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Croakerfest Regatta 2013
Biggest Ever: A Show On The Water
July 10, 2013

ifty-eight boats hit the racing course for the 2013 Croakerfest Regatta. More than 70 sailors and crew sailed the waters of the Neuse — and for the younger sailors, up Greens Creek — in the Saturday afternoon event.

“This equals one very big regatta,” says Carol Small, who helped the organizers, Nancy and Paul Welles. “It was a huge success.”

A school of some of the Sunfish that competed on the Neuse River off of Oriental Saturday afternoon.

Looking over the lists of participants, Small notes that there were home-town Oriental sailors, sailors from 11 other NC towns, sailors from Camps Seafarer and Sea Gull, sailors from California to the west, Wisconsin to the north, Florida and points in between.

croakerfest regatta 2013
Sisters Margot and Natalie Sherman of Chapel Hill.(Photo: Sherry Bingham)

Some crews were made up of sisters, others of mother and child, others were friends. A 90-year old sailor, Ted O’Dell took part, as did a 6-year old mariner. (Ted O’Dell finished 9th in the field of 29 Sunfish.)

The Croaker Regatta itself is just a few years old, a recently revived addition to the Croaker festivities on Oriental’s first Saturday in July. The event has grown year by year, with a half dozen more participants this year than last. Jerry Dasson of the Oriental Dinghy Club, which organizes and promotes racing in Oriental, says it was likely the town’s biggest regatta of the year.

croakerfest regatta 2013
Ken Midyette of Oriental ducks on a tack. He came in second in the Sunfish division. Rob Eberle took first.

As anyone looking on from the South Avenue shoreline or Lou Mac Pier — and there were many — could see, the weather came through with great sailing conditions. A bit of chop, but not much, ample wind to round the marks — and enough to knock over a few boats. (Their skippers righted them within moments.)

croakerfest regatta 2013
As Sunfish clustered near the starting line for a race, one in their midst capsized.

Another place to watch the Regatta was from the top of the Oriental Bridge. Tne Neuse River action — with fleets of Sunfish, and slooped 420’s and JY’s could be taken in there. Closer at hand, on the waters of Greens’ Creek were the Optis and 3 Sunfish in the children’s competition.

croakerfest regatta 2013
Optimist sailors at Green’s and Smith Creeks.

After the race, the 6 dozen sailors – and 17 others who worked on the committee, signal and mark boats – gathered for an awards ceremony, pizza and a raffle on the lawn of Grace Evans home next to the Wildlife Ramp.

The 1-3 Place Finishers in the races on the Neuse River were:

Sunfish (Under and Over 18)
1. Rob Eberle, Oriental
2. Ken Midyette, Oriental
3. Larry Mass, Wilmington

Sunfish (Under 18, on the river)
1. Kara Wheeler, Oriental
2. Griffin DesMarteau, Pawleys Island, SX
3. Joel Schneider, Winston Salem

420 Class
1. Gerard Ross & Mark Clare, Sarasota, FL
2. Bennett Bock, Atlanta & Rylie Frayman, Safety Harbor, FL
3. Grace Thomson, Raleigh & Charlotte Carl, Tampa, FL

Flying Junior (FJ)
1. Mark Fields & Charles York, Raleigh
2. Alexis Edwards, Chris Lopez & Madison Scott, Oriental
3. Nicole Edwards & Jacob Cathcart, Oriental

More results from the creeks and more photos of both race courses, just ahead…


On the Creeks: The Optis And Some Sunfish

croakerfest regatta 2013
The scene of the Opti course, from the water of Smith and Greens’ Creek..

In the Optimist racing on Green’s Creek the top three finishers were:

1. GiGi Glover, New York City
2. Thomas Glover, New York City
3. Emmie James, Oriental

croakerfest regatta 2013
Emmie James, cool at the tiller of her Optimist. The 10 year old from Oriental and alum and current student at Bow To Stern Sailing School took third place among the Optis.(Photo: Joe Mattea
croakerfest regatta 2013
In addition to the eleven Optis, a few Sunfish competed in the creeks as well. Spectators watched from docked boats. The awards ceremony took place in the yard beyond those docks.(Photo: Joe Mattea

Sunfish Racing on the Inside Course of the Creeks:
1. Taylor McIntosh, Oriental
2. LIzzie McIntosh, Oriental
3. Olivia Leggett & Alayna Salazar, Oriental

croakerfest regatta 2013
Optimists three from left, Craig Martien of Annapolis, Caroline James of Oriental, Watson Grappengetter of Savannah.

More from the creek race ahead:


croakerfest regatta 2013
On Smith Creek, Jarrett Goudlin of Richmond.
croakerfest regatta 2013
A race and just the joy of a sail.(Photo: Joe Mattea
croakerfest regatta 2013
Friends Alex Coulter and Neil Landau, of Pamlico County.(Photo: Joe Mattea

Meanwhile, Out On The River…

Twenty nine Sunfish competed, along with a half dozen Flying Juniors and 7 420’s. Photos from that action:

croakerfest regatta 2013
A perennial top place finisher, Rob Eberle came in first among the Sunfish division. (Photo: Sherry Bingham)
croakerfest regatta 2013
Larry Mass of Wilmington came in third overall in the Sunfish division. (Photo: Sherry Bingham)


croakerfest regatta 2013
Jerry Dasson of Oriental took 5th place in the Sunfish division.(Photo: Sherry Bingham)
croakerfest regatta 2013
Sonya Dean of Raleigh – red and yellow sail – was 4th in the Sunfish division.
croakerfest regatta 2013
Alex Weir of Davidson, NC.(Photo: Sherry Bingham)
croakerfest regatta 2013
Emma Wheeler of Oriental, at right, placed 7th among the Sunfish racers.(Photo: Sherry Bingham)
croakerfest regatta 2013
A check of the sail before the race.


