2018 Teams

Team #1 – Coloring Outside the Lines Award
Marshall and Rigel Jessen – McClellanville, SC

It wouldn’t be a Georgetown Wooden Boat Challenge without the Jessen family.  Marshall, an 18 -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. 


Team #2
Shaun Laursen and Drew Small – Charleston, SC

Shaun is a general contractor and father of two boys. He and his family live on the water and love spending time out sailing, fishing, and working on their old boats. Drew runs a global thermal remediation company. He and Shaun have been working on boats and sailing together for the past 35 years.

Drew is also a master carpenter and pool builder. He enjoys fishing on his custom skiff with is two boys. 

Team #3
Habitat for Humanity Green Team

Bruce Blackburn and Ron Deck – Pawleys Island, SC
Bruce Blackburn has been a Construction Volunteer for Habitat for the past 4 years. Ron Deck has been a Construction Volunteer for Habitat for the past 7 years. 

Team #4
Habitat for Humanity Blue Team

Chris Gardner and John Hyll  – Murrells Inlet, SC and Pawleys Island, SC
Chris Gardner has been a Construction Coordinator for Habitat for the past 9 years. John Hyll has been a Construction Volunteer for Habitat for the past 8 years. 

Team #5 – Most Calk Used Award
David Scott and Scott Hillger – Sinking Spring, OH and Hillsboro, OH

Back for their fourth year! David is an Engineering Technology Instructor at Ohio Valley CTC. Husband of one, father of four, grandfather of eleven, David’s goal for the Challenge is to build in under two hours and to not crash into anyone during the rowing race this year.

Scott, married to David’s youngest daughter, is a husband of one, father of one and grandfather of none. He is a lead machinist at PAS Technologies. He says about this year’s Challenge, “We hope to improve on both time and quality. We are also looking into bumpers for my partner’s rowing.” 

Team #6 –  Reverse Transom Award
Jack Weeks and Jeff Arliss – Kingston, NY and New Paltz, NY 
Jack, a retired family doctor, is a timber farmer and now runs a small wood business. He was instrumental in getting the Wooden Boat Building Challenge (WBBC) to come to Kingston, NY. He has been a life long friend of the WBBC organizer and master of ceremonies, Rob Dwelley. Jeff is an active hand surgeon currently practicing in Kingston. HIs hobbies include wood working and rock climbing. Along with Jack, he is a part of “TEAM CADUCEUS”. 

Team #7 – Tied  2ND PLACE Winner and Blowout Award
Keane McLaughlin and Craig McLaughlin – Summerville, SC – Building Time 3:16:10     
Building Points 8     Workmanship Points 3   Water Race Points 2 Total = 13

After taking a two year break, the McLaughlin brothers are returning to compete in their 5th Boatbuilding Challenge. They participated in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Georgetown WBBC, where they placed second each time.  In 2014, they participated in the Beaufort, NC WBBC once again receiving a second place scoring. Once they find all their tools, they hope to repeat their consistent second place scoring. 

When the brothers are not building boats or spending time on boats or thinking about boats, Keane is a landscape architect and Craig owns and operates a graphic design/advertising firm. Both brothers live in Charleston, SC.

Team #8 – Tied  2ND PLACE Winner
David Sippe and Jackson Sippe
– Charlotte, NC and Boone, NC   –  Building Time 2:14:47  
Building Points 2     Workmanship Points 6   Water Race Points 5 Total = 13

A third 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 third year competitor, will  again join his father in the competition. When not boat building, Jackson enjoys sailing, banjo playing and all things computers.

