The 2021 Weta East Coast Championship at the 64th North Carolina Governor’s Cup June 18-20 was building momentum with 10 Classes planning to attend. It was a tight race between the Wetas and the Wayfarers, the two largest fleets, to get the most boats registered. Overall, 84 boats were in attendance with five Classes hosting Championships. Using a graduated high point system, the Governor’s Cup gets awarded to the individual sailor that beats the largest number of boats in their fleet.
As Wetas began to arrive at Kerr Lake South Beach, home of the North Carolina Fleet, the area quickly filled up. Three sailors came from New York, Richard Stephens, Keith Rice and James Looby while Tim Corcoran trekked across the country from California. Hot 'N Now Donuts recently moved to North Carolina and joined us as well, while others came from Tennessee, Virginia and Washington DC. With the ever growing group of ladies in our North Carolina fleet, we welcomed Michelle Angrish who will be a force to be reckoned with, along with former Laser sailor, Caroline Sherman and new Weta owner, Patti Egge. Creativity is one of the keys to FUN in our fleet. So Stacey and Beckett Brake put their skills to work with their chalk art in our Weta parking area while others decorated and lined the entrance with Weta feather flags. Joe Brake kicked off Friday afternoon's sailing clinic with an informative chalk talk, "Brushing Off the Dust". Afterwards, approximately 30 boats headed out on the water for practice starts and coaching. During this time, Richard Stephens got to test his “man overboard” skills when he picked up a long lost straw hat out of the water. He proudly donned it while doing his best impression of Thurston Howell. Back on the beach, David Egge from DC avoided stepping on a pop top but still blew out his flip flop and decided not to cruise on back home with his wife Patti. Luckily, he had Keens as a back up. Over half the fleet stayed at the scenic view waterfront campsites near our launch area while the other half opted for the comfort of a local hotel. Some lucky campers got to enjoy Tim's fresh espresso in the morning along with his famous Oman cooking in the evening. We were off to the races on Saturday with Wetas kicking off the first of six starts. Even though the wind was 8-13 kts, the heat index of 93 made it imperative to stay cool and hydrated. Keith Rice and Joe Brake took bullets in the first two races. As the air lightened for race 3, John Harrop got a fantastic clean air start and took an early lead which was never relinquished. With an early start on Sunday, racers got their boats ready as Tropical Storm Claudette was heading our way. The PRO decided to play it safe and abandon racing for the day. Sailors had about an hour to derig before the downpour started and then ended with light rain. Next up, was the Awards ceremony including the Governor’s Cup presentation. With consistent sailing and second place finishes in every race, Alan Taylor became the 2021 Weta East Coast Champion followed by Joe Brake in second and Richard Stephens in third. Racing was very tight in the top half of the fleet which included multiple photo finishes. With 1/3 of the Fleet being female Skippers, Stephanie Taylor finished first amongst them. The “Road Warrior” Award went to Tim Corcoran from Claremont, California for driving the farthest distance. Finally, the North Carolina Fleet’s most coveted award, the “Wetatude Award” went to the sailor who best demonstrated the Spirit of Weta. The Fleet cast their secret ballots before the former 2019 “Wetatude” winner, Sabra Gear presented the award to Stephanie Taylor. In the end, Wetas had 13 boats versus the Wayfarers with 16. This led to the Wayfarers, who were racing in their National Championship, winning the Governor’s Cup. The quest for the 2022 Governor’s Cup will soon begin. Wetas, join in the race for the largest fleet and save the date June 17-19, 2022. Hope to see you there!