croakerfest regatta 2013
A vortex of sailors. Ken Midyette, at left, took 2nd place.
croakerfest regatta 2013
Joe Grimm of Oriental.
croakerfest regatta 2013
Trent Carpenter of Santa Monica and Noah Newman of Atlanta off the Oriental waterfront. They sailed to 4th place in the 420 division.(Photo: Sherry Bingham)
croakerfest regatta 2013
A mini-fleet of green and white sail Sunfish.
croakerfest regatta 2013
Ben Elder of Milwaukee.(Photo: Sherry Bingham)
croakerfest regatta 2013
Kevin McNamara of Wendell, NC.(Photo: Sherry Bingham)


Capsizing and Recovering…

There were at least two capsizes during the racing on the river. In one, it took just over 90 seconds for the skipper, Ethan Staats of Atlanta, to right his boat and climb back aboard. The sequence:

croakerfest regatta 2013
Just before the start of a late race in the afternoon, as the Sunfish were jockeying for position, Ethan Staat’s boat went over. In less than two minutes, the sailor got a grip on the centerboard….
croakerfest regatta 2013
… and managed to get the boat level…
croakerfest regatta 2013
Then slowly upward…
croakerfest regatta 2013
.. and wrapped his arms over the edge and hoisted himself aboard.
croakerfest regatta 2013
Then scrambled on and in to the race…

The full results of the regatta on the next page.


Croakerfest Regatta 2013 complete list of total participants in order of final standings:

1ast place GiGi Glover from NYC
2nd place Thomas Glover NYC
3rd place Emmie James ONC
4th place Craig Martien Annapolis
5th place Watson Grappengetter from Savannah
6th place Caz and Oliver Doyle from Raleigh
7th place Rhett Parham from Raleigh
8th place Caroline James ONC
9th place Jarrett Goudlin Richmond
10th place Lauren Doyle and Hannah Bauer from Raleigh
11th place Neil Landau and Alex Coulter ONC

Flying Junior or FJ:
1st place Mark Fields and Charles York from Raleigh
2nd place Alexis Edwards, Chris Lopez, and Madison Scott from ONC 3rd place Nicole Edwards and Jacob Cathcart ONC
4th place McKenna Marquart from Richardson, TX
5th place Michael Tellup from Harredegreen, MC
6th place Chandler Coats and Nelda Coats ONC

1st place Gerad Ross& Mark Clare,Sarasota, FL
2nd place Bennett Bock, Atlanta & Rylie Frayman, Safety Harbor, FL
3rd place Grace Thomson, Raleigh and Charlotte Carl, Tampa
4th place Trent Carpenter, Santa Monica, CA & Noah Newman, Atlanta
5th place Margot and Natalie Sherman, Chapel Hill
6th place William Ball from Winston Salem & Everett Saslow, Greensboro 7th place Blaire Barton, Charlotte & Peninah Benjamin, Clearwater, FL

Sunfish inside course (on Greens Creek)
1st place Taylor McIntosh ONC
2nd place Lizzie McIntosh ONC
3rd place Olivia Leggett and Alayna Salazar ONC

Sunfish in the river under 18 years old
1st place Kara Wheeler ONC
2nd place Griffin DesMarteau from Pawleys Island, SC
3rd place Joel Schneider from Winston Salem
4th place Alex Weir from Davidson, NC
5th place Caroline Dobbs and Grace Sipp from NYC
6th place Ben Elder from Milwaukee

Sunfish over all (under 18 and over 18) 1st place Rob Eberle ONC
2nd place Ken Midyette ONC
3rd place Larry Mass Wilmington
4th place Sonya Dean Raleigh
5th place Jerry Dasson ONC
6th place Alex Dean Raleigh
7th place Emma Wheeler ONC
8th place Ted O’Dell, Morehead City
9th place Parks Blain from Raleigh
10th place Kara Wheeler ONC
11th place Lindsay Pindar Savannah, GA
12th place Griffin DesMarteau from Pawleys Island, SC
13th place Joel Schneider from Winston Salem
14th place Jim Zahradka from Beaufort, NC
15th place Joe Grimm ONC
16th place Kevin McNamara from Wendell, NC
17th place Alex Weir from Davidson, NC
18th place Caroline Dobbs and Grace Sipp from NYC
19th place William Duncan from Pinehurst, NC
20th place Ben Elder from Milwaukee, IL
21st place John Knight from Athens, GA
22nd place Emily Key, Richmond, VA and Caroline MacRae, Atlanta
23rd place Ethan Staats from Atlanta
24th place Jach Groom from Cincinatti, OH
25th place Sarah Mass from Wilmington, NC
26th place Maggie Hirschl, Chapel Hill & Ellie Rose, Morehead City
27th place Clyde Shephard from Atlanta
28th place Taft Spratt, Atlanta & Hunt Hobbs, Charlotte
29th place Bunny and Bridget Kelley, Chapel Hill

croakerfest regatta 2013
John Knight of Athens, Georgia tacks and ducks…..
croakerfest regatta 2013
..then counterbalances…
croakerfest regatta 2013
… and onward.

Posted Wednesday July 10, 2013 by Melinda Penkava

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