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Fifth annual Dinsmoor Regatta brings out the best in Maui keiki

By Staff | Aug 31, 2017

James McCrystal hikes out to keep his boat flat in a fresh breeze.

LAHAINA – This year, Lahaina Yacht Club’s annual Dinsmoor Regatta provided some challenging conditions for Maui’s young sailors. The two-day event at Mala boat ramp started on Saturday, Aug. 12, with fresh onshore breezes out of the SSW at 15 knots. With most of the young competitors at a beginner level, this proved to be some intense sailing that required serious stamina and focus.

On the starting line, there were over 30 kids between the ages of eight and 18 from Maui’s Lahaina Yacht Club and Oahu’s Hawaii Kai Boat Club. The competing vessels were made up of Open Bic (single-man, single-sail) and RS Feva XL (two-man, triple-sail) boats.

The overall winners of the Dinsmoor Trophy this year were Kai Ponting and Lillian Palmore (LYC), and class winners were: Open Bic 13-plus years – Kona Carle (HKBC); Open Bic under 13 years – Thomas Busch (HKBC); and RS Feva – Kai Ponting and Lillian Palmore (LYC).

Keith Dinsmoor, who the regatta is named for, was instrumental in creating the Junior Sailing Program on Maui. He flew in from the West Coast for the event and gave the kids a heartfelt speech at the awards ceremony. He even brought his first sailing trophy from 1948 to share with the kids.

Over the years, the Dinsmoor Regatta has brought together children from Oahu and Maui through friendly competition and taught them lessons that will be remembered well into adulthood.

As one of the coaches for the Lahaina Yacht Club Team, I reflect on the significance of teaching a child to sail: Teach a child to sail, and you teach them courage and confidence optimism and perspective. You teach them determination and stamina independence and resourcefulness. When you teach a child to sail, you give them the gifts of pride and humility they learn honor and accountability. When you teach a child to sail, they learn to look within to construct their own reality and grow their personality they learn to reflect upon themselves in their triumphs and disappointments and their lives are guided by those tiny moments.

These kids could not have this experience without the generous sponsorship of Hawaii businesses, most notably, Matson. The shipping company has provided a container every year to transport all of the children’s boats and equipment between the islands. Without the support of Matson, there would be no Dinsmoor Regatta! Our sincere thanks to such a giving company that supports the local community.

Other generous sponsors for the event this year included CJ’s Deli, Harmony Reef, HFM Food Service, The Pioneer Inn, West Coast Sailing, Maui Printing Co., First Hawaiian Mortgage, Murray’s Marine, Mountain Slope Water, State Farm of Pukalani, Fidelity National Title, Maui Solar Project, and Robert J. Cartwright and Susan C. DeLoria of Whalers Associates-KW Island Living. Thank you all!!