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Port Madison hosts racing event

 Crewman Lee Gibbes (front) and helmsman Jake White catch a strong wind off Madison Bay Saturday during a Northwest Youth Racing event. The two members of Sail Orcas won seven of the 15 races in the Vanguard 15 class Saturday and Sunday to place first ahead of 13 other boats. The Port Madison Yacht Club event had about 70 racers competing in four classes.  - Brad Camp/For the Review
Crewman Lee Gibbes (front) and helmsman Jake White catch a strong wind off Madison Bay Saturday during a Northwest Youth Racing event. The two members of Sail Orcas won seven of the 15 races in the Vanguard 15 class Saturday and Sunday to place first ahead of 13 other boats. The Port Madison Yacht Club event had about 70 racers competing in four classes.
— image credit: Brad Camp/For the Review

If last weekend’s JAM (John Adams Memorial) Regatta at Madison Bay is an indicator, sailing is alive and well in Puget Sound.

About 70 sailboat racers from ages 13 to 18 participated in the annual event, which is one of eight two-day sails in the Northwest Youth Racing Circuit.

Sailors competed in four classes, with each involved in up to 15 races over two days. The races included the Vanguard 15 class, which was the only competition with two crew members aboard.

Saturday’s races were uneventful weatherwise, said Port Madison Yacht Club Commodore Andy Parker, but there were several capsizes Sunday when the wind gusted to as high as 20 knots in the outer part of the bay.

“It was a little wild out there Sunday, but we had a lot of club members in place for rescues,” he said. “There were no problems.”

The yacht club has about 150 club members, all of whom are required to have access to a sailboat to join the club.

“We get kids involved a lot of the time through their parents,” said club board member Peter Shorett. “And a lot of them start at a very young age. We’re always looking for new members because that just makes the club stronger.”

As usual, Seattle Yacht Club dominated the event because of its numbers, but sailors from all over Puget Sound and the Northwest competed in all four classes.

Port Madison had two noteworthy finishers in the Vanguard 15 class, Shorett said.

Chase Webber and Nate Greason placed sixth, while Lea Fetterman and Peter Kirk finished seventh.

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