The Tappan Zee Challenge is the season opener for Sonar racing in the Northeast, and Midshipman Joe Hoffman ‘11 and his crew started the season with guns blazing, placing third at the Tappan Zee Challenge regatta this weekend, sailing in light winds and strong current. Hoffman’s crew of Evan Siepert ’13, Chris Maloney ’14 and Ashley Markey ’14 improved on their sixth-place standing on Saturday with a third-place standing on Sunday for third overall. In the fleet of 21 boats, Hoffman’s finishes were 8-4-6-3-6 for 27 points, just two behind their coach, Rick Dominique. “Joe has been improving dramatically over the past three seasons. He, Maloney and Markey have really been coming together as a crew, and the addition of dinghy team member Evan Siepert’s tactical ability launched the team into the top ranks of the class. I’m so happy for Joe, he’s worked really hard for this.”
Also competing at the event was Kirk Wetzel ’14 with crew James Ytreeide ’14, Ashleigh Phillips ’14 and Casey Cannon ’13. This young team struggled early, but moved from 18th on Saturday to 13th overall with better finishes on Sunday. Their coach praised their progress, “On Kirk’s boat, only Casey has been to a championship event such as this. These young team members are showing great progress, and with continued hard work will see similar success to Joe (Hoffman).”
The Keelboat Team will be out in stronger numbers, registering at least four boats for the Sonar Long Island Sound Championship on June 4-5, 2011. You can follow the USMMA Keelboat Team on Facebook.