At Lakewood Yacht Club’s Fall Ball held Saturday, Nov. 15, Commodore Tom Collier announced that racer and member Al Goethe’s J/109 boat “Hamburg” captured the “Yacht of the Year” Award for 2014.
This annual trophy goes to the Lakewood Yacht Club boat that has the best score in club-hosted races on Galveston Bay and off the coast of Galveston. The four regattas are Bay Cup I and II, the Shoe Regatta, and the Heald Bank Regatta in the Gulf of Mexico.
When asked about the award, Goethe admitted that it was unexpected. “I was very excited and surprised when Race Committee Chairman Gerhart Wittich called my name for ‘Hamburg’!” he said. “It is a real commitment to race in all four regattas, especially the offshore and overnight Heald Bank Regatta.”
Goethe credits the steadiness of his crew, most of whom have raced with him for more than ten years. He listed them as Andrew Houghton, Steve Guerin, Moray Sandison, with Doug Cummings and Bill Nickle being the newer ones.
Goethe grew up in Hamburg, Germany, hence the name of his J/Boat. He cruised with his parents in Holland as a child and did not start racing until moving to Houston about 1998. Outside of local races on Galveston Bay and in the Gulf of Mexico, he has raced in the J/109 North American Championships in Chicago in 2009 and 2013, coming in second place to the same boat both years.
At Lakewood Yacht Club, where Goethe is serving his second term on the board of directors, he has been chairman of the national J/Fest South Regatta for three years and served as Flag Officer treasurer twice. He and his wife, Kathy, have a daughter, Hannah, and a son, Eric, both in college.