wasn’t that freaked because it happened so fast,” said Elliott
“Then you were just off the boat,” added Morgan.
Were they glad they had their life jackets on?
“Oh, without the life jacket it would’ve been so much harder,” said Elliott. “Even just climbing on the boat.”
He said he hung onto the capsized boat, while Morgan said she tried to pull the center board up to flip the boat back upright.
“I just held onto it,” said Elliott.
In just a few minutes, the monitoring boat, captained by their grandfather and the regatta’s organizer, Paul Casey, came to the rescue along with acting Harbormaster Todd Cox.
They righted the little boat and the two youngsters got right back in with their grandfather, and the three brought the boat it into shore in one piece, albeit in last place.
“Overall, it was a very good experience,” said Morgan.
It was the first regatta for both of them.
There were no official prizes, just bragging rights, and the winners were not announced, although Dave Hickox said he came in second.
On shore, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary was on hand to talk about safety on the water, giving information on life jackets, boating safety equipment and upcoming boating safety courses.
Organizers hope to make the regatta an annual event. For more information, visit www.WestIslandRegatta.com
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