SOUTHERN UTAH – Sand Hollow Yacht Club and Hobie Fleet 941, as it is now named, started as Southern Utah Sailors three years ago.
It includes a group of sailors sailing the desert reservoirs and promotes the sport of sailing in a family friendly atmosphere where the art and sport of sailing is taught to youth and adults alike.
The club’s founder, Raul Hevia, said that the club now has a Hobie Cat Charter from Hobie Class Association of North America. “We got [the charter] in January of 2011,” Hevia said. “We have 12 or more hobie cat owners in St. George.”
“The charter allows the club to be an organized fleet and accumulate points to participate in the division championships and North American championships.”
Hevia said that some of the competitions the club now participates in are in Lake Mojave, Nev., San Diego, Calif., Los Angeles, Calif., Rocky Point, Mexico, and Santa Barbara, Calif., among others. He is hopeful that next year one of the division points regattas will be hosted here in Utah.
In addition to the charter competitions, Hevia said that the club has a series of regattas here in St. George that has been named collectively as the Dixie Elite.
“We have our own little points regatta here that are local for the ‘Dixie Sailing Cup’ that we hold ourselves. We have six here throughout the year, official regattas here at Sand Hollow Reservoir, that becomes part of the Dixie Sailing Cup Series. We rack up points in every regatta in which we participate here, and at the end of the last regatta we determine who wins the Dixie Sailing Cup here in St. George.”
The last of such regattas in the Dixie Sailing Cup Series was held this past Saturday, Sept. 17.
Hevia summarizes the day as follows:
“The Dixie Sailing Cup Regatta No. 6 was held on Saturday September 17, 2011 with 6 participants.
“Winds blew from the southwest with occasional shifts from the west from 11 knots to 15 knots. 3 marks were set along the lake close to the west dam north to south 3/4 miles distance from each other. The windward mark was set close to the shore by the south ramp and the leeward mark was set as a C Gate just south of the red rock outcrop.
“We sported our new flag and would like to thank our sponsors Beehive Homes of St. George, and Dr. Andrew Vaughan, who helped us by our club flag.”
Hevia said that a total of three races were completed, two of them ran as a Start, A, C, A, Finish and the last race set as a Start, A, Finish.
Two Sailing Merit Badge Boy Scouts participated as crew, one each on two different Hobie-16s completing all 3 races. Chad Frehner, 14, crewed for Hevia’s hobie, and Dillon Black, 13, crewed for Hal Stead.
During the third race the Stead/Black team pushed the hobie of Chuck Saling, of St. George, and his 15-year old grandson, Chase Westerlund of Ariz., as crewman, over the line early forcing an individual recall on Saling, good use of tactics and racing rules on behalf of Stead.
Brian Gassler, and his family from Payson, Utah, brought his Hobie-18 and, together with David Biasi and his H-18, beautified the reservoir with their sails as they enjoyed a beautiful day of sailing at Sand Hollow.
For this regatta, Hevia and Frehner took First Place, Saling and Westerlund made a great comeback in the third race and took Second Place, and Stead and Black stuck in there to finish in the teeth of the wind, taking Third Place.
These winning teams ranked in the same order overall for the Dixie Sailing Cup season.
Sailing blow by blows of Saturday’s regatta can be found on the club’s blogspot.
Hevia said for those interested in entertaining the sailing experience here in Southern Utah, “We’ll put ‘em on the mailing list and let them know when the next regatta is. We not only have regattas, we have open sailing events, if they don’t have a boat, we’ll take them out, we have full moon sails, we sponsor boy scouts small boat sailing merit badges, we are certified counselors to teach and offer those,” and he welcomes anyone interested in the joy of sailing to come out and join the club.
Those interested in participating in the club are invited by Raul Hevia to contact by email at [email protected] or by telephone, 801-390-5813.
Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.
Photos in gallery all from September 17 Dixie Sailing Cup 6th Regatta | Photos by Lori Hevia