A Donation Will Keep Juniors Afloat

Water Ways
Honolulu Star Bulletin (12/05/98)
By Ray Pendleton

Unless you have the eyes of a hawk, you probably missed the news that one of Hawaii's high school sailors, Andrew Lewis of Assets School in Honolulu, won this year's Interscholastic Sailing Association National High School Singlehanded Sailing Championship.

For some reason, competitive sailing, especially at the high school level, doesn't make the kind of headlines that a sport like football does, but this win was truly remarkable.

The regatta was held in Galveston Bay, Texas, a month ago and it marks the first time any high school student from Hawai`i has captured the coveted Cressy Trophy. The fact that Lewis did it against a field of 30 of the nation's best teenage sailors and then undercut his closest competition by 26 points, makes it all the more outstanding.

"Andrew's path to the Nationals began when he won the Maui Divers Interscholastic Challenge Cup last spring," Waikiki Yacht Club's Junior Sailing coach Guy Fleming said. "Since then, he has been focused on training and staying in shape by sailing with the WYC youth program, and lifting weights and riding a bike for an hour a night."

"Interscholastic sailing in Hawai`i is always a Catch-22," Fleming noted. "We have year-round, world-class conditions here, but competing requires expensive and time consuming trips to the mainland. Andrew has only been to a handful of events, despite the fact he is a sophomore in high school."

Another problem that exists only in sailing, unlike other sports with "seasons," is that junior sailors have a year-round schedule and the expenses that go with it. Everything from instructors and and travel expenses, to new sails and new boats, cut into their budget every month of the year.

Recognizing the high travel expenses experienced by all of the state's junior sailors, the Hawaii Commodore's Association holds its annual SeaFest as a fundraiser to benefit those youthful competitors.

Organized by the leaders of O`ahu's many yacht clubs, SeaFest '98 will be held on Saturday, December 19, from 5 to 10:30 p.m., at the Waikiki Yacht Club, and along with cash donations, "Santa's Auction" is hoped to become one of the major fund-generators.

So far, many items, such as marine supplies and equipment, gift certificates, and toys have been donated to be auctioned off, but more are hoped for by the SeaFest organizers.

Making a donation to the SeaFest would be a great way to clean out that overfilled dockbox, storage locker, or garage you have piled with nautical stuff that hasn't been used in years.

Perhaps you may even have a boat that has become more work than pleasure. By donating it to the SeaFest auction, you could lose the work and gain a tax deduction.

For tax purposes, all donations go directly to the Hawaii Sailing Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit charitable organization.

If the spirit of the season moves you to help sailors like Andrew Lewis continue their winning ways, you can get more information by calling WYC's Jeff Hossellman at 533-1900. You can be sure any donation would be a present to Hawaii's junior sailors that would keep on giving all year long.

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