Cat44 31st Annual Commodores Cup 2003

The Turnout

What a great day it was. Despite the cold front that passed through the night before, Sunday turned out to be sunny and the ocean was flat and inviting. The fleet turned out in great numbers and it was pleasing to see a bunch of new faces and new competitors, and even more pleasing to note the turnout of friends and supporters. Ron Kern also organized the inaugural inlet to Inlet race and his windsurfers helped to swell the ranks on the water - see the I-I Windsurf report below.

Many thanks to Kim and Juan for helping with the photography. Great job to both of you. And to all you sailors out there, make sure you thank them the next time you see them.

The Cast of Characters

The boats all ready for the start

A total of 11 Hobie 16's - new boats and new teams

What a great turnout of good friends,

competitors and supporters

Bob Shell

Robin Lewis

Steve Maffetone

Seb Lewis

Dick Russell

Chris Summers

Previous winner Brett Moss

Robin Lewis

Eric's girlfriend Brenda

Eric Castelein

Dave Martin

Don Balthaser

Hunter Fry

Steve and Mike Sharon

Scott and Willie

Eric Castelein


Sebastian and James

Sebastian Lewis

James Martin and Mark Jones

Kim Grummitt


Hunter Fry

Brett Moss


Janice Maffetone

Ron Kern


Willie Stolberg

Sebastian Lewis


Robin and Sally

Doug and Dick Russell

Katie Martin and Alexis Tinsley

The Skippers their crew and their boats

Team New Sails - Bill and Colleen Stolberg

Hunter and new crew Kim Grummit

Scott and Tracee Corson

Steve Maffetone with new crew Mike Sharon

Team ELVES - Sebastian Lewis and James Martin

Team OLD SPICE - Robin Lewis and Dave Martin

Team UPSIDE DOWN - Danny Steyn and Stacey Tinsley

Team NEW BOAT - Don Balthaser and Chris Summers

Team RUSSELL MANIA - Dick and Doug Russell

Bob Shell and Eric Castelein


Team HEAVY AIR - Mark Jones and Lee Geiger


Team ELVES depart for the start

Team UPSIDE DOWN heads out



The Start

Despite the weather forecasters threats of 20 knots out of the North East, the race day turned out to be a fairly mild day in terms of wind. The NNW wind started out at around 5-15 for the start, and skippers were expecting it to fill and shift to the NE. (see the iWindsurf Chart below)

The start had two groups - those that favored the far end of the line and those that favored the beach end. The beach end gang definitely had the better line of sight down the line and made a clean start well in front of the far gang.

True to form, Danny Steyn flipped his Hobie before he even got to the line, throwing away his chances. And to make matters worse, no sooner had he and Stacey got the boat upright, they managed to bury the hulls and pitch-pole only a couple of hundred yards from the start line.

The START from Kim's camera taken directly down the start line

The Near Side gets the start wired Stolberg leads the Old Brits and Balthaser

Team Old Spice moves ahead and leads the race (way to go Guys), while the far side hasn't even crossed the line

The Balthaser's take the lead and the far side shows Team UPSIDE DOWN is well, upside down with Jonesy and the Corsons battling it out.

The ELVES creep into the picture as do Team Russell Mania and Bob and Eric.

The near side fleet in good racing form with Team NEW BOAT leading the pack!

The START from Juan's camera taken from slightly behind the start line

The near gang and the buoy before the start line. Stolberg closest, Lewis/Martin next and Balthaser furthest away.

the Far Gang gets ready for the start- Hunter closest, then danny, Dick and Scott.

Team UPSIDE DOWN Going Going Gone and they haven't even crossed the line

The Corsons and Hunter avoid the Carnage and sail away.

Team Elves in good form trapped out and flying.

The Race

The winds stayed pretty constant, although swirly, for the whole upwind leg to the Lighthouse. Don and Chris rounded the mark in first place followed by Jonesy and the Corsons. By the time most crews had rounded the Hillsboro mark, the wind was beginning to lighten up. Scott and Tracee came from behind and passed both Jonesy and Balthaser on the downwind leg, which was a slog with not much in the way of swell to help the sailors, with the winds gusting off the condos. The predicted shift to the North and North East never happened.

The final leg in from the Sea Buoy was an exercise in frustration. By this time there were winds shifts of as much as 20-30 degrees and periods of dead calm and choppy waters. Deciding to stay with the header or tack was the killing decision and all kippers agonized over each shift.

Scott and Tracee hung on to the end for a well deserved win and get to add their names to the cup after a 14 year drought.

Scott and Tracee hang onto 1st position on the frustrating last leg to the beach

That's all there was in the race between 1st and 3rd. Scott and Tracee ahead of Mark Jones

Scott and Tracee reach the shore in 1st place! At last she cried!

The race for 2nd and third was close all the way to the beach. Don and Chris hold off Mark Jones and Lee Geiger for 2nd place

Don and Chris finishing in 2nd place just ahead of Mark Jones and Lee Geiger. What a great result for a new team!

Mark Jones and Lee Geiger finishing in 3rd place only inches behind Don and Chris.

