Koch wins 47th Camellia Cup

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Age and experience overcame youth and enthusiasm Saturday at the Camellia Cup on Folsom Lake, as 87-year-old George Koch of Carmichael won the 47th running of the regatta, sailing his J22, Poco A Poco in breezes that fluctuated up to 14 knots.

Koch was the oldest skipper in the race, which also listed among its 43 captains seven-year-old Katie Deutsch of El Dorado Hills, who sailed Four Sirens, a Santana 20. 

The win was Koch’s second during the long running of the Camellia Cup; he last won it in 2006. He admitted he didn’t think he’d win, considering that boats in two smaller classes were winning all their races, but the Camellia Cup is awarded to the skipper who has done the best overall, against the greatest competition. In Koch’s case, he and his crew (midman/tactician Robert Koch and bowman Scott Frederickson) won it in keeping with his boat’s name, little by little, taking two firsts and two seconds in the eight-boat open keel class.

The retired dentist recalled sailing 30 years ago when upwards of 300 boats competed in the Camellia Cup. 

“There weren’t as many keelboats back then,” Koch recollected, “They were mostly small boats.”  Though, he admitted, “Victory is very, very satisfying.”

Winning the eight-boat Banshee class and Open Centerboard Perpetual Trophy was Charles Witcher of Sacramento. The top of seven Catalina 22 skippers was Don Hare on “No Cat Hare.” Santa Rosa’s Steve Lowry and Dean Iwahashi of Fresno tied with six points, though Lowry was awarded the Day Sailer class for having won the final race. Dave Rumbaugh of El Dorado Hills was undefeated on his Thistle “Drunkn Thorny” to win the four-boat Open Centerboard class. Last year’s Camellia Cup Champion, Mark Erdrich of Elk Grove, could not repeat on Fusion, despite not losing a race in the five-boat Santana 20 class. Andy Burkard of El Dorado Hills repeated as multi-hull champion, sailing a Hobie 16.

Class trophies were awarded to the following top finishers (skipper, hometown, yacht club, boat type, boat name, points):



1.    Charles Witcher, Sacramento, FLYC, Ghost, 6 points

2.    Dean Eppley, Folsom, FLYC, Yahoo!, 8 points

3.    Craig Lee, El Dorado Hills, FLYC, In ‘n Out, 8 points

4.    Kerry Johnson, El Dorado Hills, FLYC, Spitfire, 15 points

5.    Tim Loomis, Fairfield, 18 points

6.    Bob Carl, FLYC, Bonita, 22 points

7.    Mack Bishop, Folsom, SSC, 29 points

8.    John Harris, FLYC, 40 points

9.    Beth Richards, FLYC, Y2K Bug, 40 points


Catalina 22

1.    Don Hare, Roseville, GCYC, No Cat Hare, 6 points

2.    Doug Brennan, Chico, GCYC, Col. Mustard II, 7 points

3.    Dave Strain, El Dorado Hills, FLYC, Blue Diamond, 12 points

4.    Francis Samson, Fresno, Fresno YC, Slo’ Mo, 13 points

5.    Mike Rayfuse, Granite Bay, FLYC, Sirius, 14 points

6.    Craig Wilson, Newcastle, FLYC, CATch 22, 25 points

7.    Carl Werder, Sacramento, Blue Hawk, 26 points


Day Sailer

1.    Steve Lowry, Santa Rosa, RYC, Security Risk, 6 points

2.    Dean Iwahashi, Fresno, Fresno YC, Long Gone, 6 points

3.    Mike Gillum, LWSC, BUBBA, 10 points

4.    Edurardo Grisetti, Vagabundo, 19 points

5.    Charles Wilson, Morgan Hill, SCYC, Blue Bayou, 20 points

6.    Dave Keran, Fresno, Fresno YC, True Blue, 22 points

7.    Shel Onstead, San Jose, SCYC, Bandit, 23 points


Open Centerboard

1.    Dave Rumbaugh, El Dorado Hills, LWSC, Thistle, Drunkn Thorny, 4 points

2.    Dan Clark, Sacramento, LWSC, Osprey, 9 points

3.    Mark Dawson, Sacramento, Lido 14, 10 points

4.    Stephen Aguilar, Carmichael, FLYC, Laser, 5 points


Open Keel

1.    George Koch, Carmichael, FLYC, J22, Poco A Poco, 6 points

2.    Todd Craig, Folsom, FLYC, Impulse 21, Z, 7 points

3.    Jerry Lewis, Grass Valley, GCYC, Capri 22, Kudzu, 12 points

4.    Phil Hodgson, Rescue, FLYC, Wavelength 24, Te Natura, 15 points

5.    Mike Meyer, Sacramento, FLYC, Cal 22, Sugaree, 20 points

6.    Drake Johnson, Roseville, FLYC, Catalina 250W, Andiamo, 21 points

7.    Brad Call, Folsom, Capri 22, Alize, 30 points

8.    Livia Jepsen, Sparks, NV, Compac 16, Orion, 33 points



1.    Andy Burkard, El Dorado Hills, Hobie 16, 4 points

2.    Stever Lehr, Hobie 17, 12 points


Santana 20

1.    Mark Erdrich, Elk Grove, FLYC, Fusion, 4 points

2.    Mark Werder, Folsom, FLYC, Reaction, 9 points

3.    Jarian Westfall, Sacramento, FLYC, Diana, 10 points

4.    Charlie Wilson, Sacramento, FLYC, Wild Thing, 17 points

5.    Katie Deutsch, El Dorado Hills, FLYC, Four Sirens, 18 points


The Folsom Lake Yacht Club was established in 1957 and is located at Brown’s Ravine on Folsom Lake (Green Valley Road).  It conducts sailboat racing, cruises and social events.  More about the club is found at