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Epic Experience at the 2023 O'pen Skiff North American Un-Regatta

By Lucas Doran

KYC Junior Racing Team

Pictured: Hayden, Dylan, Andy, Quade, Cy, Lucas

The 2023 Open Skiff North American “Un Regatta” at Mission Bay California in April was a blast. There were a total of 85 sailors that competed, including 6 kids from Hawaii, which were myself, Andy Hochart, Dylan Ham, Cy Gillette, Quade Martinez, and Hayden Edwards (from my KYC Racing Team).

This event was a great experience. It was my first time traveling off-island for a sailing race. I have never competed against this many sailors before so it really helped me learn how to sail in a large fleet.

The North American “Un-Regatta” is not your typical regatta. I think the “Un-Regatta” style was my most favorite part! During the slalom portions, the race committee told you to perform an action like “sail standing up for this leg of the course” or “capsize your boat now.” This is why the North American is called an “Un-Regatta” and what made this type of racing event really fun.

Throughout each race there was this obstacle called the “Bridge of Doom.” The Bridge of Doom is an inflatable bridge about 20 feet wide and very tall, but NOT tall enough for your sail to go underneath it! In this obstacle, sailors had to tip their boat just enough to where the top of their sail could go under the Bridge of Doom. If someone misses and their sail does not go under then it messes up everyone that is sailing behind that person causing them to converge resulting in a backlog of boats getting stuck.

Lucas Doran on the right in sail #12531, entering the Bridge of Doom.

The Bridge of Doom can really mess you up and put you way back. For example, on the 2nd race day, I was sailing in the top 10 but the person in front of me didn’t make it through the Bridge of Doom (he couldn’t get his sail under it) which caused me to get stuck and jammed up. This resulted in me coming 25th in that race. This obstacle was frustrating but also challenging. Sailors could avoid the Bridge of Doom and go around a buoy instead, but what fun is that?

Wind conditions at Mission Bay were pretty good. On the first day of the regatta, we had strong winds. The second day was the lightest day and on the third day, we had the most amount of wind.

There were a total of 18 races during the 3-day regatta. I placed 13th overall out of 85 sailors and came in 10th in the U15 division out of 49 sailors.

The race committee did a great job planning and making the whole experience very fun for all of the kids. On Saturday night, Mission Bay Yacht Club hosted a barbeque and a cornhole tournament. Quade and I teamed up. The Cornholioz was our team name and we ended up getting second out of 24 teams. It was a blast.

What also made this regatta fun and untraditional is that there was a freestyle tournament on Saturday. A team of undisclosed judges picked who got to advance into another round. The "Hawaii Hammaz", which consisted of Dylan and Hayden, took second place in the freestyle tournament.

Thank you to Charles Dasher for filming the races and to Nevan Syre for making this fun regatta possible. I want to thank Steve Hochart for coaching me and all of the Hawaii kids in Mission Bay and also in Hawaii leading up to the event.

The fun also would not have been possible without the Hawaii Crew. It was an awesome time hanging out with all of “Da Boiz” and their families. I also have to give a big thanks to my parents for allowing me to go to this event and for always cheering me on.

I had a blast sailing, hanging out with my friends, and meeting new people. I would definitely go back to another regatta like this in the future.

From your HYSA Ohana - CONGRATULATIONS to Hawaii's junior sailors who competed in the 2023 O'pen Skiff North American Un-Regatta at Mission Bay YC!

OAHU - KYC Junior Racing Team

Lucas, Andy, Dylan, Quade, Cy & Hayden

KAUAI Sailing Association

Stella, Sophia, Archer, & Xavier

See results here

YouTube video clip

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