Thanks, Everyone!

Posted by CLC on Jun 12, 2006

OkoumeFest 2006 was a rousing success, thanks to enthusiastic participation by about 200 builders and boaters who drove from hundreds of miles around.

The order we placed for "no rain" was granted, with the twist that we had more wind than we'd have liked. This proved no problem for paddlers and rowers, who thronged the waters of the Rhode River. Sailors were disappointed as it was simply too windy to go out---nearby Thomas Point Light recorded winds of 29mph at noon on Saturday.

While the beach was protected from waves, I ably demonstrated how tricky it was to sail away from a lee shore by pranging the new Skerry (in its first sail of its life) into the breakwater. That was the only blooper of the whole weekend, however, and the Skerry suffered only a dime-sized paint scratch. (For once Laszlo didn't have his camera ready; he'd have gotten a whole year of mileage out of that.)

Joey Schott won "Best in Show" for a kayak of his design with remarkable deck onlays and finish work. John Beck won "Best Paint Job" for his whimsical and beautiful paint-and-stain scheme on his Chesapeake 16. Pamela Claggett swept the "Best Outfitted" category with her tricked out, carbon-sheathed Chesapeake 17. (You really had see that one to believe how well it all worked together.) We'll post photos of the winning boats shortly. And Greg Madejski won "Furthest Distance Traveled to Attend": 506 miles from Grand Island, NY.

Kurt Maurer traveled further but at our instigation. Everyone enjoyed his paddling demos and his Southern charm. Thanks, Kurt! Everyone is hoping you can come back next year.

We'll update the OkoumeFest 2006 site with candid photos and our thoughts.

Thanks again for a great time and see you on the water!

Cheers, John C. Harris