Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Hobie 16 North America Championships

2019 Hobie 16 North American Championships, Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada September 16-20, 2019

Very seldom is the Hobie 16 National Championships so close to the Inland NW (421 miles from Hayden, Idaho). If you want to experience the competition, comradery, and fun of Hobie 16 racing at its finest then this regatta is for you. My wife and I (owners of funtoSail) will be attending this regatta. Please join us, and if you our planning on attending please let us know by emailing us at funtosailgroup@gmail.com

I might add Harrison Lake, BC is absolutely a gorgeous place to sail and vacation. See video blow.

Cost $375 if you sign up before Aug 15. After it costs $425.

To sign up please visit the Notice of Race (NOR) at this link https://bit.ly/2Jn1ap8
Official regatta website https://hobiediv4.org/event/2019-1620-nas/
This event is also the Hobie 20 North American Championship.

SailGP Racing Highlights

If you missed the racing in San Francisco on May 3-4, 2019, plus do not have time to watch all the full races in full here is a video with highlights of major portions of the races compacting all two days of racing into under 1 hour video.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

SailGP San Francisco

I had the opportunity to experience the F50 (50 feet long) foiling catamarans up close and personal at the recent Sail Grand Prix (SailGP) in San Francisco on May 3rd. Watching the racing online is great to behold but seeing the racing up close in person was exhilarating. The speeds they were hitting from 40 to 45 knots (46-51 mph) was insan. These boats while racing are literally only feets apart particularly at the start of each race, during marke roundings, or when crossing each other when heading up wind at 50 mph. Incredible boat handling skills.

See full race videos at the bottom of this page!

I was on one of the official SailGP cruise boats, right on the edge of the course where no other spectator boats were allowed. So the view was great. I talked to a lot of people on the cruise boat and was surprised how many on board have never sailed, or were new to sailing. For me this was exciting to realize so many were interested in sailing that otherwise may not have been. Most indicated they had seen the boats racing on youtube and were very interested in seeing them in person. Not a single person I talked to was disappointed they had come. You could hear people wooing and owing at the sight of these high speed F50's racing. Besides having food included in the price of the ticket to be on board, the boat had live video on several TV's and persons on board giving racing/sailing commentary as the races were taking place. Very well run I might add.

I was rooting for Team USA to improve since the last series that took place in Australia. The whole team is new to foiling and all are the youngest sailors in the series, all are American. The goal is for each team from each country to only have sailors from that country, currently  that is not the case as some countries do not have enough sailors trained to sail these boats, but eventually it will happen. So for the Americans it has been a big learning curve for them. In Australia they finished in last place but after all the racing in San Francisco they are now in 4th place. Team Australia and Team Japan (7 team members, 4 from Aus, one from NZ, 2 from Japan, skipper is Aus) are the big guns with with the most experience foiling and are older. So Team USA has their work cut out for them but based on this race series results it appears they are up to the task.

My evaluation of Team USA in Australia before the San Francisco regatta is that they did not have the pace and seemed to not be using the course to their advantage, tacking to much, etc. This time they looked well oiled and not making big mistakes. There only issue is that they just did not quite have the speed that Teams like Japan and Australia had. Being just a knot of speed slower is hugge disadvantage.
Another improved team was Team Great Britain (GBR), they were all that was in the way of Team USA from getting into 3rd place. My prediction is that Team GBR and USA will not only push each other in the next series but give the big guns a run for their money. Team China (skipper is from NZ, with 2 from Aus, 1 from France, 3 from China) and Team France were well back in the pack but had some good starts. China the day before the racing started damaged their wing sail in a nose dive, so that may have had an affect on their performance (maybe the wing sail was not perfect) and confidence. I certainly expect both teams to step it up a lot with the next races to take place in New York Harbor on June 21.

Many sailors who seem to not be fans of multihulls and these F50's have expressed their doubts that these sailboats will put on an exciting and tactical races, and only be a drag race. What has been shown is the opposite with close racing, many position changes, including a high level of athleticism not required of other slower sailing disciplines. See the following videos and visit sailgp.com website for continuous updates and news, etc.

The following is a video and pics from my cell phone, along with sailgp videos

For some reason I lost most of my videos on my phone but here is one short 14 sec. video

Here is a video taken from a ferry in San Fran showing Team China blasting past

Here is an official race video you can watch to see races from start to finish

Foiling Boat Show

Here is a review of all the new small foilers in competition with Moth. Down side is high cost for all the boats other than the UFO which is the least expensive at $8000. As for taking the crown from the Moth it's highly likely the UFO will do that as it has the speed of the Moth, but is way less expensive and much more stable, etc.

The Future is Here!

So with all the foiling sailboats and boards is in the water sailboats dead. Not totally but when it comes to high end completion more and more are moving towards foiling. I think in the end one will only see a few non foiling classes survive such as the Hobie 16 and maybe a few monohull classes. If you have not heard the Laser is out of the Olympic's replaced by the RS Aero, which is a non foiling boat, but I predict in the near future it will be out also, replaced by a foiling boat such as the UFO.

Here are some videos of such classes of foiling sailboats...

Friday, May 17, 2019

Lakes Geography Contest 1

Win a free pair of Hobie sailing gloves by answering the following. Can you identify the lakes in the 8 pics below, hint 4 are in Eastern WA, one pic with two lakes is in Idaho (sorry can be hard to see both lakes), and one is south of the state of Idaho. And for a bonus price name the mountain in the last pic. All these pics where taking from the plane on my trip to and from San Francisco. Can click on the pics to enlarge. Put your answer in the comments below with your first name.