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A world-renowned sailor lives right here in Kitsap County and he plans to participate in the first-ever Kitsap Cup Regatta next weekend.
John Guzzwell, 78, of Poulsbo, manned the then-smallest vessel to circumnavigate the globe in the 1950s. Guzzwell built the 20-foot yawl, named Trekka, in Victoria, British Columbia and set out in 1955 to circumnavigate the globe.
The England native said it took four years to complete the journey and, despite some rough patches, he enjoyed every minute of it.
“I was away for four years. It was a really neat trip. I got to visit a lot of places,” he said. “That was a whole adventure during those four years.”
At one point during the journey, Guzzwell worked onboard another vessel for 16 months, leaving Trekka to rest in New Zealand. He then went back to Trekka and continued his journey, surviving a cyclone and other perilous encounters.
Trekka completed its voyage Sept. 12, 1959.
“I was a young man. It was a great adventure,” Guzzwell said.
Trekka is now on display in the Maritime Museum of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C.
Guzzwell has built and manned other vessels, but he said he doesn’t sail as much as he used to these days.
“I’m getting on in years, so I don’t really race much,” he said.
He does, however, plan to participate in the Kitsap Cup Regatta Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24 at the Bremerton and Port Orchard marinas.
Guzzwell and his two stepsons will race his yacht, Endangered Species, at the event.
“I’ve got a 30-foot boat I built myself and it goes quite well,” Guzzwell said. “I’ve taken it twice to Hawaii for races.”
Guzzwell is excited to participate in the local event with his stepsons.
“I thought it’d be fun to make it a family event,” he said. “It’s the beginning of the sailing season and it seems like it’ll be a fun event.”
The Kitsap Cup Regatta goes along with the Kitsap Harbor Festival, scheduled for Friday, May 22 through Monday, May 25 at the Bremerton and Port Orchard marinas.
“There’s a ton of stuff going on over the weekend,” Kitsap Cup Regatta coordinator Duke Seago said.
The Kitsap Harbor Festival will feature tall ships, movies, pancake breakfasts, vendor booths, entertainment and many other attractions.
As for the Kitsap Cup Regatta, Seago said people can sign up to participate until the day before the event. He said registration fees vary depending on which race someone wants to compete in, but prices generally range from $10 for the dinghy competition to $43 for larger vessels.
Seago said he’s hoping to have 50 boats signed up to participate in the races and there are still spots available.
For more information about the Kitsap Cup Regatta, visit the event Web site at www.kitsapcup.com. To learn more about Guzzwell, visit his Web site at www.johnguzzwell.com.
The Kitsap Harbor Festival Web site is www.kitsapharborfestival.com.