Nuttiness at Hobie North Americans

Published on June 22nd, 2017

Yankton, South Dakota (June 22, 2017) – Racing continued at the Hobie 16 and Hobie 20 North American Championships with strong wind in the early morning that forced a one hour postponement. Soon enough the wind quickly moderated and racing got underway in 10-15 knots.

The first two races of the day provided some of the best conditions seen all week as the wind was far more stable. Both fleets enjoyed some tactically challenging conditions in nice breeze. But at the start of the third race of the day for the Hobie 16 fleet, everything changed.

With approximately two minutes remaining before the start the wind shifted hard to the left and came on at 25 knots. With the fleet all lined up for a starboard approach to a port favored line, the move was to tack as quickly as possible but this is easier said than done with all the boats in close quarters parked on the start line.

A few boats made an escape at the pin and were gone. What ensued was a tight reach to the weather mark followed by a very hot reach back to the leeward gate marks in a very gusty 25 knots of wind. Upwind and downwind boats were crossing head-on at high speeds. Meanwhile, the Hobie 20 fleet decided this was not a game they wanted to play and the fleet collectively decided to retire. Racing concluded for the day following this as the wind continued to increase.

In the Hobie 16 fleet, Enrique FIGUEROA/Francesca VALDES (PUR) continue to lead followed closely by Ben BROWN/Casey ASTIZ (USA). In the Hobie 20 fleet, Mark and Kim ZIMMER (USA) continue to lead followed by Jacob SAILOR/Fey REN (USA) and John HOLMBERG/Teri MCKENNA (ISV) who are tied for second.

Racing concludes tomorrow with breezy conditions are forecast for the final day.

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Source: Rich McVeigh

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