Bill and Cathy Walker sail Ehu Kai (710) to second place in their class. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie)

Ehu Kai and Walkers pace Whidbey boats during Race Week

Ehu Kai, skippered by Bill and Cathy Walker, placed second in its class to earn the top finish by a local boat in the 35th Annual Whidbey Island Race Week competition July 10-14.

In all, 62 boats spread over two divisions and seven classes took part in the yearly regatta, which featured 13 races during the five-day event.

The Walkers piloted Ehu Kai to second in class eight of the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet Division with 36 points.

Seattle’s Jamie Thomas aboard Amuse Bouche won the division with 26 points, including finishing first in four of the 13 races.

Ehu Kai won twice during the week and placed second three times.

Two other Oak Harbor sailors competed in class eight.

Chad Holcomb sailed Yeah Dogg to sixth with 51 points, and Jim McAlpine on Lucky Jim was seventh with 74. Holcomb placed second twice in the individual races; McAlpine picked up one second.

Oak Harbor’s Rick Almberg (Sling Shot) and Suzie Dupuis (Gadzooks) finished in seventh and eighth, respectively, in class seven of the PHRF division with 88 points each.

“What a fantastic week of racing,” Dupuis said. “Perfect wind, beautiful weather.”

Race Week CEO Schelleen Rathkopf agreed.

“(We had) 14 racers for each of the seven fleets over five days,” she said. “This, combined with really fun post-race parties, made for a Race Week for the record books.

“We had a full Race Week Kids Camp as well this year, so many kids were learning to sail at Race Week.”

Next year Race Week will become a four-day event, Thursday through Sunday, to minimize the number of vacation days required for those participating, according to Rathkopf.

Race Week Winners

One Design Division

Class 5 – J105: Troublemaker, John Well and Kent Sisk, Portland.

Class 6 – Melges 24: Cool Beans, Kathy Kushner, Vancouver, B.C.

PHRF Division

Class 1: Wicked Wahine, Darrin Towe, Port Ludlow.

Class 3: Bat Out of Hell, Lance Staughton, Seattle.

Class 4: Uno, Brad Butler, Irene Place.

Class 7: Bodacious, J Rosenbach, Montesano.

Class 8: Amuse Bouche, Jamie Thomas, Seattle.

Local Boats

Here’s a rundown of the local boats and their crews that competed at Whidbey Island Race Week 2017.

Yeah Dogg, skippered by Holcomb and crewed by his wife Shannon Holcomb, son Arthur Holcomb and Erik Mann, Max Van Dam and Shannon Buys.

Lucky Jim, skippered by McAlpine and crewed by Jeff Campbell, Jim Winship and Larry McWilliams.

Gadzooks, skippered by Dupuis in the absence of husband Rex Dupuis and crewed by Guy Fealey, Jim Fealey, Jerry Halterman, Dustin Latham, Mark Szypula, Brigid Reynolds, Bruce Durrant, Ron DeRu, Dale Hendrickson and Jim Boyles.

Sling Shot, skippered by Almberg and crewed by Bill Weinsheimer and Joel Servatius.

Ehu Kai, skippered by Bill and Cathy Walker and crewed by Gary Stuntz and Kenzie Judd.

Also, the crew of Miss Mayhem, skippered by Seattle’s Melissa Davies, included Oak Harbor’s Dave Steckman and Coupeville’s Jason Joiner, the boat’s former owner.

Sling Shot (93), skippered by Rick Almberg, was one of five Oak Harbor boats that took part in Race Week. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie)

Jim McAlpine and Lucky Jim (3202) take part in Monday’s action. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie)

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