2017 Teams

Marshall and Rigel Jessen – McClellanville, SC
It wouldn’t be a Georgetown Wooden Boat Challenge without the Jessen family.  Marshall, a 17 -year veteran of the Challenge and a powerful rower, took first place in 2002, 2005 and 2006 with his teammate, George Heyle. Since then, Marshall has been participating in the Challenge with his son, Rigel, and in the past few years he has had some extra help from Rigel’s younger brother, Aiden. Marshall’s wife, Camie, is always in the cheering section with her camera. 


Bobby Staab and Josh Fulp – Cape Carteret, NC and Morehead City, NC
Josh got his 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.


 Zack Westmoreland and Vincent Belle – Jacksonville, NC and Yucca Valley, CA
Zack, a veteran competitor, is back this year with a new team mate, Vincent Belle. Zack’s last competition was in 2015 when he teamed up with his brother, Mark. Zack is a carpenter and woodworker by trade. He loves to work with wood in any shape or form and has a knack for thinking things through.  Vincent Belle moved from California to work in Charleston, SC with Zack. 


David Scott and Scott Hillger – Sinking Spring, OH and Hillsboro, OH
Back for their third year, Scott and Dave’s goals are to soundly defeat the “other family team from up north”, finish their boat in under two hours, and bring home some placing money. They have identified ways to be more competitive – AND they plan to have a good time. David is an AG/IND Mechanics Instructor. He is married to his kindergarten sweetheart and is the father of four daughters and nine grandchildren.  Scott is married to Dave’s youngest daughter. He is a professional woodworker and machinist, and the founder of  Hillger Fine Furniture Co.


Adam Myers and Adam Brown – Peebles, OH and Fishers, IN
Adam Myers  is an electrical engineer for G.E. Aviation. Adam honed his word working skills while building a home on the family farm. Being in earshot of his family feud competitor (father-in-law David, Scott) he can’t afford another loss. He’s ready for a comeback and has prayed that his partner has practiced his rowing.  Adam Brown leads a team of engineers for a global energy company. The constant torment and harassment following last year’s family feud left him with no choice but to move his family to Fishers, Indiana. Unfortunately, he has not practiced his rowing.


Kennedy Parnell and Will Pitts – Lexington, SC and Columbia, SC
Kennedy and Will are first-time competitors. Kennedy built a 19′ Dory in 2013. He enjoys sailing and exploring the intracoastal waterway.
Will has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of South Carolina. While at USC  he participated in the Concrete Canoe Design team as the concrete mix design captain. Also, he worked as a research assistant/fabricator for graduate students and professors. Currently, he is a geotechnical staff professional at a local engineering firm (F&ME).


David Sippe and Jackson Sippe – Charlotte, NC and Boone, NC
A second year competitor, David has construction in his blood. Owner of an industrial construction company, David enjoys boating, fishing and old house restoration. 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 that he and his family decided to purchase a house on Front Street that they are slowly renovating.  Jackson, also a second year competitor, will  again join his father in the competition. When not boat building, Jackson enjoys sailing, banjo playing and all things computers.


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.


Habitat for Humanity Georgetown County – Green Team


Habitat for Humanity Georgetown County – Blue Team


Tyler Newton and Andrew Newton – Fredericksburg, VA and Bluffton, SC


Waccamaw Heating & Cooling – Pawleys Island, SC


Brian Grey and Ronald Sparks – Morehead City, NC and Beaufort NC


Justin Christie and Ryan Borowicz – Hubert NC 


Bryce Becker and Shelby Freeman – Newport, NC and Stella NC


Cameron Bradshaw and Tim Banks – Morehead City, NC


Cody Keithan and Bruno Borzoni – Belfast Maine