Family Affair wins Round Whidbey race / Sailing

The crew of Family Affair, shown here in a race from 2015, helped skipper Thomas Buus of Woodinville win the 2018 Round Whidbey regatta. (Photo by Dennis Pearce)

Overcoming lighter than normal winds, Woodinville’s Tom Buus skippered Family Affair to first place in the annual Round Whidbey sailing regatta last weekend.

The lack of wind caused several boats to drop out. Those that finished didn’t come up Saratoga Passage until the “wee hours” of Sunday morning, according to race spokesman Bill Walker.


While winds were light on the home stretch, they cooperated at the beginning when the fleet reached the south end before 7 p.m.

“Family Affair got away from the rest of the fleet in the long reach up Saratoga Passage and won the race by a sizable margin,” race committee chairman Byron Skubi said.

Family Affair finished the the round trip at 12:15 a.m; the others all came home before 5 a.m.

Following Family Affair across the finish line were Espresso (Brad Abel), Pearl Jem (Larry Munns), Vertigo (Shannon Buys), Sorcerer (Shaun Wurzner), Gecko (Joe Geck) and Papillon (Hayden Watson).

Joining Thomas Buus on Family Affair were Sandy, Henning and Greta Buus, Paul Michael and “little brother” Michael Gatti (of the Big Brothers program), Nick Wilson, Jeanne Sickel Sterbentz and Jeff and Evan Hjort.

The racers started just outside Deception Pass, went south along Admiralty Inlet and north on Saratoga Passage to Oak Harbor.

The Whidbey Sprint, an intermediate finish at Scatchet Head buoy at the south end of the island, was won by Oak Harbor’s Buys and Brett Vagt on Vertigo. Pearl Jem was second, Papillon third and Gecko fourth.

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