Hobie Midwinters East
Photos by Terri Lusk
March 25-27, Ft Lauderdale Beach, Florida
Maybe the turnout was not like in the ‘80s where you would see
300 Hobies on the beach, but it sure was a great turnout of 59 Hobies
and over 100 competitors: 35 Hobie 16s, 21 Waves, 2 Hobie 17s and 1 Hobie
All on a very crowded tourist beach. If fact the entire area is very
crowded and parking is basically a nightmare, but Steve Voeller of Fleet
44 worked with city officials and pulled off a nearly impossible task.
Motor Homes were allowed to stay in the Bahia Mar Parking lot across
the street for about $27 a night, which is a pretty good deal for the
Also there was only one slot through the wall to the beach to load and
unload boats, but it worked very smoothly nonetheless, with all sorts
of folks jumping in to help out and get the boats loaded and out of the
The evening events were great, starting off with cocktails and muchies
on Friday Night and a great dinner on Saturday Night. We did miss having
a beer after racing – no alcoholic beverages were allowed on the
beach. Is beer an alcoholic beverage?
Saturday morning would have been a real drifter so Matt Bounds, PRO called
for a postponement to await a sure-fire seabreeze, which occurred in
early afternoon. The fleet was called off the beach and races began in
light but building SE winds.
As the wind increased, so did the chop. The Hobie 16s dealt with the
chop much better than the Waves did. The Wave has a pretty fat and buoyant
bow that will not penetrate a wave, hence they just keep hobby horsing
all the way up the weather leg.
The weather mark became very elusive – the current was roaring
and many had to take several attempts to get around it without hitting
it. The Gulf Stream must have decided to come in close to shore for the
day. Many an unwary competitor was snared by the current at the weather
mark – if they didn’t get washed off the boat from the cruise
ship wind shadows as they left Port Everglades late in the day.
For the Waves the course was extremely long, compared to the norm, with
the first few races taking well over an hour each. By 5:30 PM only three
races were completed. The RC decided to go for a 4th race and set back
the time for the Saturday Night dinner. About half the Wave Fleet voted
with their feet and headed for the beach instead, including points leader,
Sunday morning had good wind from a southerly direction and the chop
was already up and bashing. Racing started right on time.
In the Hobie 16s, after the first day for first place there was tie with
4 points each between the two Puerto Rican Teams – The Streakin
Rican, Enrigue Figueroa and Tito Aponte on the one hand, and on the other,
Francisco Figueroa and Jolliam Berrios. Tom and Susan Korzeniewski were
hanging in 3rd place with 12 point, just one point ahead of US Pan Am
team of Greg Thomas and John Williams. Tied for fifth were Ken Hilk/Tina
Pastoor and Bill Jeffers/Diane Bisesi.
On Sunday Enrique and partner rattled off three bullets to win by by
three points over Franciso and Berrios. Thomas and Williams stayed in
the top group of finishers to move into 3rd place overall and get on
the podium. The Korz edged out Jeffers/Bisesi for 4th place
The Wave Class was being dominated by Leah White, two-time Wave National
Open Champ and North American Champ taking two bullet and second. But,
she decided not to race the 4th race on Saturday. It was just getting
too cold for her to go on. Jack Woehrle, also National and North American
Champ had the door left open to him and went through it, going into a
tie with White. Dave White was in solid 3rd place, followed by Stan Woodruff,
John Sherry, Scott Hubel, Mark Scarpelli and Skip Kaub.
On Sunday Woehrle had one bad race, which was fortunately his throwout
and he edged Leah White by 2 points for the victory. Dave White was in
third, with no one even close. Fourth was Stan Woodruff. Chris Stater
had a bad day of racing on Saturday, but really got it together on Sunday,
with finishes of 4-1-2 to end up in 5th place overall
H17 was won by Steve & Kathleen Acquart and the 20 Norm Hansen and
Big thanks go to Regatta Chairman Steve Voeller, his wife Michelle and
all the volunteers who pulled together to make this idea of a South Florida
Midwinters a reality. Credit also goes to sponsors Nautical Ventures
(local Hobie Cat dealer), The Bahia Cabana Resort, Quality Power and
Sail, Ocean Machinery, Inc. Hobie Cat Company USA, Hobie Polarized and
Arriba Performance Products and many others.
The Racing Marks & Anchors, 100 complementary magazines and over
$500 worth of merchandise were also donated by Catamaran Sailor Magazine,
and its www.OnLineMarineStore.com.
Tito Aponte and Enrique Figueroa hold their first place trophies
Jack Woehrle won the Wave Class
For Full Results, Click Here
More Pictures by Terri Lusk: