The 2022 British National Hobie 16 Open Championships were held at Poole Yacht Club in the south of England over the Queen’s Jubilee weekend of Thursday 2nd of June to Sunday the 5th. A fleet of 22 boats competed in conditions ranging from drifting to blowing stink over the four day regatta.
Day 1 saw boats leave the beach and starting in the forecasted light 7-8 knot South Easterly with last year’s Champions Lloyd Crisp and Claire Marion reminding everyone how it was done with a win on the first race. The welcome addition of a sea breeze filling in saw the wind increase to a 15kn South Easterly providing flat water double trapezing conditions for the fleet to stretch its legs on a further 3 races for the day. The end of day one saw three different race winners and three points across the top of the leaderboard with Andrew Boyd and Kim Troll followed by the father and daughter combination of Mark and Freya Farrow with Lloyd and Claire in third after a lucky save keeping the mast upright after watching the leeward shroud come loose.
Thursday night with a meal and the Class AGM saw everyone hanging around and catching up again around the bar and many a sore head was seen the following morning.
Day 2 saw the forecast light conditions starting in a North Easterly, however, a 120-degree shift during the first race saw it abandoned with Mark and Freya in the lead. With the great on-water team from Poole Yacht Club setting up for the more southerly new breeze saw four races completed in continuing light conditions for the day. In the fading light conditions, the peculiarity of Poole’s double high waters bit in the last race of the day as the tide gushed in 20 minutes after the small low tide resulting in the majority of the fleet underlaying the windward mark and struggling to sail back and round against the incoming stream The unlucky day continued for Mark and Freya with a UFD and needing to re-round through the gate when the last race was shortened in the dying breeze and saw them slip into third place with Lloyd and Maria jumping up to second.
Friday night saw the obligatory Hobie dance party supported by the event sponsors Wildwind Sailing, with the fleet hitting the floor to the live band and doubling down on the fun of the night before.
With a forecast, 18 to 22 knot breeze for Saturday falling to an almost nothing at all on Sunday, Race Officer Matt Hitt abandoned the planned fun race, which wouldn’t have been so much fun anymore, and rescheduled racing to allow two races to be caught up and guarantee the second discard would kick in.
Day 3 Races 9 and 10 saw racing start in 18 knot conditions from the NE and very flat fast sailing conditions. Mark and Freya grabbed a bullet in the first race and Andrew and Kim in the second of the day. The win and the second discard saw Mark and Freya back into second place and with four points between the top three, a nervous night of wondering what the next day’s light conditions might bring lay in wait.
Day 4 saw the sunrise as forecast behind a sheet of cloud and a grey still day. After a two hour wait on a windless beach, the wind arrived and switched to the forecast SW direction and the boats slowly left the beach. Race Officer Matt patiently waited until the wind poked its nose over 5knots across the course and got the first race of the day started only to see the wind fade away to glass at the top mark and spread down across the course as boats drifted back towards him in the tide and the race was abandoned. A seemingly long two hour wait on the water for the wind to come back never saw it return with the final days of racing being abandoned.
With overnight results standing saw 1st place go to Andrew Boyd and Kim Troll (Aberdeen Stonehaven Yacht Club) on 14 points, 2nd on 16 points Mark and Freya Farrow (Thorney Island Sailing Club) and in 3rd on 18 points Lloyd Crisp and Claire Marion (Poole Yacht Club).
Boats from 7 clubs attending and the podium consisting of 3 different clubs from around the nation provides a good indication of a regrowth in the Class in the UK. We all look forward to meeting again on the water soon for another great regatta.