On July 17, Kelly Holthus led a parade of small white sails across the channel for the 46th installation of SDYC’s iconic Dutch Shoe Marathon. Nearly 150 sabots competed in the seven-mile race from Point Loma to Coronado. The Dutch Shoe Marathon is open to sabot sailors of all ages, but for many Junior Sailing participants, it’s the first time that they sail across the channel or outside of the La Playa practice area.
“Normally, they go out here in La Playa and they sail for half an hour and they go back to the dock and have a snack,” said Dutch Shoe chairman Steve Harris. “But the Dutch Shoe is different. It’s a long race and its out in the big bay. So, you see these little kids that are nine years old or ten years old and they go out there and they go all the way across the bay. They go through powerboats and big ships, across big wakes, all in those little tiny boats. And those wakes are big.”
Friday’s race featured four separate fleets, each with their own start. The Juniors were split up by A Fleet, B Fleet and C Fleet, while older competitors sailed in the Senior Fleet. Kelly Holthus, a C Fleet sailor, won the overall time for the Dutch Shoe after gaining a consistent lead early on in the race. Other fleet winners included Jake Mayol for the A Fleet, Peter Busch for the B Fleet and Scott Finkboner for the Senior Fleet. Shane Tillson won the "First to Capsize" award, Timmy Fraher the "First to the Weather Mark" award, Katie Plavan the "First Female to Finish" award, and Don Bedford won the "Secretary of the Navy" award for helping out a young sailor along the way.
All four fleets enjoyed perfect conditions on Friday, with sunny skies and winds blowing at about 12 -14 kts. After racing, competitors enjoyed an award ceremony at Coronado Yacht Club, SDYC’s Dutch Shoe Marathon co-host. For many young sailors, this race is the highlight of their summer sailing season!