Team #1 Marshall and Rigel Jessen – McClellanville ,SC
This father-son team is building for the fifth time. Marshall, a 16 year veteran of the Challenge and a powerful rower, took first place in 2002, 2005 and 2006. This year he has some extra help from Rigel’s younger brother, Aiden.
TEAM #2 Bobby Staab and Josh Fulp – Cape Carteret, NC and Morehead City, NC
Josh got is first skil saw when he was 24 months old. He once used it to cut his beard after he tripped on it, going up the stairs. He has since maintained his beard for Wooden Boat Challenges. One time he shaved a couple of weeks before competing in Georgetown and was worried that it wouldn’t grow back in time. It did! Bobby was spawned under a rock during the Paleolithic Age. He has worn the same pair of shorts for every contest and it is debatable if they have ever been washed. The one time he stayed awake for more than three hours, he pressure washed and stained a deck, painted the house, cut the grass, and changed the spark plugs in all his neighbors’ cars! Bobby and Josh first competed together when Josh was in high school and his partner did not show up. Although they have never practiced building a boat together, it seems to work out for them. THEY HOLD THE WORLD RECORD TIME of 1:35:26.
TEAM #3 Misty Ware and Bryce Becker – Cape Carteret, NC
Misty is a junior at Croatan High School. This will be her second boatbuilding challenge since competing in Beaufort, NC in May 2016. In Beaufort, she took home the very first “Len Anderson Above and Beyond Award” for most outstanding builder. She was invited to participate in the competition by her teacher/coach Bobby Staab and she plans to continue to build boats. Misty is joined by Bryce Becker. Together they built the highest quality boat in the High School Division in the Beaufort Boatbuilding Challenge this past May. Bryce hopes to one day beat his coach in a competition. Misty has entered her Beaufort Challenge Boat for judging in the row category of the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show. She has spent many hours finishing out her Carolina Bateau for Georgetown! Check it out!
TEAM #4 David Scott and Scott Hillger—Sinking Spring, OH, and Hillsboro, OH
They are returning for their second competition, having learned a lot last year. Their focus is to beat the other family team and their goal is to finish in under two hours. They have identified ways to be more competitive and are planning to have a good time. David is an AG/IND Mechanics Instructor. He’s married to his kindergarten sweetheart and is the father of four daughters and nine grandchildren. Scott is married to David’s youngest daughter. He is a machinist and gunsmith and also started the Hillger Fine Furniture Co. Team 5 and 6 are related and making the Wooden Boat Show a family vacation.
TEAM #5 – Adam Brown and Adam Meyers – Winchester, OH, and Peebles, OH
Adam works as a manager for AES Ohio. He, his wife and their three children reside in a small town in southern Ohio. Though his boatbuilding skills have improved since the 2015 competition he is confident that he and his brother-in-law can beat the other family team. Adam #2 is an electrical engineer for GE Aviation with his wife and three children. After a year of bragging and bloviating about last year’s family-feud victory, nerves set in over the competition and he avoided writing his bio like the plague – leaving him at the mercy of his favorite sister-in-law.
TEAM #6 – Sherwood Lapping and Jenks Ravenel – Charlotte, NC
Sherwood is a general contractor and a life-long woodworker and carpenter. Jenks, a computer security consultant, enjoys sailing and woodworking. This is their fourth attempt at the Challenge.
TEAM #7- David and Jackson Sippe – Charlotte, NC
David is an industrial contractor. He was first introduced to Georgetown when working on a project at Winyah power plant over 15 years ago. He loves the town so much the family decided to purchase a home on Front Street that they are slowly renovating. Jackson is a senior at Meyers Park High School. When not helping his dad on projects, he enjoys computer programming, playing the banjo and raising chickens.
TEAM #8 – Tom Perrin and Dargan Moore – Burnsville, NC
The team name is “Blind Hog Construction”. Tom has built houses all his life. Boatbuilding and this competition have fascinated him. He is currently building a Core Sound 17 – taking him forever! He and Dargan have been friends for almost 40 years. Dargan has enjoyed building things since 5 years of age, being kept busy by his grandfather with some kindling, a small box of nails, and a hammer. Dargan’s experience is mostly from making furniture.
TEAM #9 – Teddy Dowling and Robert Sweeting – Florence, SC
Teddy is a home builder – Dowling Homes, LLC. He is now a part-time resident of Georgetown. Robert is a master carpenter and cabinet maker. Works with Ted at Dowling Homes. Grew up in the boat building capital of the Bahamas.
TEAM #10 – Jamie and Sam Downs, Georgetown, SC and Troy, NY
Team Name: “Downs Family Shipwrights”. Jamie saw a boatbuilding challenge years ago in Newport with his father. He still remembers the pandemonium and fun. He is able to compete with his very own son, under the supervision of his father! Sam says “We’re in it to win it!”, but he’s young (and foolish). But he’s right that we will feel like winners.
TEAM #11 – Chris Sargent and John Olsen – Wilmington, NC
Chris is a US Navy veteran, graduate of both the wooden boat and boat manufacture programs at Cape Fear Community College. Currently, he is self-employed as a boatwright for Sargent Marine. John is currently the director of the Boat Manufacture and Service Program at CFCC. Has worked in the boat building industry since graduating from CFCC’s Boatbuilding Program in 1992. He’s been interested in wooden boats since childhood, on the South Shore of Long Island surrounded by the wooden boats of the great South Bay.
TEAM #12 – Jason Hursley and Brett Scantlin – Wilmington, NC and Boone, NC
Jason is a boat building student at Cape Fear Community College, an Army veteran and a woodworker for a local Wilmington art company. This will be his second Boatbuilding Challenge. Brett is an engineer, general contractor, carpenter, and an excellent first mate. A boat is an upside down roof, right? How hard can it be? This will be his first competition. He lives in Boone with his wife and daughter Grace.