April 14th, 2015
At the 3rd annual WetaFest held April 9-12 at Fort Walton Beach, Florida, two newcomers to the Weta Trimaran flew through the water in true father and daughter style. Todd and Chloe Hudgins joined a newly formed division of father/daughter teams at WetaFest, beginning a fun tradition of on the water family values.
Four other father/daughter teams traveled from around the country to break the mold of hard-core single-handed competition by sailing in this new double-handed class. These teams included past All American collegiate sailors along with some keen newbies for several jam-packed days on the water.
Fellow Corsair sailor, Richard Stephens, mentioned the regatta and thought it would be a good learning experience for young Chloe. Many things had to fall into place to make this happen. They’re sure glad it did after taking first place in the double-handed class!
Todd, one of those All American sailors hailing from Jensen Beach, encouraged all of his daughters to get involved in the sport he loves so much. After sailing at Old Dominion as an All-American, Todd coached the High School sailing team in their Florida hometown and was a former U.S. Virgin Island Olympic Coach. Of the three girls, Chloe took full interest, and advantage of her father’s expertise and coaching. It did not take long for her to share Dad’s love of sailing.
Chloe first began sailing a few years ago when her father enrolled her in an Opti (she now refers to it as, “the bathtub”.) Now thirteen, when you ask Chloe about the sport, you can see that passion light up in her eyes.
“It’s the wind that gets me going”, says Chloe. “It gets me excited and pumped up for the next race. It was awesome out there on the Weta today.”
Looking ahead, Chloe is hoping to go to Old Dominion and follow in her parents footsteps as an All-American in sailing. In the short-term, what’s next for Chloe…. Well, when Jon Britt of Nor’Banks Sailing mentioned Weta Nationals in Duck NC, September 23-26, Chloe’s eyes lit up again. Will she be there as one of the younger Weta sailors? Time will tell.
When asked about the Weta, Chloe says, “It’s the bomb. I hope dad will buy me one!”
Photos Jonathan Weston