2013 Wooden Boat Challenge Competitors

Team #1
Marshall and Rigel Jessen, McClellanville, SC
This father / son team is building for the third time together. Marshall is a veteran of our Challenge, having won it more than once. One year, he even built a boat by himself and still finished in under 4 hours. He’s also an excellent rower.
Team #2

  • World Record for building the Carolina Bateau (quality & time) 2:12:36
  • National Championship Winners (Beaufort and Georgetown Challenges) 
  • 3rd Place Georgetown Challenge 2:12:36

Bobby Staab and Josh Fulp, Cape Carteret, NC and Morehead City, NC
Bobby has directed and coached the boat building team at Croatan High School since its inception. Josh is a three-time winner of the Beaufort Challenge High School Division, and a recipient of the North Carolina Boat Building Heritage Foundation High School Achievement Award. He also took 3rd place in the Skills USA National Carpentry Competition in Kansas City. They’re competing for the first time in Georgetown.

Team #3 
Caleb Fulp and Brandon Griffin, Cape Carteret, NC and Broad Creek, NC
Caleb, a senior at Croatan High in Newport, NC, is a two-time winner of the Beaufort Challenge High School Division and placed 3rd overall in last year’s Challenge in Beaufort with partner Brandon. Brandon, also a senior at Croatan High, is competing in his second Boat Building Challenge. This is their first attempt in the Georgetown Challenge.
Team #4
Lora and Vic Fasolina, Beaufort, NC  

  • 1st Place Georgetown Challenge 2:12:38

This husband/wife team won the Georgetown Challenge in 2011 with a time of 2:30:20. They skipped last year and are back to see if they can reclaim the title. Vic says he has spent his life building things that are square – like houses. Only lately has he rounded out his skills by trying to build boats. He says it’s easier to look good when you can’t put a straight edge on it. Lora would rather be working in a park or planting a garden, but she also knows she’s the best partner Vic will ever find.

Team #5
Keane and Craig McLaughlin, Charleston, SC

  • 2nd Place Georgetown Challenge  2:56:18

The McLaughlin brothers have built several boats ranging in size from 8’ to 40’. Keane is a landscape architect for a large engineering firm and Craig owns and operates a boutique Graphic Design/Advertising Firm. They are pleased to have lady luck on their side and are proud to announce that they have a combined twenty fingers between them. This is their first time competing together in our Challenge.

Team #6
Eric Rydzewski and Brian Benefield, Wilmington, NC
Eric refers to himself as a grumpy old engineer who is no stranger to turning wrenches. He says he’s the slowest carpenter on Middle Sound. Brian is a world class soccer star, pro wrestler and master of the angle-grinder. This team is competing for the first time in the Georgetown Challenge.
Team #7
Mike and Kristen Beck, Barefoot Bay, FL
This husband/wife team is competing for the first time in our Challenge. Mike is a professional guide for on water and off water excursions. When he’s not traveling around the world, he builds kayaks in his spare bedroom in Florida. Kristen, also a professional guide who loves the outdoors, has helped Mike build a few boats. Mike claims she is a master at mixing epoxy.
Team #8
Skip White and Dave Lowe, Murrells Inlet, SC and Georgetown, SC
This team won the Georgetown Challenge in 2011 and 2012. Their time last year was 3:03:49. Skip is a general contractor and boating enthusiast. Dave is a retired DHEC disease specialist and enjoys photography and playing guitar in his band “Nuts and Bolts”. Keep an eye on this team.
Team #9
Sean Hoelscher and Gary Gates, Myrtle Beach, SC and Georgetown, SC
Sean, competing this year for the 9th time, is a senior planner for the city of North Myrtle Beach. Gary, headmaster of The Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences, built last year for the first time with Sean. They placed 3rd with a time of 3:44:30, which makes them eligible for the National Championship Title. Sean, with partner Clint, won the Nationals in Beaufort in 2011. This is a fun team to watch.
Team #10
Joshua Dupree and Cale Cauley, St. Stephens, SC
This is their fourth attempt at the Challenge. They placed 7th last year with a time of 2:23:41. These guys went to high school together, then into the Air Force and spend their time modifying boats.
Team #11
Sherwood Lapping and Jenks Ravenel, Charlotte, NC
Sherwood is a general contractor and life-long woodworker and carpenter. Jenks, a computer security consultant, enjoys sailing and woodworking. This is their first attempt at the Challenge.
Team #12
Charles Martel and Steve Earley, Pawleys Island, SC
Charlie has worked in architectural millwork for over 20 years. He loves working with wood and can create most anything. He enjoys fishing, golfing and woodworking. Steve, owner of Waccamaw Seamless Gutters, enjoys boating, fishing and softball. He is married with five children and seven grandchildren. This is their first attempt at the Challenge.
Team #14
Kent McAvoy and Nelson Hahn, Charleston, SC
Kent ‘s first interest in boats began with deadrises and small wooden skiffs in Currituck, where his grandfather lived. He sailed C15 dinghies in college and has restored a 1969 Albacore. He competed in the Challenge in 2005. Nelson is a former navy man with extensive boatwork and blue-water sailing experience. He extended the waterline length of his trimaram by cutting it in half and adding sections. He’s the go-to man for outfitting any cruising vessel. This is their first time competing together.
Team #15
Bruce Fleming Jr and Bruce Fleming III, Cander, NC and Jacksonville, FL
This father/son team is competing for the second time. Bruce Jr. is a retired navy man, presently a dockmaster in Florida where he keeps his Hardin 45’ ketch. Bruce III is a licensed general contractor and enjoys woodworking, camping, hiking and gardening. This team placed 2nd overall last year with a time of 2:47:47. This is a team to watch. They’re very determined.
Team #16
Zack and Mark Westmoreland, Myrtle Beach, SC
These guys are competing together for the first time. Zack, a carpenter and woodworker, competed last year with a different brother. He says he’s found the best carpenter in SC. Zack loves to work with wood in any shape or form and has a strong ability to think things through. Mark claims he can drive nails from 50 feet away with just his voice. He has a love for woodwork, a very good eye for detail and enjoys playing pool, fishing and spending time with family.
Team #17
Charles Walker and Alex Salmon, Brunswick, GA and Columbia, SC
Charles is a life-long woodworker who retired to coastal Georgia from Atlanta. His wife, Donna Kimbrough Walker, grew up in Georgetown and recently bought a second home on Front Street. Charles has built many furniture pieces but never a boat. Alex is an intermediate woodworker, who also grew up in Georgetown. His father and stepfather were both woodworkers. His projects include toys and furniture for his two year old son. Alex has never built a boat. This is their first attempt at the Challenge.