California Team Takes 2014 William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup

sea_scout_cupLONG BEACH – For the fifth time in seven regattas, a California team has won the William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup, narrowly beating the strongest field of sailors in the history of the event. The week long sailing regatta was held at the Long Beach Sea Scout Base and Long Beach Yacht Club from June 21-28th.

The biennial regatta was so close that the winners were decided after the last race in Alamitos Bay. Ben Brough and Laura Roudebush of Ship 90 in Newport Beach, California defeated Alex Schwinn and William Cassara of Ship 809 in Keller, Texas and won the silver trophy by a single point. Third place went to Liz Fletcher and David Cornella of Ship 936 in Dana Point, California.

Brough and Roudebush who are members of the SSS Renegades thanked the Sea Scout program for introducing them to sailing. Brough, 17, of Orange, is going into his senior year in high school. Roudebush, 18, of Newport, will attend UCLA in the fall where she will be a member of the sailing team.

“I am beyond grateful for the opportunities that Sea Scouts and sailing have given me to grow as both an individual and a team member,” Roudebush said. “The Koch Cup experience represented the leadership skills Sea Scouts have taught me.”

“Sea Scouts has given me a lifelong passion for sailing,” Brough said. “The Koch competition – just as awesome as winning the trophy was coming away with so many friendships with scouts from around the world. I would compete again next time knowing that win or lose I’ll still come out ahead.”

This event is the second Koch Cup regatta for Roudebush and Brough’s first. Roudebush competed two years ago when the regatta was hosted by the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, California.

Named after William I. Koch, the Palm Beach businessman who won the 1992 America’s Cup, the weeklong sailing event brings Sea Scouts together from around the world to build camaraderie and friendship. More than 70 young men and women from 10 countries converged upon the Long Beach Sea Scout Base and the Long Beach Yacht Club, sailing two member CFJ’s on courses in Long Beach harbor and Alamitos Bay. The event was underwritten by Oxbow Carbon LLC, which has operated a carbon storage facility in Long Beach harbor for the past four decades.

Sea Scouts from Brazil, Ireland, Finland, Poland, Portugal, Trinidad and Tobago, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States competed in light to moderate winds. Sailors were divided into two flights, the championship flight which comprised the Koch Cup. A consolation flight was established in 2002, allowing sailors to compete for a Maori carved statue known as the Kiwi Cup.

The winners of the Kiwi Cup were Andrew Berkowitz and Isabella Rudow of Ship 441, Queens, New York. Second place went to Shawn Sovie and Nathan Cullinan of Ship 41 in Lakewood, Ohio. Connor Stewart and Dan Schmidtke of Ship 45 in Pearland, Texas placed third.

In the United States, Sea Scouts is a division of the Boy Scouts of America and open to young men and women between the ages of 14 and 21. Scouts form Ships and learn leadership through seamanship. In 2000, the Sea Scouts program asked Bill Koch if he would be interested in reviving a national sailing competition that had been dormant since World War II.

Koch requested that the regatta be open to Scouts from around the world in order to foster international understanding and camaraderie. He commissioned a trophy from Asprey Garrard’s, the silversmith who made the original America’s Cup trophy, and donated it to the Boy Scouts of America. The Koch Cup now resides in the Norman Rockwell room at the national Boy Scout Museum in Irving, Texas.

Scouts Teddy Carter and Sarah Wyman of Dana Point, California, and Kester Wade and Andrew Agard of Trinidad and Tabago were nominated by their fellow Scouts for the Sportsmanship award. Scouts Gemma McDowell and Sarah McKernan of Malahide, Ireland and Nicholas Harvey and Connor Woodhouse of Johannesburg, South Africa won the Spirit awards.

Press Contact: Brad Goldstein
Oxbow Carbon LLC
(561) 907-5422
(561) 310-4642 (cell)