Team #9 – 1ST PLACE Winner
Cody Keithan and Bruno Borzoni, Belfast, ME –   Building Time 1:50:32    
Building Points ¾      Workmanship Points ¾   Water Race Points ¾ Total = 2 1/4 points

Cody Keithan, owner of K Construction of Belfast Maine, has had his heart and soul in the carpentry world for 20 years. Cody and his crew build beautiful custom homes on the mid coast. Cody first saw the boat building competition nearly 4 years ago while volunteering with the Belfast Rotary but wouldn’t compete until 2016. In his first competition, his team posted a respectable time of 2HR 45M. After that he was hooked. In 2017, Cody and his partner, Bruno, took the official Belfast and unofficial World Records with a time of 1HR 22M 58S. They went on to the Nationals in Georgetown that fall and won National champions breaking the world record time at 1HR 29M 36S. Excited to represent our beautiful city, Cody is looking forward to traveling and competing in the 2018 the boat building challenges with his partner Bruno.  

Bruno Borzoni is looking forward to another year of boat builds, a good excuse to take time off from a busy schedule. He’s hoping for a smooth build with no mistakes and a showcase finished result.Wishes all the teams the best and hopes everyone has a good time.

Team #10 – Most Equipment to Row Award
Fred Hoelscher and Sean Hoelscher – Georgetown, SC and Myrtle Beach, SC

Fred is a sailing instructor for the SC Maritime Museum’s Youth Sailing Program. He has participated in the Challenge numerous times with his son, Sean, and with other partners. He has come out out of retirement for one “last” boat.

Sean is a landscape architect and has participated in the Challenge many times. Sean, along with his partner Clint Goode, won the World Championship in 2011. He, too, has come out of retirement to build one “last” boat with his father.  

Team #11
Tyler Newton and Andrew Newton – Fredericksburg, VA and Bluffton, SC
Back for a second year of punishment, Andrew, an IS Consultant and his brother Tyler, a teacher, have been messing around with boats their entire lives. Whether it’s restoring a Beetle Cat or sailing up the East Coast, the brothers are up for any type of boat related challenge. For this year, the brothers would like to have their Challenge bring awareness to Multiple Myeloma – a blood  cancer – and the challenges faced by the people fighting/living with this cancer.  

Team #12
Mario Glorioso and James Jamison – Pawleys Island, SC

Formerly from New York, Mario moved to South Carolina 13 years ago and enjoys the Southern life and outdoors. James recently moved to Pawleys Island from Oceanside, CA. He loves the beach, the outdoors and all the area has to offer.

Team #13
Pierson Hotchkiss and Brian Frazier – Lexington, VA
Pierson is a big fan of Georgetown, a landlubber, and a land surveyor by trade. Brian is a cyclist, a plumber by trade, and a landlubber. 

Team #14 – Tenacious Award and Road Warrior Ambassadors
Bryce Becker and Shelby Freeman – Newport, NC and Swansboro, NC

Bryce has lots of experience when it comes to building boats, and has traveled to each location to compete in the challenge. He is a volunteer firefighter and spends on-call time saving the trees, so other can cut them down for him to build boats. He likens himself to a Honey Badger for their fearlessness and ability to eat almost anything. Shelby, also a volunteer firefighter, got started in boat building when she was offered food in exchange for her help with building a couple scout boats one weekend with Tom Russell. Ever since she has been hooked on build- ing boats. She picked up her first power drill so she could be like her big sister’s with curled hair, but soon ended up with bangs because her hair was stuck in the drill. Both have made it their mission to beat their coach Bobby Staab.

Team #15
Shane Horton and Tim O’Brien – Winston-Salem, NC and AZ

Shane and Tim are both students at the Boat Building and Marine pro- grams at Cape Fear Community College. This team should do well in the competition, since the head of the Boat Building Program is Mark Bayne a seasoned veteran of this event and a Master Boat Builder!

Team #16 – Fast Solo Build Award
Alex Poole- Georgetown, SC

Alex is a 32 year old cabinet maker, born & raised in Georgetown. After attending USC, he moved back home and started his cabinet making business. He has competed in several Georgetown Challenges. He and Willie French traveled to Maine and competed in Belfast’s inaugural challenge and beat all the local teams’ times by over an hour. Alex has chosen to build alone this year, in order to showcase his talents and build a boat that highlights craftsmanship over speed.