I first met Ella Beauregard at Hendricks Head Beach on Southport. I was enjoying low tide and making some photos when Ella came walking down from her house with a chicken under each arm. Ella and her parents, Mike Beauregard and Pam Pearce, lived in Ruth Gardner’s place, now better known as “the land for Southport’s future.”
Ella might have been 10 years old then. She walked across the parking lot and flung the chickens out to sea! Much to my surprise and fascination, both chickens glided to the sand and clucked around pecking through the seaweed. I made one of my favorite photographs ever of “Eggsmerelda” (one of Ella's chickens) standing on a rock posed before the coming tide.
Wasn’t I tickled to bump into Ella again, five years later, down at Cozy Harbor preparing a 420 sailboat for some shake down time on the water with her sailing partner, Hamilton Barclay. They, along with their dads, were adjusting cables, measuring distances from mast to stern, tightening and loosening and consulting internet data for reference setups. I was once again captivated.
Ella and Hamilton are an astonishingly capable duo on the water. Their accomplishments are almost legendary. Their racing skills diligently honed by hours of practice and racing.
Ella learned sailing here and has really focused on training and developing her skills. It’s fun to see how much she enjoys the experience of sailing. Hamilton is from a long line of sailors. He grew up in Hawaii and began his sailing experiences on race boats with his father at the tender age of five before he could do anything but absorb some of what was going on. He did his first significant ocean race with his father at age 6 — the Lahaina Return race from Maui to Oahu in 2010. Hamilton’s racing career has blossomed quickly with substantial wins in races beyond his age group.
Ella and Hamilton are in it for the long haul. Both aspire to vigorous competing with substantial commitments. Last summer Ella and Hamilton qualified for the US Sailing Junior National Championships and were the youngest team to ever be so successful. Some 15 members of the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club helped defray expenses associated with travel to championships in Michigan. The 2019 costs of racing will be born by the racers’ families.
Ella will be a junior next year at Lincoln Academy and Hamilton will be a freshman. Please stay tuned to this team’s progress and support their efforts. I believe we are in for an impressive ride.