Leah White Dominates 13th Annual Wave National Championships
Leah White of Key Largo, known business-wise as the “Plant Lady,” won the 13th Annual Hobie Wave National Championship over the past weekend of December 3-5 held at Founders Park Watersports at Founders Park in Islamorada, Florida.
This is her second National Title and she is the only the second woman to ever win the title in this fastest-growing class of sailboats is North America. The first woman was Kathy Kulkoski of Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Leah’s husband Dave White had been running in second place through most of the regatta, but slipped to fourth place overall.
Leah totally dominated the class by taking nine bullets out of fourteen
races. Her worst finish was a 5th place. No one has ever so dramatically
won this event, which is usually a nail-biter to the end.
The Wave Fleet at UKSC sails about 90 series races every winter season at the Upper Keys Sailing Club where there is a fleet of over a dozen boats that usually race regularly.
In winds starting out 15-18 mph the first day, last year's defending Champion, Jack Woehrle, started off pretty strong, but was over early in the third race. That and a 10th place finish in one race put him pretty far down the list of the hot sailors competing. At the end of the first day, Skip Kaub and Sharon Woodruff were in a tie for the second spot, with Dave White only a point behind them, and Ray Matuszak back another three points.
The second day saw good winds for the morning, but the wind totally died by late afternoon. Leah White was well on her way to victory taking six bullets out of the nine races sailed. Whenever she would have a bad start, she somehow managed to tack out and into clear air and get back in the running.
Matuszak was coming on strong and by the end of the day had pulled into second spot with a big margin over third place, Skip Kaub. Woehrle, Dave White and Sharon Woodruff rounded out the top group.
On the final day of sailing, the winds started out at 5.5 mph average, shifted radically to the left and built all morning to a crescendo of 15-18 mph winds for the last race. As they say in SHOW BIZ, "Leave 'em Laughin'!"
Leah White rolled out four more aces in the last five races. But, the big come back was by Woehrle stayed in the top group of sailors all day, taking 2nd place overall in a tie-breaker with Matuszak at 73 points. Dave White held on to the fourth spot. Kirk Newkirk, who was the first Wave National Champ 13 years ago, started off the regatta with two back of the pack finishes. But, then came alive the rest of the series to capture the last trophy position of fifth place.
Ladies Division was obviously won by by Leah White, with Sharon Woodruff taking second. For some odd reason only two ladies participated this year. Usually the class is loaded with women sailors.
The Masters Class was won by Jack Woehrle, followed by Stan Woodruff (6th Overall) and Nelson Wright (9th Overall).
Silver Fleet trophies for first-timers to the Nationals went to Doug Seib and Jack Wolfe.
The Wave Class was formed about twelve years ago when the boat design first came out. It is a thirteen foot beach catamaran and is roto-molded by the Hobie Cat Company – nearly bullet proof to damage. It was one of the least expensive boats to purchase and requires very little maintenance.
The next Nationals will be held the first weekend in December of 2011 again at Founders Park Watersports. For more information on the Hobie Wave contact Rick@catsailor.com or www.Catsailor.com, or www.WaveClass.com
Thanks go to:
And to all the support team:
2010 Wave Nationals
Founders Park Watersports
Results are final as of 15:04 on December 7, 2010