CLINTON, NJ — More than 40 sailboat racers from 15 states as far as Texas, competed for the 2018 Force 5 class North American Championship, held over three days at Spruce Run Reservoir in Clinton this past week.
The championship division was won by Rob Scala of Waterford, Ct., followed by Rich Chapman of Northbrook, Il, Josh Kerst of Ann Arbor, Mi. and local racer, Doug Brown of Annandale.
After a no-wind Thursday, the wind picked up for five races on Friday. Strong winds on Saturday made for action-packed racing with lots of capsizes among these fast, nimble single-handed sailboats.
"We had a great turnout with lots of enthusiastic racing," said HSC's regatta chair, Jay Halsted, of Annandale. "This is the second time we've hosted the North Americans in the past four years. Many sailors came back because they said they had so much fun racing and enjoying Hunterdon hospitality. When sailors tow their boats here from as far afield as Georgia, Illinois and Texas, it means we’re doing something right."
The regatta was hosted by the Hunterdon Sailing Club, which has run races and supported community sailing on Spruce Run Reservoir since 1964 and 14 HSC members competed in the regatta this year.
HSC’s Scot Eigner of Flemington, Linda Howard of Morris Plains, and Rainer Dehe of Millington, took second, third and fourth in the challenger division for newer Force 5 sailors. Howard also won the award for the top-placed woman in the regatta.
Hunterdon Sailing Club was founded in 1964 and is a not-for-profit group dedicated to promoting the sport of sailing, through sailboat racing, sailboat cruising and sailing lessons. The club sponsors learn-to-sail programs for youth and adults, including beginner sailing lessons for ages 11 and up, with boats provided. The club operates from May through October at Spruce Run State Park.
For more information about Hunterdon Sailing Club, visit www.sailhsc.org or on Facebook at SailHSC.