Last weekend I got the opportunity to visit the Nor’Wester Regatta at Camp Rilea, Oregon. I flew up to Portland and met Mr. Josh Gilliland at the airport. A mate of the SSS Tsunami was kind enough to drive us the 2 hours from the airport to Camp Rilea, the site of the regatta. When we arrived and introduced ourselves we were warmly greeted by everyone there.
Camp Rilea is a National Guard training base, and as such is a fantastic place to hold a regatta. Everyone gets to sleep in the barracks, the galley and mess are made to serve large groups of people, there is plenty of open space to hold all the events, and there is even a small lake for the waterfront events.
Having spent most of my scouting career competing in the regattas around the SF Bay Area I was intrigued by the different ways that some events were run. There was also an event or two that I had never seen before, such as Taking Out a Line, and Engineering.
The engineering event was really cool. Teams were given 5 minutes to complete the standard pre-start checks on a small gas engine. They also had to get the engine started. Teams had to check the oil, run the blower, ensure that the fuel valves were open, and much more. The judges had a full 17 point checklist that they were grading on.
I very much enjoyed the opportunity to see how certain challenges were overcome. Take the Boatswain’s Chair event, somehow you have to get a block 20 odd feet in the air. Someone got very creative and built a tower to serve that purpose. It also does double duty as the flag pole. This tower is able to be disassembled in a couple hours and placed in the back of a large pickup truck. I was quite impressed.
Crews competed all day Saturday, with the uniform inspection and awards ceremony on Sunday morning. The competition level at the regatta was pretty high. All 12 of the competing crews earned at least Schooner, and several earned Clipper. Top honours went to the SSS City of Roses.
I wish to thank Venturing Crew 525 for their wonderful service as cooks for the weekend. The food was good, and there was always plenty of it. I would also like to thank the SSS Tsunami for their wonderful hospitality. They not only took Mr. Gilliland and I to and from the airport, but they showed me around a cool little town on the coast.
All in all it was a great weekend. The weather was perfect, the competition was fun to watch, and I met some really cool people. I hope to get back up to the area again some time to see more of the Sea Scout program that seems to be flourishing in Area 1.
Western Region Boatswain