THE HOBIE 16 NATIONALS AT POOLE YACHT CLUB - 28th- 30th August 2021
The Hobie 16 class has been making a comeback in 2021. Back in 2019 they had their first Nationals in a while and the perfect weekend reminded everyone what a fun and challenging class the Hobie 16 is. Many of the regular Hobie 16 racers who loved the class years ago returned to the 2019 event and it was great to see them come back again in 2021, this time accompanied by a keen set of younger sailors many of them family members who have been introduced to their sport by their parents. It was great to see such a mixture of boats with some from as far back as the 1980s and went to prove that a well sailed Hobie 16 can be competitive no matter its age. Looking to 2022 the British Hobie Cat Class Association are looking to set up a series of events to be released soon on the class website with and another Nationals at Poole Yacht Club which has proved very popular with the Hobie sailors and already has a Hobie 16 fleet on site. For more see the website: https://hobiecatcentre.co.uk/hobie-class-racing/ The North Easterly wind blowing across a South coast venue meant there would be challenging, and unpredictable wind shifts with wind speeds varying from 8-20 knots over the three-day event. Twenty-three Hobie 16s with their bright, multi-coloured sails gathered on the beach looking great in the sunny spells as they prepared to set out for the start line which was laid towards the South side of Poole harbour in an area known as the “top triangle”. The PYC race officer got the fleet away on time with the first race setting the tone for the coming days – a close finish in 1st for Spain’s 2 x National champion Jacobo Miquel sailing for the first time with Johnny Farrow, 2nd Mark Farrow and Freya Farrow (Johnny’s dad and sister) followed by Lloyd Crisp and Claire Marion. By race 3 Simon Keen and Aaron Agnew had found their groove and with some local knowledge finished day one with a win. The second day of racing was expected to be more about trying to keep the Hobies moving in the forecast light and shifty wind but after a “drift” out to the starting area, surprisingly the wind filled in from the NNE ten minutes before the scheduled start time and the cats accelerated off the line and split formation trying to work out which side of the course the oscillating wind would favour. PYC’s Simon Keen and Aaron Agnew progressed from 3rd to 2nd to 1st consecutively in the three races no doubt taking advantage of their local knowledge of the tidal movement and working out the shifts. Alex Reilly and Rosie Frost from Weston SC started to find some boat speed and finished 1st in the second race of the day but Mark and Freya Farrow had won the 1st race and Lloyd Crisp and Claire Marion and Jacobo Miquel and Johnny Farrow maintained consistent top 5 finishes to keep them in the mix for a top place. The forecast for the final and deciding day was for the strongest wind so far but remaining generally from the NE. The wind arrived as predicted and the Hobie 16s revelled in the gusts of up to 20 knots, the fleet driving upwind with both helm and crew out on the twin trapeze working hard as the variable windspeed required constant adjustment of the cat’s settings. The stronger winds created a different pattern to the results with Lloyd Crisp and Claire Marion finding some incredible upwind boat speed to post a 2nd and two 1st places over the 3 races, Mark and Freya Farrow consistently finishing in the top 3 and Simon Keen and Aaron Agnew having some frustrating bad luck with a snapped trapeze harness hook just before the 1st race of the day putting an end to their challenge for the top spot. Lloyd and Claire finished the day with a 1st place, and this is how they stood overall after a consistent performance throughout with Mark and Freya close behind for 2nd. The 3rd place went to Simon and Aaron but by a very fine margin with 4th placed Jacobo and Johnny on the same points only losing out on countback. All the sailors taking part and the crew from PYC made this a great event with a welcoming family atmosphere. There was an amazing Hobie party with local band Quinns’s Quinney and singing from PYC club members Clara and Olivia on Saturday evening in Poole Yacht Club’s excellent clubhouse, bar, and restaurant to complete a very successful Hobie 16 Nationals.
1st Place – Lloyd Crisp and Claire Marion 2nd Place – Mark Farrow and Freya Farrow 3rd Place – Simon Keen and Aaron Agnew 4th Place – Jacobo Miquel and Johnny Farrow 5th Place – Andrew Boyd and Kim Troll 6th Place – Alex Reilly and Rosie Frost