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Instead of Football Regatta
Two boats sailed, 50 sailors celebrated
January 2, 2018

n years past, the Instead of Football Regatta has seen as many as 60 boats on the water on New Year’s Day. This year it was two.

The two brave, or foolish depending on your view, sailing vessels were Mike Jahn’s Kelly Peterson 44 Phoenix and Dino Harrell’s Cape Dory 22, Odyssey. A third boat was spotted sailing out with the Phoenix, but the crew did not appear at O’Town to claim the glory of a freezing day on the Neuse.

Instead of Football Regatta 2018
Mike Jahns (left), with two more of Phoenix’s eight person crew, were out on the Neuse on New Year’s Day.

Though the cold weather and winds kept most on shore, the after party at O’Town did not suffer the same fate. Nearly 50 sailors came out to celebrate 26 years of New Year’s Day sailing.

Instead of Football Regatta 2018
A packed Skipper’s Meeting despite the cold.

This year Tom Lathrop, organizer of the event for 25 years, gave the reins to Nelda Coates. “I picked the best year to go out on,” Tom said, “I also picked the best person to hand it over to.” She presented him with a gift for his service: a commemorative picture and a miniature sail boat with a football on the sail.

Instead of Football Regatta 2018
Nelda Coates and Tom Lathrop, current and former organizers of the Instead of Football Regatta.

As tradition demanded, the winners were chosen at random. Finola Corbett pulled the slips of paper from a Nautical Wheelers gift bag. Chance named the first place winner as one of the boats on the water that day: Michael Jahn and his Kelly Peterson 44, Phoenix. Second place went to another crew member of the Phoenix, Scott Sham. Third was claimed by John Coombs, skipper of the Bristol 355, Quixotic.

Instead of Football Regatta 2018
Gifts, including a rudder and tiller, were stacked in the corner with care.
Instead of Football Regatta 2018
Nelda with Finola Corbett, who drew the names of this year’s Regatta winners.
Instead of Football Regatta 2018
Mike Jahn dishes up clam chowder before the winners are announced.
Instead of Football Regatta 2018
Sailors packed O’Town Pub after the Regatta.
Instead of Football Regatta 2018
A gift placed anonymously in the hood of Nelda Coates’ coat.

Posted Tuesday January 2, 2018 by Allison DeWeese

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