2018 Hobie 16 North American Championships, Navarre Beach, Florida
After a morning delay waiting for winds the first day of racing got underway in 5-7 knots of wind. Two races were completed for the day before the wind gave up. 67 teams from throughout North America are competing. Due to geographic limitations of the sailing area, the race officer opted for a split fleet format with the sailors seeded into four groups and competing in two starts per race. This will continue for the first three days of competition afterwards the fleet will be split into gold and silver of the final two days of competition.
After two races Ken Hilk/Darcy Jensen (USA) lead followed by Kevin Smith/David Smith (USA) and Patrick Porter/Heather Matthews (USA).
After a morning delay to allow the wind to fill, day two of the Hobie 16 North American Championships continued in 5-10 knots of wind with the strongest breeze early and fading throughout the day. The increased velocity generally made for better sailing but the numerous shifts and changes in wind speed provided lots of passing opportunities. The wind has been blowing directly across a rather narrow bay keeping the courses small and the fleet tightly compacted. Managing the traffic, keeping your air clear and picking the right shift is a challenge. Three races were completed shuffling the score board. Enrique Figueroa/Melisa Gann (PUR) now lead followed by Mark Modderman/Alexander Liu (USA) And Ken HILK/Darcy JENSEN (USA). Racing continues through Friday.
Day three of the Hobie 16 North American Championships continued the light wind theme with winds of 4-7 knots and a slow but persistent right shift. Three additional races were completed. Shifty winds and velocity continue to challenge sailors. Though the dolphins were out on the race course playing with the boats as they were sailing. One sailor before the racing started went out and caught 150 fish. This was much to the delight of the local pelicans and herons who are also fishing. The tight fleets put a priority on keeping their air clear.
The event cut party will be held this evening and the prestigious Carlton Tucker sportsmanship trophy will be awarded. Also the fleet will be cut into gold and silver with the top 40 advancing to the gold fleet.
Enrique Figueroa/Melisa Gann (PUR) continues to lead followed by Brian Lambert/Rebecca Lambert (USA) and Ken Hilk/Darcy Jensen (USA). Racing continues through Friday.
Day four of the Hobie 16 North American Championships seemed like ground hog day as it was a repeat of weather pattern we have been seeing all week with some dolphins and thunder mixed in. Racing started promptly at 10:00 AM, three races were completed in 4-8 knots of wind with the same slow but persistent right shift all day before a thunderstorm brought an end to the day. A pod of dolphins was swimming with the boats all day. The gold fleet was a bit aggressive on the starts a few general recalls bringing out the U and black flags. Former Hobie World Champion Enrique Figueroa continued his very consistent sailing to extend his overall lead in the championships.
Enrique Figueroa/Melisa Gann (PUR) continues to lead followed by Pat Porter/Heather Matthews (USA) and Brian Lambert/Rebecca Lambert (USA). Racing continues through Friday.
The Hobie 16 North American Championships concluded with today racing. After an on-shore delay while the wind filled, two additional races were completed in 8-10 knots. While still not the breezy conditions Hobie 16 sailor’s love, it was just enough to single trapeze. After four days of light wind, the breeze brought smiles to the sailor’s faces. The annual Hobie 16 North American Championships is always a reunion of the Hobie sailing family. It’s an opportunity to spend time with friends from around North America. Florida always attracts a big turnout and this event did not disappoint.
Enrique Figueroa/Melisa Gann (PUR) wins the championship. There was a four way tie for second place with second going to Mark Modderman/Alexander Liu (USA), followed by Pat Porter/Heather Mattews (USA) and Mike Montague/Kathy Ward (USA).
Next year’s championships will be held in September 2019 in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. This year’s event was the qualifier for the 2019 Hobie 16 World Championships 1st November – 16th November 2019, at Captiva Island, Florida, USA.