by Rick Roberts
Erik Hou of Newport Harbor Yacht Club won the 2014 International Naples Sabot Association (INSA) Sabot II Invitational regatta Wednesday against 25 other 6-11 year old junior sailors from Southern California yacht clubs.
Erik Hou of Newport Harbor YC
In the regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, Hou dominated the races held in Long Beach’s Alamitos Bay Turning Basin winning four of the five scheduled races. He would have won the fifth race but was over the starting line early and, apparently, didn’t see the 'over early' flag or hear the call from the race committee.
Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club’s Jake Mayol shadowed Hou around the course throughout the day and was able to take advantage of Hou’s OCS (over course side) posting a first-place finish in the fifth race giving him a solid second place in the regatta.
Even though the Harbor Master’s Office had a small craft warning flag flying just yards away from the racing venue the wind never built to more than 10 knots, giving the young sailors good breeze without overpowering the sturdy eight - foot One-Design dingy sailboats.
Third place in the regatta was San Diego Yacht Club’s Piper Holthus who was consistent enough to hold off fourth place finisher Gray Hemans from Balboa Yacht Club.
LBYC’s Sailing Director Jess Gerry was also the regatta administrator having run this event before at BCYC in 2010 as their Sailing Director.
'This platform for 11 year olds and younger,' Gerry said, 'is designed to glean the best sailors in that age bracket.
'This regatta was a great opportunity for LBYC to host a junior regatta of this level and I want to thank their race management team for their support.
'They were able to take their knowledge and experience and apply it to today’s bay racing and make this a successful regatta.'
The first Naples Sabot was designed and built more than 67 years ago by Roy McCullough and R. A. Violette who lived on Naples Island in Long Beach and were looking for a dingy sailboat that suited their desires. The small sailboats of the time didn’t quite fit the bill as Mr. McCullough wanted a dingy to launch from his large yacht when making trips to Santa Catalina Island.
Based on a design of the MacGregor Sabot the centerboard was changed to a leeboard to make launching and freeing yourself from shallow mud in Alamitos Bay back in the day.
The Naples Sabot has grow in popularity over the years and today is sailed competitively by both junior and adult sailors alike.
For more about the history of the Naples Sabot from the International Naples Sabot Association, please visit the website.
1. Erik Hou, NHYC, 1-1-1-1-2, 6 points
2. Jake Mayol, BCYC, 2-2-2-2-1, 9
3. Piper Holthus, SDYC, 4-7-3-7-3, 24
4. Gray Hemans, BYC, 5-5-4-6-5, 25
5. Peter Joslin, BYC, 10-3-8-8-6, 35