Bringing together 82 Sea Scouts from five different continents, the 2016 William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup is one of Sea Scouting’s signature events.
This year’s edition of the biennial gathering, held in July at the Long Beach (Calif.) Yacht Club, saw the first ever winner from outside the United States.
Nicholas Gardiner, 17, and Nicholas Williams, 15, both from Blenheim, New Zealand, took top honors. That’s the guys pictured above with event founder and 1992 America’s Cup winner Bill Koch.
But the Koch Cup — which will next be held in 2018 — is more than just a boat race. It fosters camaraderie among Sea Scouts from around the world.
Competitors hailed from 10 countries: Australia, Brazil, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, Poland, South Africa and the United States.
After a day of practice on the water, the Sea Scouts began racing in always-changing wind conditions. The next day, they raced to qualify into either the top-tier Koch Fleet or the second-tier Kiwi Fleet.
Teagan Foley and Mick Foley of Sea Scout Ship 45 (aka the Kraken) of Galveston, Texas, sailed to victory in the Kiwi Cup. That’s the Foley brothers above.
The awards didn’t just go to the fastest sailors. Participants were recognized by their peers for exceptional sportsmanship and seamanship. The Polish team of Mateusz Fortunka and Joanna Jas (above) won this honor in the Kiwi Fleet.
The Finnish team of Filip Blomquist and Oscar Norstrom (above) won the same award in the Koch Fleet.
How to participate in the 2018 Koch Cup
For more photos and information about the 2016 Koch Cup — or to learn about qualifying for the 2018 Koch Cup — go to the official site.