This was the race for 4th. Hunter Fry and Kim Grummitt hold off Danny Steyn and Stacey Tinsley for 4th place

Hunter and Kim finishing in 4th place ahead of Danny Steyn and Stacey Tinsley

Danny and Stacey climb their way back from dead last at the start (after two capsizes) to eventually finish 5th

Team ELVES, The younger component of the British fleet, Sebastian Lewis and James Martin finish an awesome 6th place. Way to go guys - you have a bright future in this sport.

Scott and Tracee pulling their Hobie 16 out after a great days sailing.

Scott lending a hand to second place finisher Mark Jones and Lee Geiger.

A pretty despondent Danny Steyn dragging his boat up the beach

This is what happens when you buy new sails and finish 8th in a race that you have won many times before!

Danny and Stacey manage a weak smile after their disappointing race

Post Race Photos

Race Committee chairman Dick Russell hands over the Ugliest Cup in Sailing to Scott and Tracee Corson - the deserving winners.

Scott and Trace looking ever so pleased with their long awaited Trophy that's eluded them for the past 14 years

The proud winners taking their swig of champagne

Scott and Tracee with Cup and Boat. Their last Commodores Victory was in 1989.

The British Fleet captured the all important Warm Six Pack of Old Milwaukee for last boat across the line

2003 Commodores Cup Results


Skipper and Crew


Scott and Tracee Corson


Don Balthaser and Chris Summers


Mark Jones and Lee Geiger


Hunter Fry and Kim Grummitt


Danny Steyn and Stacey Tinsley


Sebastian Lewis and James Martin


Steve Maffetone and Mike Sharon


Bill and Colleen Stolberg


Dick and Doug Russell


Bob Shell and Eric Castelein


Robin Lewis and Dave Martin

The Inlet to Inlet Windsurf Race

Report By Ron Kern

Thanks to those who showed up to race and to Water-Play and Adventure Sports for giving prizes to the participants of the first I to I Long Distance Race, run in conjunction with the Hobie Cat Fleet 44 annual Commodore’s Cup started in 1971. 

It was a beautiful day, cool, sunny with nearly flat sea conditions.  11 Hobies and 5 windsurf competitors would run the same course.  The wind was gusty, shifty, and offshore from the NW for the race making it difficult to assess really how strong it was.  A big help was the iWindsurf pager to get some idea in determining what to rig, Brian rigged a 12.5m, Van an 11m, Ron a 10.4m, Alejandro a 9.4m and Molero a 7.5m, the sole rider of an IMCO board.  The course to be sailed by Hobies and windsurfers was:  Start/finish line set 100’ in front of the Ft. Lauderdale Beach small boat launch area, the weather mark being the Hillsboro Inlet channel marker .6 mile off the beach 9.6 miles to the north, the downwind mark the Port Everglades sea buoy about 1.7 miles offshore and 2.2 miles south of the starting line, then back to start / finish line. 

The skippers meeting was held at 10:30 a.m. with the Hobies to start at 11:15 a.m. and the windsurfers to follow about 10 minutes back.  IWindsurf was reporting:

Our horn went off 13 minutes behind the Hobie start, everybody clear, and off we went.  By staying about a mile or so offshore it was possible to sail nearly parallel to the beach.  The wind was getting a bit lighter and shiftier approaching the Hillsboro marker.  Low tide was at 1:22 p.m., so the outgoing tide was going to be a factor.  Most of the Hobies were on their way downwind when the first of the windsurfers rounded the mark in about 59:15 after the start.  The tide got really strong shortly thereafter and it was a struggle for others to get around the mark. 


The second leg maintained light winds, but it was possible to plane most of the way to the downwind mark, rounding in about an hour from the weather mark.  The current was really strong rushing by at the Port Everglades sea buoy at a few miles per hour or so.  The wind quit then and things were getting kind of glassy.  It took thirty minutes to make barely 50 yards from the sea buoy!  It was going to take a while to finish from here!


Ron finished first of the windsurfers in 3 hours 45 minutes, all the Hobies were in, and Molero on the IMCO was just a few minutes behind Ron .  Van, Alejandro and Brian were slogging just getting back from the weather mark and bagged the downwind mark heading straight back to the beach. 






Ron Kern



Formula / 10.4m

Molero Mauricio



IMCO / 7.5m

Gary Van Dyke



Formula / 11m

Alejandro Grajal



Formula / 9.4m

Brian Barr



Formula / 12.5m

The windsurfers gather for the first ever I-I Race of Fort Lauderdale Beach

Ron Kern getting his 10.7 Sailworks and Mikes Lab Formula Board ready for the launch

Ron Kern , Gary Van Dyke and Molero jockey for the start of the race

And they're away! The windsurfers get going on the long upwind leg to Lighthouse Point

A victorious Ron Kern tanking his board out the water

Ron with his Winner's Prize donated by Waterplay and Adventure Sports, with Van, Molero, Alejandro and Brian

Cat44 Hobie fleet getting their boats ready for the Commodores Cup